Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Though the vote on Scotland's immediate future is now settled, it is not the end of the process nor the national debate. If the politicians in Westminster, (remember, that is all the representatives, English, Welsh and Northern Irish) think it is, they are being naive. 

In this post:

I set out my critique of the campaign. My final paragraph may, sadly, turn out to be prescient.  

The Groundswell of political energy, the politically sharp awareness, both of which accompanied the referendum campaign, have not suddenly disappeared.  85% of eligible voters placed their votes.  45% of the Scottish population voted to be be separated from England; not an inconsiderable number, one not to be sniffed at.  It would be a foolish government, (voted in on far lower a percentages) that would agitate against the separatist voters. The current Deputy First Scottish Minister is a formidable politician in her own right.  It seems likely, she will be voted into the post of First Minister at the next Scottish National Party (SNP) Annual Conference in about two months' time.  The current incumbent  is stepping down. As the ruling party in Scotland, the SNP will not let the depth of support and goodwill they have in Scotland dissipate by standing still. The Picts may no longer indulge in border raids, but, make no mistake, they can still firmly hold their ground

I cannot remember  a Westminster Government in my lifetime that has been voted in with a percentage vote equivalent to  the forty five percent 'no' voters in Scotland. The current Conservative Party certainly was not, hence their need to form a coalition in order to govern.  

On the other hand, I can remember voting turn out of about 30% in the whole of the UK to decide on a government based in Westminster to represent us all....30% ! About two thirds of the population did not elect UK representatives; what a massive lack of confidence in our political system, in our democracy.  The figures tell you our governments do not represent the majority, they have not found common ground or connection with people.  It throws a spotlight on to the U.K political disengagement, disconnection and disaffection of the population at large with the Westminster ruling classes.

Scotland has demonstrated a superb political awareness and has connected with it in massive voting numbers, numbers that Westminster parliamentarians would give their eye teeth for.


Anonymous said...

I feel that people who don't vote aren't really entitled to moan about the government or it's policies.
I do wonder what if anything can be done to increase voting figures which really are worrying low. If that trend continues perhaps we should think about compulsory voting , which given our present system is probably a non-starter. Flighty xx

ZACL said...

The voting figures do show great disinterest in what the Westminster politicians call politics. There is also a large disconnect between the voters and the Westminster bubble,Mr F. People tire of voting for limited or no purpose. It, sadly reflects the increasing social divide. The constituency of voters have to feel that their interests are being understood and served to some extent. Instead the corporations and the politicians are serving themselves at the expense of all of us. The franchise looks like a sham and feels like one.

Why bother to vote if what evolves is more of the same? Who and what does it serve?

Once I had the vote, I used it out of principle, not because I was politically energised. Sadly, the silent majority probably make more of a statement than my vote in Britain ever would.

Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vincent said...

(corrected version)

Your post seems to reflect much negative feeling, probably reflecting how many Scots feel. You all have every right to voice this of course on well-established British principles of free speech.

I suggest the issue is practical rather than political, and propose a thought experiment, in which I play the UK premier and you play the Scots first minister, speaking respectively for the entire United Kingdom and the northernmost part of it.

I say to you that I recognize that a minority of the UK population are unhappy with governance, and something needs to be done about it. To the silent majority who are not so unhappy, these pro-independence noises sound like blackmail threats, and go against the principles of democracy in several ways. I say blackmail because independence would be cutting off the nose to spite the face and damage both. Many voices have said this from outside the political classes and they should not be brushed aside.
Frankly and between the two of us, I continue, many millions of Brits have become seriously fed up fewer millions of Scots throwing their meagre weight about in a way that endangers us all.

We have two choices now.

(a) we find a permanent constitutional change that brings us back into the state of being united, for at least another four centuries. This can only be done in a spirit of co-operation, friendship and goodwill, and requires that you cut out this aggressive and insulting language.

(b) we hold a mini-referendum or at least a comprehensive poll in the rest of the UK excluding Scotland, to see if we would be happier without Scotland rocking the boat all the time. If a substantial number vote yes (the way things are going they certainly might) then we have a committee representing Scotland and the rest, with expert witnesses, meeting for as long as it takes to determine the kind of constitutional settlement which would damage the UK least, within its borders and in the wider world.

Examine it closely and you will see that there isn't much difference between these two options.

But if you carry on in this kind of spiteful language(says the Prime Minister to the First Minister, expect the English at least to want revenge.

(That is not me Vincent speaking, just as I think it is not the real ZACL who was speaking in your post. It is what I see as the collective voice of The Rest vs. Scotland.)

And the point about politics is as that every single day with everyone, it is politics as usual. We must (a) respect democracy (b) respect one another (c) reach amicable compromises, by at least making some effort to understand others sympathetically.

Snowbird said...

It was astonishing how many turned out to vote, and good to see people having their say. I have no doubt that thing will never be the same again....the tories have to take heed and carry out their

ZACL said...


You have the bones of a script.

I cannot be your character's punchbag in the drama. I was born and bred in the Capital city of England, my roots are there. My voice in my post was just that. It was my voice, not a Nationalist voice for either side of the border.

One thing is for sure, I was engaged as much as anyone else in the politics of the Scottish Referendum. I was never, ever, engaged at any meaningful level for any election in which I voted for Westminster parliamentarians. I valued my voting franchise because of history, not because of what I was offered to vote for. As for local council elections, they became meaningless, castrated as the councils were and still are.

I do wonder, in view of your character's statements, what fictions have been fed into the public psyche. In any political contest, the first casualty is truth.

ZACL said...

Hi Snowbird,

Yes, it was amazing to be part of such an energised voting constituency that has made its mark on Scottish and British history. To see it can happen is a sociologist's paradise. Think of all those analyses and conclusions - quite a number based on educated guess work I think - in the short term versus the conclusions reached in the future, when, demographic and voting pattern information which is not accessible in the public domain at this stage, will become so.

Politicians in Westminster have a poor history in the 'trust' department, as stated in my previous post. We shall have to see what will evolve. xxx