Saturday, 9 May 2015

The ground shifts

And so we have the Tories ruling the UK once more, albeit with a slender majority.  Mr Cameron has been to see the Queen and has given a speech post-visit which contained an interesting sentiment.  In it he said
...we will govern as a party of one nation, one United Kingdom
I'm pretty sure he said, back in September, that we were a family of nations.  Presumably since he got the narrow No vote he wanted, that has been abandoned .  No need to play up to the bloody Jocks now.

His post-election speech continued
And of course it means bringing together the different nations of our United Kingdom. I have always believed in governing with respect. That's why in the last parliament we devolved power to Scotland and Wales - and gave the people of Scotland a referendum on whether to stay inside the UK
 Yes, governing with respect.  This from the man who, in his election campaign,  used Scotland as a threat to frighten people into voting Tory by portraying any deal between Labour and the SNP as a terrifying and sinister thing, whose party approved a poster showing Alex Salmond as a thief stealing money from the back pocket of England and who constantly encouraged the idea that the Scots are subsidised by the English.  We can feel the love from here.  And I particularly liked the 'gave the people of Scotland a referendum' bit.  Politically, Mr Cameron, you had no choice.  We were going to have a referendum anyway, and the only reason you signed the Edinburgh agreement was because you thought a No vote was a shoo-in.

Mr Cameron got his No vote, but he ignored the ominous warning signs when the margin of his victory was far smaller than anticipated.  On Thursday there was an even bigger warning sign when Scotland returned 56 SNP MPs, leaving the mainstream UK political parties with no more than a nominal presence here.  A warning sign that he shows no sign of heeding, with his blithe statement about governing as the party of one nation.

On the subject of referendums he said
And yes, we will deliver that in-out referendum on our future in Europe.
He needs to appease his far right-wingers with this one, as well as try to steal UKIP's thunder.  But this could be another huge political miscalculation.  If the referendum goes ahead and England votes to leave while Scotland votes to stay, the chasm between the two countries will become all but unbridgeable, and, in my view, will make Scottish independence inevitable.

Mr Cameron and his party are feeling pretty pleased with themselves at the moment.  They pulled off a surprise general election victory and no doubt are feeling quite invincible.  But the clock is ticking on the Union and it's getting pretty close to midnight.

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