If Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence, ‘devo-maybe’ will most likely vanish into mist. We’ll give you more power – if you vote for less power. Will we, really? Not a chance. You’ve had your little bit of fun, lads and lasses. Now kneel and kiss the Butcher’s Apron. Gordon Brown has already called for the abolition of the separate Scottish education system. Attacks on the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament are unavoidable if the London parties are to do what they perceive to be their job, of ‘co-ordinating’ things UK-wide, ‘in the national interest’. The only way to stop them is to consign all of these parties to history.
Project Fear may yet win next Thursday. If it does, the political stormtroopers will be all over the place, wreaking a vengeance not seen since Culloden. But nothing can ever erase the pleasure of seeing the London regime, complacent almost to the last possible moment, dashing north in unison in a state of total, existential panic. Downing Street’s inability to keep its Saltire up is a beautiful metaphor for David Cameron’s flagging political virility.
What’s so deeply offensive is how the Three Stooges appear on Scottish stages to tell ‘them’ that ‘we’ in the rest of the UK want ‘them’ to stay. They speak for the London regime. They do not speak for ‘us’. Have they never considered the possibility that support for Scottish independence may be as high (or higher) south of the border as north of it? ‘We want you to stay.’ Why? Whatever for? Why wouldn’t we want you to be free? How are we supposed to free ourselves if you don’t?
Suppose we take Ed Miliband’s advice and fly the Saltire that we all (of course) have kept waiting in a bottom drawer to show the Scots that we really do care. Why shouldn’t it be to express a wish to see it raised over an independent Scotland? Miliband talked today of solidarity. Does he think he and his fellow imperialists have a monopoly on it? Arrogant little fake. At the head of a fake party, living in a past it can’t even legitimately claim as its own any more. Did anyone in Wessex take his flag advice? All we’ve heard is that Southampton City Council refused to fly the Saltire. Not surprising, seeing what angst is generated there by a simple request to raise the Wyvern on the officially designated Wessex Day.
Meanwhile, Sir John Major weighed-in to the debate today with an astonishing concoction of nostalgic drivel and downright lies. He had some reputation for integrity. Who put him up to sacrificing every last shred of it?
Not content with recruiting the ghosts of 1914-18 to ‘No’, Major made great play of Britain’s ‘influence’ in the world, ‘the most successful partnership in history’ and all that. Would that be the partnership that conquered a quarter of the globe, leaving a trail of genocidal atrocities in its wake? ‘Statesmen’ like Major would be the first to condemn the idea of any other country having ‘influence’ over the UK. So if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. In the same breath there was the usual nonsense about Trident keeping us safe. Safer than the Swiss or the Swedes? Perhaps you only need WMDs to keep you safe if you insist on having ‘influence’ that just might provoke a thoroughly deserved backlash?
Worst of all, Major speculated that the UK could lose its permanent seat on the UN Security Council. This was a lie and he couldn't have failed to know that it was a lie. The status of the five permanent members is agreed in Article 23 of the UN Charter, which identifies them by name. The Soviet Union no longer exists. Russia is a successor state. But no-one got in Boris Yeltsin’s way when he claimed the Soviet Union’s seat for Russia. The rest of the UK would be a continuing state from which part of its territory had seceded (just as France remains France notwithstanding the loss of Algeria). Its Security Council seat is therefore not in doubt. Even if it changed its name it would still be unquestionably the continuing legal entity identified in the Charter as the United Kingdom. Major’s intervention in the Scottish debate marks a new low.
Regionalists from across Wessex will be watching next week’s vote closely, some more closely than others. WR President Colin Bex plans to be in Edinburgh with the Wessex flag, to be present when history is made and hope is perhaps extended to all suppressed nations and regions across Europe. Will he be joining Scotland’s freedom celebrations – surely the best party ever – or reflecting on the work still needed to turn a marginal ‘No’ into ‘Yes’ the next time round? It’s not our decision. We can only envy those who have opened up such tantalising possibilities for themselves. But it would be better to stop the envy and start the emulation.