The day has arrived, a day of reckoning for Westminster whose arrogance, over decades, a selfish regional prioritising, has brought us to today’s referendum.
Just over 100 years ago, Queen Victoria presided over a great nation, the envy of the world. Just before our Queen Elizabeth II was born, Great Britain’s Empire had under its wing a fifth of the world’s population – A FIFTH! Now look, half of Scotland (give or take) wants to get away from Britain. Scotland, part of Britain’s core! Successive British Governments have brought the UK to its knees. Looking at the big picture, Britain is crumbling. I hope and believe that the ‘NO’ camp will win but I do understand why, even though it would be a mistake, so many Scots want to run their own show. They feel let down. Promise after promise, let down after let down.
I think the result will be 55% NO (ie 55% saying stay in the Union) : 45% YES but even if I am right, and I hope I am, there is still a huge problem. Scotland, whatever the result, is a divided nation and that does not bode well for their future. A bright future needs the Scots to pull in the same direction and, if Scotland does remain a part of the Union, Great Britain needs a unified Scottish people. Whatever the result today, about half of Scotland is going to be very VERY unhappy!
David Cameron’s position if I’m proved wrong and the ‘YES’ camp win? Will his position be untenable? It shouldn’t be. His misfortune would be to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time….he was handed a Union which was almost broken and it was only a matter of time. The blame will, if Scotland goes, lie with UK governments over decades.
If Scotland leaves, what next?
The North-South divide to the top of the agenda? Yes. Westminster is London and South-East centric and the stats and empirical evidence back that up. Discontentment has been festering for years and I believe it will come to the fore if Scotland’s ‘YES’ camp achieves its dream (though I stress that they must be careful what they wish for!) I’m sure that is very much on the PM’s mind, the domino effect. Other countries/governments will be watching closely as well. Putin won’t want to see Scotland go as it will fuel the nationalistic identity of ex-Soviet Union States. I don’t suppose the Chinese hierarchy will want to see the ‘YES’ camp win.
If, as I hope will happen, Scotland remains part of Great Britain, the UK Government has a great amount of work to do in Scotland. It cannot ignore the referendum as yesterday’s news. Cameron will have to push ahead with devolving powers and not just pay lip service. How Cameron, his Government, and how Labour and the Lib Dems, react in the next days and months in the aftermath of a ‘NO’ camp victory will determine the amount of trust, or otherwise, that the Scots and the UK regions will have in Westminster and the amount of fervour that there will be for the attainment of self-determination.
Westminster has a lot of bridges to build.