Friday 19 September 2014

Opportunity Knocks

The aftermath of the referendum is one of those rare moments on the battlefield when a genuine opportunity presents itself for a decisive, pivotal move.  It falls to Cameron.

And he even looks up for it.  Is there someone, anyone in the whole of the Tory Party (or on its payroll) with the strategic nous to follow through ?

A man can hope ...



Anonymous said...

No. Not a cat in hell's chance.

BE said...

I don't know if it's just lack of sleep, but I feel much more empowered than I did before yesterday. The reaction of the political parties to the threat of a Yes, and subsequent jostling for English position shows that a democracy can work. A carefully-constructed system can respond to changes of opinion without us even having to go direct to the ballot box.

When I listened to Cameron's speech this morning I felt he understood what I wanted, which makes a bloomin' change!!

As for whether I think he can/will make meaningful reforms I simply Do Not Know. However I won't fall into the depressing mentality of just assuming that he will renege, if only because that logic - taken to its conclusion - would lead to all of us never doing anything.

I am hopeful.

Anonymous said...

If the answer is to have more politicians, they the general public has lost.

At its root, the Scottish question was about local accountability. So an English First Minister would be a major step forward - but it also requires removing an existing layer. Europe or Westminster.

BE said...

I don't really want already centralised power just centralised somewhere else. One of the criticisms I have heard of the Scottish Parliament is that it has been engaged in a massive power grab from local government. I would prefer as little as possible to be controlled by the English MPs in Westminster or the EMPs in a new post-modern fantasy building in Coventry or wherever.

We could sort of this out in one go. For example do we really need London boroughs *and* a London assembly? Do we need town, district and county councils? Especially if there is then going to be some regional layer on top.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Being an angry expat fervently unionist Scot (we Scots have successfully run England for 300 years, and I see no reason to stop now) I sat up most of the night watching the news and chewing the carpet due to my lack of a vote. I should be feeling very happy this morning; but I don't. Truly Salmond is a sinister evil genius. Despite having all the advantages - setting the question, choosing the timing, gerrymandering the electorate - HE LOST. And what do I read all over the internet? An upsurge in English nationalism. He is steadily achieving his aim of turning the English against the union.

I fear the for future, I really do. In the long term, if we do not exit the EU and re-establish a sense of BRITISH identity, our nation is doomed to a dismal balkanisation. And if you lot think the answer is an English 'first minister', yet more fucking useless parasite politicians, when the real government sits unelected and irremovable in Brussels, then you should all be excused boots.

Raedwald said...

BE - I urge you to google Simon Jenkins Big Bang Localism for a comparison between the UK, Europe and US when it comes to democratic representation; the average ratio in France of people to elected representatives is (relying on memory here - work 'puter) 1: 1250 whilst UK is 1:18000. UK is about the worst represented nation anywhere.

Personally, I'd welcome a little local hairy bloke in a Union Jack sash whom I could call Monsieur Le Maire to sort out building permits, water licenses and such things ...

Electro-Kevin said...

I disagree with Hodge's conclusion.

We are not safe from the Great Depression. The county is not unified and nor, it seems, will we get a fair referendum on Europe.

The 'vow' was last minute and panicky and offered too much without mandate. The terms of the Scottish referendum were controlled completely by Salmond.

Electro-Kevin said...

Salmond 'lost' the referendum but - by dominating negotiations - won.

He panicked our leaders into winning massive concessions and - as Mr Wheatabix says - he's managed to make many English despise the Union.

Nu Labour managed to make us despise the police and the Lords. The EU managed to make us despise the Commons and the judiciary.

They have been very patient and VERY clever.

Nick Drew said...

BE - engaged in a massive power grab from local government - yes, esp the police (as Mr R has reminded us): and both Ken & Boris have tried similar, it's POWER, it's what everyone does

but otherwise I'm with you in sentiment

SW, Kev - Salmond is a sinister evil genius / Salmond won - not so sure abt that: I'd say he is a natural charlatan (like Galloway) and has run with his hobby as far as it would take him: best guess, he'll be a short entry in Wiki 50 years from now, like Poujade, and no-one else will successfully pick up his oily baton

I have kids and fear for the future too, but Salmond is not the shape of my nightmare, it's something far less emphemeral than a passing snake-oil peddler

They have been very patient and VERY clever - of your 3 targets, only 'the EU' has been patient. Clever? well, tenacious, implacable & there's an institutional cunning. I suppose the way it always finds ways to bend its own rules is 'clever' ...

anyhow, this is still a battlefield opportunity, looking for its Wellington to exploit it

(I might have said Marlborough, but he went even better and created his own opportunities)

Electro-Kevin said...

Peter Hitchens wrote a book in 1999 which was largely about the Blair government.

It's name ?

The Abolition of Britain.

The title sounded hysterical at the time. Not now it doesn't.

The truth is we're a bit fooked. Norman Tebbit writes today that this is the beginning of the balkanisation of Britain. The true threat is not break-away but the inability to forge cultural consensus in that which remains.

The economy ?

The present levels of migration are but a trickle compared to those suffering new push factors towards our shores. There will never be enough commerce to maintain this standard of living in such a fast growing (increasingly illiterate and inumerate) population.

I'd rather be poorer and as we were than poorer and as we are going to be.

Budgie said...

Since I got my prediction entirely wrong, I have decided to cease commenting on political blogs.

Well, for two minutes anyway.

The English have already said 'No' to the Balkanisation of England, though we have started to hear from the europhiles about that again. But the English need to be also directly asked if they actually want a devolved English parliament.

Moreover the whole UK also needs to be asked in a referendum whether we want a federal structure at all. A 'No' vote would trigger the closing of Scottish, Welsh and N.Irish parliaments. And a good thing too, in my opinion.

At the moment the SNP tail is wagging the UK (and English) dog. That is the measure of how useless Cameron is.

Electro-Kevin said...

"A 'No' vote would trigger the closing of Scottish, Welsh and N.Irish parliaments. And a good thing too, in my opinion."

Just how do we put that genie back without bangs, flashes and smoke ?

hovis said...

Indeed there is a moment for radical reform here but it won't happen nor will UK politcs be re-invigorated for the centralisation isses rightly identified above. So no pivotal move, as the desire was to defend the status quo.

Mixing metaphors, the referendum was less Pandora's Box (though it certainly open things up) but more the leather bag given to Odysius by Aeolus - a bag full of wind(s) and one which blows everything off course (for business as usual).

Despite winning, the "No" tactical decison making was rubbish. The last minute passive aggressive we love you please dont leave us here is an offer of devo max/ the sky will falling in you scotch dumbfucks, was appalling.

So No's all round.
Will it continue as is? No.
Will Cameron win 2015? Still No, Did he save the Union? No, especially not it's present form. It's a temporary can-kick down the road
Will he have fixed the "Great Depression" a la Hodges? No (don't make me laugh.)

Some comments hint at self sovereignty and governing by consent - I think the winds have some way to blow yet.

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