Friday 12 September 2014

Change is Coming to the UK, in comedy form

I don't know about everyone else but this Scottish referendum malarkey is quite the most enjoyable political event to watch from a far as I can remember.

As a distraction for the rather sad and uncertain wide world it is great, here are the highlights for me thus far:

1 - It's all about Hate; hate of the English and the Tories. Scotland already has its own parliament, its own NHS, its own tax raising powers (never used), it own currency notes, its own national football and other international teams, its own culture, its own legal code. It's a Country, it just does not like having remote Tory Government in Europe, although it also has a right wing led Government in Europe and does not complain about that. The undercurrent of anti-English hate and justification for it is hilarious.

2 - Yes or No, its the end of the Union. With more powers to Scotland surely even our pathetic set of Westminster politicians are going to struggle not to sort out the West Lothian question. This means split Government for the UK and an end to Labour being able to pass legislation in England with no majority in the Country. That will be fun, if the Politicians dodge this, then UKIP will make great hay.

3 - All of Cameron, Milliband and Clegg are immensely unpopular in their different ways. Normally one party manages to lead with a duffer, but at the moment we have three duff leaders all in their Prime. The Peter principle of professional politicians has evolved to fulfil its destiny.

4 - One small poll this way or that has moved markets, I even make £20 betting just on the moves to Yes after a single poll. To see the media and politicians gripped like this is hysterical.

Really, it will be sad next Thursday when it is all over No have won (keep going Yes Scotland, my heart is with you, but my head says No will do it 55%-45%).

5 - But it won't be over will it. Anti-English Salmond will still be First Minister or his equally shouty deputy Sturgeon, the vote will be close and there will be demands for a re-count and re-run etc. So maybe that will provide us with some enjoyment for the Winter months.


Bill Quango MP said...

Scotland has its own education system too.
And their own priorities. - Tuition fees and prescription charges.
Own BBC - check out the schedules, its quite different.
Own newspapers that run different, even contrary, stories to their London based owners.
Own radio. Own transportation. Own pocket industry, in oil.
Own banks. Own regiments.

of course N.Ire;land is even worse. They are not even subject to the same laws that the UK imposes on its other members.

we are not really a kingdom at all.

- I expect slightly closer:
No 54%
Yes 46%

Simon Fawthrop said...

As the Economist pointed out a couple of weeks ago, if there's a No vote, especially a close one, it will become a Neverendum.

For that reason alone I'd like to see a yes vote, once is interesting but all that campaigning for a 2nd or 3rd referendum until they get the answer they want will be tedious.

That said I reckon it will be wider than polls suggest and 55% - 45% to No feels about right.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

All the noes are keeping their heids doon. After all, who wants a brick through their window for displaying a 'no' poster? 60/40 no, I reckon.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

All the noes are keeping their heids doon. After all, who wants a brick through their window for displaying a 'no' poster? 60/40 no, I reckon.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Wtf happened there? Captcha's gone mad.

Jer said...

I was expecting a big no vote, 65-70%.

It appears I was wrong.

I wonder if a lot of people are planning to vote yes just because the English/Westminster options are all so crap, that anything else would be better.

DJK said...

Sorry, but the level of anti-English hatred being stirred up by Salmond's identity politics is not funny at all. Ask anyone who lived in Ireland in the 20th century where that leads.

DJK said...

And I'm as ready to bash Dave and the Westminster public schoolboys as much as the next man. But when all there is is anti-politics and rabble-rousers like Salmond & co then we're in a really sorry state.

Has anybody got something constructive to suggest, rather than just standing back and laughing?

Watching the Labour politicians having to stand in Buchanan Street and absorb the abuse from the Glasgow crowd --- and there's still a week of this to go --- I wondered why any intelligent person would be prepared to go into politics.

BE said...

I agree with CU. The funniest thing has been to see/hear ScotsNats bang on about things they clearly know nothing about. On Twitter earlier a Nat claimed that Scottish bank notes were legal tender in England, clearly not knowing what legal tender even means. One of your commentators here cannot distinguish between a currency and a treaty organisation, presumably because the first few letters are the same. The Nat argument is based on so many false assumptions and premises that it beggars belief that even 20% if the electorate are thick enough to believe it, which leads me to think that most of the Yes support comes from people who know it will be extremely tough but want to give the political class a good kicking.

I really understand that. The SNP have turned into UKIP and by that mean a vaguely socially acceptable protest party. A way to tell all the main parties to pull their socks up and sort stuff out.

When McDoom started going on about a panicked DevoMax I was annoyed, but if a No vote leads to a proper debate about how the constitution might be reformed then the referendum may even have a positive outcome. Devolution for Scotland, Wales and NI, plus the Carswell/Hannan model for England? Yes please.

This rather broken system *might* even work! And those of us who said years ago that the best way to get a better deal in the EU was to have a referendum on leaving may turn out to have been right all along.

And if they vote Yes then it is going to be tough for us in England too, but an awful lot of fun as we see just how well a truly independent country can launch itself into the world.

CityUnslicker said...

well said BE.

DJK - The anti-Englishness is I agree a sad side effect, but perhaps it is best to come and and lance the boil rather than have it hidden away.

Also, with a No vote I think the SNP will lose support overtime as their day int he sun will have come and gone. That is surely good for right wing politics in Scotland. Perhaps I hope for too much.

Also, re politics - it is sad that there is far too much truth in the LibLabCon line of UKIP. the lack of truth from Westminster politicians is a cancer in the UK. Thatcher told it like it was, even Major and certainly Wilson and Beveridge etc. The Blair years taught them the weasle ways of unthinking lying and thus we have 3 insipid leaders.

Simon Fawthrop said...

DJK said...
Sorry, but the level of anti-English hatred being stirred up by Salmond's identity politics is not funny at all.

No it's not, but its not new. Perhaps now people will believe that ABE is not a bit of fun but that there is a significant section of Scotland that is rabidly anti-English to the point of racism.

To a certain extent I don't blame the Nats for being livid about what's happened, I am too but for a different reason. They have spent the last 2 years campaigning on a straight forward in or out decision that has been for Scotland to decide. Now all of a sudden loads of Westminster types have appeared lobbing unspecified and ill defined promises of DevoMax around when that wasn't even on the cards 2 weeks ago.

We started with an straight forward in or out question and now, without even a by your leave nod to rUK, we've a completely new constitutional landscape whether we like it or not. That's why I'm livid.

CityUnslicker said...

Laban - Did you watch the film trainspotting 20 years old now, maybe more. The dialogue in the film, brilliant though it is, shows the deep despise of the English has been rooted there a long time.

'twas ever thus, the foreigners are at the cause of all our troubles; the same in every country in the world and every desperate nationalist.

Nick Drew said...

the Yes campaign bangs on about 'for our children & grandchildren' (Hi, my name's Kirsty, I'm going to be born on the very same day that ...) and indeed the whole thing is very childish

reminds me of nothing more than the day when, out of sheer devilment, we elected Jones Minor the weedyist nerd in class, as Form Captain: of course he lasted less than a week of sheer anarchy

if they lose (& i agree with the consensus here) Salmond will definitely have a strategy for the Neverendum, he always knew No was strongly on the cards, and it isn't too hard to guess the lines along which it will run

but like CU I think this will be his apogee, his Orgreave

whether something nastier continues to fester under a rock remains to be seen: like some of the Irish, there are plenty of Scots full of centuries-old bile

andrew said...

Just as a small vocal minority of English want shot of the Scottish, a small vocal minority of the scots want shot of the english.

That it is plain that they
-will end up outside europe for 5 years
-on re-joining will have to use the Euro
-stuff will cost more
-jobs will move south

...means that whilst many will cry freedom, I think a majority will vote no - I share the 60/40 groupthink. So it is probably wrong.

Once Salmond gets devo max he will claim victory and pass the baton on.

There wont be a neverendum. No-one will want another for 10y.
The trouble (for him) is that with devo max, the internal transfers will be laid bare.
After 10y the scot govt will have a record and can be held to account.
In practice they will be no more competent than our bunch of losers.

Some good will come

With devo max (proposed by G Brown?) comes an answer to the west lothian question and so a labor chancellor will never be at No 11 again (despite what milliband says).
This is not necessarily a good thing.

The good thing was outlined by the brit in dundee on R4 last night who said he will be voting Yes:- he said he started his own business because he felt that he could do a better job because he was closer to the problem and so understood the solution better, and why shouldn't the same principle apply to govt.
England is far too centralised.
We dont attack the US for having independant states, and like then (and unlike the EU) we do have a common language, currency, legal systems, tax systems, wars and v.v. similar cultures.

Anonymous said...

CU - what is it ?

"We're ruled by ****ers - and effete ******* at that."

Or was that Irvine Welsh himself ?

I did enjoy the book Filth though - I read it as the heroic tale of an ordinary Edinburgh copper struggling with health problems but rising above them to do battle with the various and nefarious neds and ne'er-do-wells of the fair city. I'm sure that was the author's purpose.

A much longer history than that though - read the Georgian schooldays of George Borrow.

"'Scotland is a better country than England,' said an ugly, blear- eyed lad, about a head and shoulders taller than myself, the leader of a gang of varlets who surrounded me in the playground, on the first day, as soon as the morning lesson was over. 'Scotland is a far better country than England, in every respect.'

'Is it?' said I. 'Then you ought to be very thankful for not having been born in England.'

'That's just what I am, ye loon; and every morning, when I say my prayers, I thank God for not being an Englishman. The Scotch are a much better and braver people than the English.'

'It may be so,' said I, 'for what I know - indeed, till I came here, I never heard a word either about the Scotch or their country.'

'Are ye making fun of us, ye English puppy?' said the blear-eyed lad; 'take that!' and I was presently beaten black and blue. And thus did I first become aware of the difference of races and their antipathy to each other."


Budgie said...

One of the reasons for the excessive Scottish nationalism is because the UK establishment (mainly English) has for decades largely suppressed UK, or British, nationalism. So Scottish nationalism has had no sensible competition in the resultant vaccuum.

Nationalism cannot usually be completely suppressed - the urge to belong is too strong in the human psyche. Every country I have been to is considerably more nationalistic than is the UK being the exception that proves the rule.

Since we (the English) no longer believe in ourselves, we should not expect anyone else to believe in us. We have given up. At least the Scottish nationalists do believe in Scotland. So I expect a narrow win for Scotland to secede (as I have said before).

Secede or not, there will be riots in Scotland as the Sottish (as it were) nationalists celebrate or show they are poor losers. Watch out fuel stations, supermarkets and banks.

Anonymous said...

"there will be riots in Scotland as the Sottish (as it were) nationalists celebrate or show they are poor losers. Watch out fuel stations, supermarkets and banks."

Think so ? - there might be some vandalism of party offices or firms seen as English, but I don't see looting and riots. Scots aren't Greeks and they're ethnically very different from say the London rioters.

Think of all the (many) Ulster riots over the years. Apart from one or two bits of opportunist thieving, I don't think there was much looting.


Anonymous said...

slightly OT, but doesn't the death of Ian Paisley mean that the title of greatest living UK political orator now passes to George Galloway?

Anonymous said...

....slightly OT, but doesn't the death of Ian Paisley mean that the title of greatest lying UK political orator now passes to George Galloway?

fixed it for you

dearieme said...

Salmond used to be, for all his faults, clearly intellectually superior to almost all the politicians in Westminster. Now he appears just to be knackered and nasty. Hell, it's been a faster decline than G Broon's. Is the man ill? Does he have family worries? What on earth has happened?

Ossian said...

All this anti-English sentiment. Where did it all start?

In Book V of The Wealth of Nations, [Adam] Smith comments on the low quality of instruction and the meager intellectual activity at English universities, when compared to their Scottish counterparts.

Such a hero and yet....

dearieme said...

"the low quality of instruction and the meager intellectual activity at English universities, when compared to their Scottish counterparts": quite right too.

Oxford and Cambridge had been largely rubbish for a very long time until reform was forced on them in the second half of the nineteenth century. Cambridge had had the exception of its high standards, albeit applied to an antique syllabus, in maths. I don't know whether Oxford had had an exception at all.

Nick Drew said...

theology !

Steven_L said...

If they do vote yes, perhaps Gordon Brown will come out of hiding to 'save' Scotland?

One way or the other I reckon they'd ditch the SNP and be ruled by labour for at least a generation.

Apart from perhaps 20% of hardcore SNP enthusiasts, I reckon most Scots would rather have nulab has-beens in charge of sorting it all out than anti-English Alex and co.

Simply pointing out they used to direct the UK civil service, and have Merkel and Obama on speed dial might be quite persuasive.

Electro-Kevin said...

I've written to my MP to ask them to speak for England. I want us to have our own voice and home rule.

Electro-Kevin said...

PS, I don't recognise the clan of those clowns in your picture. Are they McDonald's ?

K said...

A common complaint about a federal system is that England would just outvote everyone, but hasn't the US already solved this? In the US Senate each state is represented by 2 senators regardless of population.

Couldn't we do something similar with the House of Lords reform? There's really no point reforming the HoL if it's just going to be another Commons so surely some kind of Senate setup is on the table?

BE said...

My favourite one so far is the iScotland would be outside the aviation treaties, so arrival by air would be impossible.