Carry On up the Union
Today the Scottish referendum debate has turned to pure comedy, as the preserve-the-status-quo political and media Establishment turn to blind panic and run about like headless chickens. All the Westminster leaders are belatedly running off to campaign, and stressing that You can vote No, because No will mean Yes in all but name. Though each party still seems to have its own flavour of NoMeansYes, so that’ll be another confused and horrible compromise agreement to thrash out, or alternatively no agreement and kick the issue into the long grass (and try to blame the Scots Nats). They’ve even dragged the Royal Family in, with a well-crafted Denial that the Queen might plead for the Union, and a big Feelgood announcement from her grandson and his missus.
As I’ve said before, our constitution since Blair is hopelessly broken. Disappointingly, none of his successors at Westminster show any inclination to fix it, so the only proposal on the table is Scottish independence. That will leave both parties with some interesting problems, but I think much more political will to deal with them than has hitherto been in evidence.
There are of course some glaring problems in the Scots Nats programme. I don’t think that’s actually a problem: a Yes vote is just the start of a process of negotiation in which everyone can drop their sillier and more outlandish ideas in pursuit of a mutually-acceptable agreement. Unlike a No vote, which just gives the headless chickens a mandate to sink straight back into complacency.
Now it’s Jocks’ Choice. Say Yes to independence, force the issue, end the bad marriage, and let’s be good friends, just as we are with other neighbours such as the Dutch or the Irish. Endure short-term pain – for there will surely be quite a hiatus and disruption on both sides – for long-term gain. Or say No, succumb to the bullying of the political class, and condemn us all to another generation of brokenness.