Our current Prime Minister, who’s current in the same way as a rivulet in a desert, dried up and going nowhere, has once again been using Scotland as a threat in order to scare Middle England into voting how he wants. If the rest of the UK votes to leave the European Union, it could lead to Scottish independence, said Davie, only he said it like that was a bad thing.
Davie spent the last General Election campaign putting the wind up Middle England by scaring it with the prospect that Scotland might have an influence on the government of the United Kingdom which we’re supposed to be a valued part of. Now he’s scaring Middle England with the prospect that Scotland might not have any influence in British government at all, because we’ll prefer the company of Germans, Danes, Portuguese and Slovaks to the company of a xenophobic Middle England which wants to sail off into a mid-Atlantic isolationism and in which Scotland only exists as a scary monster trotted out by the British establishment to scare Middle England into line whenever they get a bit bolshy. By bolshy we of course mean voting in a manner that’s displeasing to that same British establishment.
That’s Scotland’s role in this wonderful magic United Kingdom. We’re just a fear in a British establishment project. There was us thinking that we were a loved and cherished partner in the most perfect partnership of nations in the history of the multiverse, only to discover that our role in the UK is to be a cartoon ogre to frighten the little boys and girls of Englandshire. Sort of like Shrek only with a more convincing accent. Or less convincing in the case of Frasier Nelson, but then his accent is a scare story all by itself.
We’re not allowed to have any influence on the makeup of the government of the United Kingdom, thanks to English votes for English laws, our representatives are second class citizens in what’s supposed to be the parliament of all the nations of the UK. The real scare that Davie’s indulging in is the scare that England might be diminished by losing one of its possessions, because that’s how Middle England views Scotland. Scotland’s needs and interests don’t enter into the equation, they never did before and they certainly don’t now.
Scotland only exists in the UK as a scare story in the Big Tory Book of Nightmares, and once the scare stories have been told and we’ve fulfilled our purpose of frightening the little voters of Middle England, the book is closed on Scotland and we’re put back on the shelf to be ignored until the next time that Davie or one of his pals needs a bogeycaledonian to threaten the English with. That’s the only way in which Scotland has any influence at all at a UK level. That’s not the future anyone with any sense could want for their country, but it’s the only future that the United Kingdom has on offer for Scotland.
What Davie’s latest scare story does mean however, is that the British establishment acknowledges that Scotland will have another independence referendum if it’s taken out of the EU against its will. Ensuring Scotland’s status as a member of the EU was a key commitment of the Unionists during the independence referendum campaign, and Scotland will ensure that they’re held to it. Alicsammin’s personal view on the referendum being a once in a generation event only holds true if the Unionists actually keep to the promises and commitments that they made to secure a No vote, and their track record on that has been pretty ropey already. Taking Scotland out of the EU even if Scotland has voted to remain a member, and moreover it’s likely that Scotland will vote to remain a member of the EU by a significantly greater margin than we voted to remain a part of the UK, will be the final fraying of the final thread keeping Scotland in the UK.
Theoretically the British Parliament could refuse to allow Scotland to hold another referendum. But then theoretically Donald Trump has a full head of hair. Westminster has to authorise a Scottish referendum, but they’ve already conceded the principle that the Scottish Parliament has the right to decide whether or not a referendum should be held. They conceded that with the Edinburgh Agreement between Holyrood and Westminster which set the terms for the last independence referendum.
A Westminster which was reeling from a vote to leave the EU would be in no position politically to refuse Scotland another referendum, although you can be sure that there will be plenty of bluffing and posturing beforehand. The reason they won’t refuse is because simultaneously with their negotiations with Holyrood on the terms of a new independence referendum, they will also be negotiating with Brussels on the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. Since the entire raison d’etre of another independence referendum will be to allow Scotland to continue to be a part of the EU in accordance with the express will of the Scottish people, Brussels is going to take a very dim view of attempts from Westminster to block it. And any Scottish government worth its salt will be engaged in its own negotiations with Brussels to ensure just that. A weakened British goverment will be in no position to refuse.
Maybe it won’t happen. Maybe Middle England will after all vote to remain a part of the EU and this crisis will pass. There will be no second independence referendum, at least not on this issue. But that doesn’t mean there will never be another independence referendum. The position of Scotland as the bogeyman of Britain isn’t going to change, our nation’s role in this benighted UK will continue to be that of an ignored and side-lined northern province which only gets a mention in order to frighten the Tory shires. The lurching corpse of the British constitution will continue to find itself embroiled in one crisis after another.
Sooner or later, something’s going to give. My money’s on sooner. And then we can finally close the Tory book of nightmares and put it away on the history shelf.
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