CC-BY image by Ch1ris2
Why should I care? I’m not Scottish, I don’t live in Scotland. I’ve only been there twice – first when I was too young to now remember and second for a four day drinking binge in Glasgow triggered by Biffy Clyro.
Not only that but I’d rather the UK remain together! I’m against Scottish independence and yet at the same time hoping Scotland votes yes.
Cognitive dissonance (heard that a lot recently) indeed. Let me explain…
I believe (though question that belief often) in devolution. The ultimate devolution for Scotland is independence. What better way to devolve power than all powers.
As an English citizen I observe with increasingly depressing dismay as the Conservative-led (and driven) coalition government privatises public service after public service (including the NHS), pushes more and more families into poverty, unfairly demonizes immigrants, perpetuates cronyism, gifts tax cuts to the rich and maintains economically and morally indefensible public spending like Trident and HS2.
Keeping an eye on the Scottish independence debate I can’t help but feel a wave of excitement and hope for Scotland. I’m incredibly jealous.
Scotland has already been able to protect the Scottish NHS from privatisation using devolved powers, compensated victims of the bedroom tax, maintained free university education, banned unreasonable letting agents fees and more.
All this and yet more is possible as an independent state in full control of all it’s affairs, free from the tyranny of selfish and inhumane Conservative ideology.
Westminster politicians are increasingly complacent (their failure to plan for a yes vote one example). Despite declining political participation and the resulting diminished mandate, they fail, even when giving ample opportunity, to fix our broken political system and instead push reforms clearly anathema to the British public.
Delivering a Yes vote in three weeks would do two crucial things;
1) Scotland would finally get the government it votes for. Conservatives a minority, Scotland would be a liberal socialist state largely unburdened by conservative economic dogma. It would be prosperous – there is no evidence to suggest it wouldn’t.
2) Westminster politicians would be delivered a massive kick in the teeth. The British public will be even more aware of the better deal that Scotland has through devolution, and made aware of the possibilities when freed from the self-serving boys club of the Palace of Westminster. They will demand more.
I really want that to happen. If ever the status quo were ripe for challenging it is now.
Problem is, an independent Scotland would deliver a huge blow to the rest of us. Without liberal socialist Scotland we would almost certainly be doomed to have Conservative governments.
That’s why I both have hope for a yes vote but worry that it’ll happen.