Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Scottish Question and Answer

You have got to admire Alex Salmond. Just over ten years ago he resigned as the leader of the Scottish National Party and went fishing. Then his successor made a complete mess of things and he reluctantly tossed aside the fishing rod and re-entered the fray. The results since prove the rejuvenative benefits of a brief holiday.

Yesterday the SNP achieved a huge result. They increased their vote by 12.5% to 45.4%. Labour held their vote (approx 32%) and the Conservatives were down to 14% and the Lib Dems down to just under 8% of the vote.

David Cameron immediately stated that he was completely and wholly in support of the United Kingdom staying as it is - i.e. no independant Scotland. Hmm,.

Alex Salmond's next job is to convince the Scottish Electorate that they will be better off out of the UK and can stand alone as an independent nation. Currently the polling shows only minority support for such a move. It's another mountain to climb. If only Mel Gibson had stayed off the drink things would be that bit easier.

But nevertheless, I wouldn't mind betting that Salmond can do it. Unless Dave should choose to buy off Scottish voters by exempting Scotland from the spending cuts, Alex is going to have lots of ammunition available to make that case that Scotland are better off on their own.

This must be a difficult one for Dave - he must be torn. England is overwhelmingly Conservative. If Scotland were independent, we would inevitably have a strong Conservative government with a decent majority. The Conservative result in the elections this week in Scotland show just how little presence they have there - their vote was down another 3%.

So why bother fighting this battle? Why not just let Alex climb his next mountain and reach the summit?

There are of course implications. Would it be possible for Scottish MPs to stand for constituencies in England for example? Would we need to get rid of the Scots that stand for Parliament in England?

I don't see why. We are an inclusive multi-cultural society aren't we?

If, for example, there was a Scottish MP who represented a solid Conservative Home Counties seat who was married to an English woman and who had two English children should we throw him and his half-cast offspring out?

It would seem wrong to do so.

I think we merely need him to swear loyalty to England in all future games of Football and Rugby and make a few modest sartorial modifications to indicate his loyalty to our great nation. That's the answer.


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