Scotland. What’s not to like?

Gerald Warner is a Scot who writes magnificently – and is very witty. He’s been around for a long time. If you want a potted lesson on how Scotland has ended up here, he provides it:

Donald Dewar, a locally overrated politician who specialised in rhetoric and little else, persuaded Tony Blair, a vacuous neophiliac that devolution would be a seismic reform. It was new, it would sunder the traditional coherence of the British constitution – which Blair hated – it would, in short, be cool. A further consideration was that a Scottish parliament would permanently be dominated by Labour, once its composition had been suitably gerrymandered by appointments of unelected MSPs off party leaders’ lists. What was not to like?

Of course Labour’s unyielding course of taking the entire Scottish electorate for granted by spoonfeeding them public cash ultimately rebounded on them, as it well may with the Nats. It is the same policy after all.

Warner goes on, in an unnecessarily pessimistic tone about how the next 5 years will unfold. I don’t share his gloom. Nobody know quite what will happen, but here’s a good blueprint of the problems/solutions.

The Nats heading for Westminster will have to grow up a bit, even the teenagers. As yet another Scot, Bruce Anderson says, in a piece which also considers the constitutional issues: Then again, a lot of Nats are easily offended. About ninety per cent of the Party give the impression that they are constantly caught up in a cloud of grievance.

Despite the SNP’s alleged ‘iron discipline’, I very much doubt that Eck (Salmond) thinks it applies to him. Already there are portents. In addition, the chances of him creating a significant stooshie related to his behaviour down in London are not insignificant. This could be fun.

You're sure about this Tony? Don't worry Donald, it'll be a piece of piss..
You’re sure about this Tony? Don’t worry Donald, it’ll be a piece of piss..

One thought on “Scotland. What’s not to like?

  1. Oh, I think so. There have been, as you say, straws in the wind already.

    “Of course Labour’s unyielding course of taking the entire Scottish electorate for granted by spoonfeeding them public cash ultimately rebounded on them, as it well may with the Nats. It is the same policy after all.”

    Yes. I think it’s important to bear in mind is that they’ve benefitted from a national (ie, UK-wide) phenomenon: the revolt against Labour. In England, people sick of Milliband, disgusted by Rotherham, tired of being taken for granted as Labour’s client vote, had little option: the LibDems are now infected with Tory bogies, while UKIP’s making “working class” noises, but really it’s stay at home or give the Tories a chance. Up here, however, the Nats are welcoming these people with open arms. It might seem like wishful thinking to say that a landslide has resulted from a protest vote, and it is a bit of an overstatement, but I think there’s more truth to it than the Nats would like. I wonder if they’re so inward-looking that they won’t notice this and actually believe their own hype. We can but hope.

    For me, the interesting part will be when – or if – some of their vote comes to realise that they would actually have given themselves a “stronger voice” by sticking with Labour and reducing Cameron’s majority over the official Loyal Opposition. They’ve split the vote in the Commons. “Scotland” (ie, that part of it that thinks we’re all raving socialists just like them) may not always get the government it wants, but at least it had spokesmen in the Shadow Cabinet. Not now. There will be a lot fewer Scottish voices on the UK stage over the next five years. Well done, guys! (Of course, this could all be part of some nefarious Nat plan to drive a wedge between us and our compatriots Down South, but I’m not convinced.)

    Then again, while Milliband couldn’t have been clearer about there being no question of dealing with seperatists (for which, I have to say, he increased immeasurably in my estimation… from, to be fair, a pretty low base), the next Labour leader isn’t bound by that. A Lab-Nat Pact may yet be on the cards. Eck as Shadow Scottish Secretary? Or higher? The mind boggles.

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