This is an excellent, historic must-read article from the Economist. Check it out!
via Scotland’s referendum: Britain survives | The Economist.
What I liked most about this article was the description of the two most powerful factors in saving the United Kingdom.
Firstly, there was former Prime Minister, George Brown, who arrived late to the “No” cause but his speech in Glasgow was described as his finest ever. It will be good to see George Brown back in mainstream politics; he’s a outstanding politician and his contribution to saving the UK in 2008 is seriously under-rated. In my book, this is twice that he has saved the UK, and let’s hope that history remembers him properly.
Secondly, the pensioners came to the rescue, saving the “No” campaign. This shrewd group knew where their bread was buttered. Judging by the record turnout, there must have been a zimmer-frame queue at the polls. Perhaps, my next blog should be entitled:
How the zimmer-frame protects democracy!
I noticed that since you mentioned the Barnett Formula on this blog, everyone on TV is talking about it!
Spot on! The silent majority were shy about expressing their views and did not put stickers in their windows or talk to reporters – but wham! what a shock they delivered on the day. As you say, the older Scots are canny.
Someone suggested today that there will probably be another referendum in a few years’ time and, if the pensioners are not here to vote, the youngsters may get their wish.
To be fair, it was not all down to the elder Scots.
Before Dr Alf and others, like the “teenage scribblers” at the Economist get too full of euphoria, it is perhaps worth looking at what happens next.
Clearly, the Barnett Formula in its present form must go, along with the other subsidies to the people of Scotland and the Celtic fringe.
If the Scots are to have more “tax raising powers”, then so must everyone else, and there has to be a recognition that the taxes the Scots raise must be from their own people and not from the rest of us.
The same has to apply to Wales and Northern Ireland and without wishing to visit a second “Harrowing of the North” on the people of the NorthEast, they must be left in no doubt that people in the South of England and London cannot be a “Good Samaritan” and Father Christmas every day of the week.
People in Cornwall have their own “Braveheart ” in the person of Michael Ango and already they make demands for the use of their own language and even roadsigns.
Like my idle nephew who has left home and continues to want to be subsidized, whilst dreaming of becoming Hertfordshire’s answer to Stephen Spielberg, the people of each of these regions need to be made to understand that there is no more “free lunch” and that with greater autonomy comes a responsibility to stand on your own two feet and shape one’s own destiny.
David Cameron is a weak negotiator and Miliband and Clegg too keen to appease people using taxpayers money.
To my mind, there is no negotiation, just a setting out of the facts of life but we will be told that it is a negotiation and that in this case it is up to the Scottish people despite the fact that the other 55 million of us are the ones paying for it all and the ones with no say in the matter.