Scottish nationalists have momentum. Now an unlikely alliance of UK political parties, headed by prominent Scottish politician Alistair Darling, launch a joint campaign called “better together” to preserve the union. That uneasy superstate known as the United Kingdom.
As an Englishman I won’t get the vote on this: the decision will be left to Scots. That probably means we can expect to see some bribes to Scotland coming from the better together campaign, and the more uncertain the outcome, the more will be the bribes. I expect proud Scots will reject the bribes, greedy Scots will grab them, and the balance will determine the eventual deal. The broken state of our union with its festering injustices on both sides (from an English point of view, headed by the Westlothian Question and Barnett Formula) can only get worse.
This is not what we need. If the union is to survive and prosper, the last thing it needs is this hopelessly broken state leading to legitimate grievances on both sides. Right now there is one proposal on the table to fix that, and it’s coming from the SNP. So long as it’s the only fix on offer, it has my support. But then, I don’t get the vote.
Maybe we would indeed be better together. But for the campaign to be credible, they need to tell us how they propose to fix the union. If non-Scots had the vote, maybe we could hope for a decent alternative.