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Thread: The Union of England & Scotland Is Over

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    The Union of England & Scotland Is Over

    Pity, for a moment, the most interesting man in the world, Alistair Darling. Last Friday he had an impossible mission, and I apologise in advance for teasing him about it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer went to Stirling University in his - and much of the Government's - native Scotland to celebrate its 40th anniversary. His mission, however impossible, was simple: to say to his fellow Scots that, at a time when the Scottish National Party is using its mandate to press ever more strongly the case for independence, they were far better off staying in the Union.

    He is, of course, right. At least £11 billion of English money heads for Edinburgh each year, the better to soak the Scots in their dependent relative status. My revered colleague Alan Cochrane wrote, entirely speciously, on this page three weeks ago about why he thought the English should not mind. His argument was that the affluent parts of England subsidise the English regions as part of a national scheme, so why (given that we have a Union) should not this subsidy extend to Scotland? As you will have appreciated, the answer is obvious.

    We English have a conception of our nation as acute as the Scots now have of theirs. Scotland has signified it does not want English meddling in its domestic matters, as is its right: so much for the Union. The English regions, by contrast, are an integral part of the English nation. Short of balkanising England - something Labour has been keen to do, with its failed plans for regional assemblies - that will remain so: and English people will, therefore, always have a claim on English money that is infinitely more legitimate than any the Scots can make on it.

    It was against this troublesome backdrop that Mr Darling went to Stirling. Labour is desperate not to lose Scotland, because it would lose 40 of Scotland's 59 MPs. Bang would go its working majority at Westminster and the jobs, salaries and perks of the Scottish Raj that rules England. You see the problem, don't you? So Mr Darling laid it on with the proverbial trowel. He boasted that Scotland has the highest income per head of anywhere outside London and the South-East. He said that in 2010 Scots would have £30 billion a year to spend as they wished, thanks to Labour's generosity. Addressing his specific audience, he said that Scotland wins more than its share, given its population, of university research funding. If all this is true - and we know how ministers bend statistics - then the porkometer is off the scale.

    Yet herein lies the difficulty. Every time Mr Darling, or any other member of the Raj, brags about the largesse Scotland gets from London, the English get angrier and angrier. Look at a story in this newspaper yesterday, if you seek a cause of this rage. Eleven drugs available on NHS prescription in Scotland, treating such awful conditions as lung cancer, brain tumours, bone and bone marrow cancer and Alzheimer's disease, are denied to NHS patients in England. Now, it might reasonably be supposed (and indeed many in England do suppose it) that if £11 billion of their money were not going to Edinburgh, there might just be a few bawbees available for such unimportant things as alleviating the sufferings of the English sick. I know it is bad taste to point this out, but let that not stop us.

    Mr Brown, in his squalid and anti-democratic way, has since the first devolved parliament opened in 1999 firmly resisted any suggestion that the West Lothian question needs an answer. He sees no reason why Scottish MPs (and indeed Welsh ones - Labour has 29 of them) at Westminster should not be allowed to continue to vote on matters that affect only the English. Since the Welsh Assembly has recently received a new tranche of powers, expanding its areas of competence, this means that at Westminster Labour can technically deploy 69 MPs to vote on questions that do not affect their constituents one jot, but which can change the course of law in England. That Mr Brown blithely affects to be unmoved by this outrage causes one to question not merely his intelligence but his sanity.

    Back in the 1950s, in the two or three years before Suez, there was a strong constituency in the Tory party that blathered on about the need to maintain the British Empire: the Suez Group was the main focus of this. They were absurd, because the empire had ceased to exist in 1947 when India went. Once the jewel in the crown was lost, the rest of the structure would fall apart inevitably. So it is now with some in the Labour Party. The Union is over, morally at least. When Scotland voted for devolution in 1997 the Union fell into a coma. When Alex Salmond's SNP administration was elected in May the last rites were read, and the final process of sundering got under way. All that remains is for the Scots, in a referendum, to vote to stick the coffin in the grave, with the Union flag still on it, and pile on the earth.

    This is the last thing Mr Brown and the rest of the Raj want. Because of Scottish separatism they are already illegitimate in the eyes of many English, which is why they bang on with such dishonesty and vulgarity about "Britishness". If Scotland became independent, Labour's chances of ever again ruling the key country of the Union - England - would vanish. Mr Brown and his fellow nabobs would either have to take English citizenship, and find English seats, if they wished to have a political career in a big, serious country, or they would have to settle for running Scotland. Oddly enough, they have hitherto shown a remarkable lack of keenness to do that.

    It is a horrible thing for Labour to admit, but thanks solely to its actions and initiatives Britain is now more a term of geography than of politics. This provides, though, an awesome opportunity for the Tories. Sir Malcolm Rifkind's recent plan for English votes at Westminster on English laws has some promise, and Mr Cameron would redeem himself considerably if he chose to embrace it. It would, after all, be but a recognition of the reality of the status quo, and a means of compensating the English for the severe wrongs done to them democratically in recent years. Mr Cameron has nothing to lose by ending the pretence that the Union has a future, and dismissing the Suez group of MPs who, for cynical reasons, pretend it has.

    Indeed, the honest position for the Tories - learning from the horrors contingent upon the rejection of Gladstone's Home Rule Bill in 1886 that gave us 120 years of misery with Ireland - is that if a part of the Kingdom wishes to go its own way then nothing should be done to stop it. I would go further. I feel England and Scotland will only ever be happy together if they are politically apart. I am sure from the Scots' point of view independence would be a mistake - the Luxembourg of the north they are not - but grown-ups must be allowed to make their own mistakes. For the moment, the Tories should take the lead and announce that, as far as they are concerned, the Union, like the empire, is over.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m...-mostviewedbox

  2. #2
    Senior Member IlluSionSxxx's Avatar
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    Scotland should become independent. Flanders should become independent. Tibet and Taiwan should become independent. Every people deserves sovereignty and the way these peoples are treated by their overlords is a direct violation of that principle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IlluSionSxxx View Post
    Scotland should become independent.......... the way these peoples are treated by their overlords is a direct violation of that principle.
    Most Scots support the Union in opinion polls.

    Personally I think England is finished as anything worthwhile whether it is in or out of the Union, but at least being out of it, the decay will be slower.

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    Senior Member IlluSionSxxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneEnglishNorman View Post
    Most Scots support the Union in opinion polls.
    According to the polls, most Flemish support the existence of Belgians too. Yet, a large majority has voted for a party that pleads for Flemish independence : Vlaams Belang, CD&V/N-VA or Lijst Dedecker. So I wouldn't really rely on those polls.

    I think most people couldn't care less whether their nation is Scotland, the UK, Flanders of Belgium. They just want to live a life they can feel happy with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneEnglishNorman View Post
    Most Scots support the Union in opinion polls.
    It makes sense they would. £11 billion a year is a good reason to maintain the Union if your Scottish. And Scottish politicians have been runnung England for the last 10 years. It is England that is being exploited for the benefit of the Scots & Scotland. The question should be "do the English support the Union?"

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    A higher proportion of Scots support the union than do English.

    So, the union is not popular in England; it is in Scotland.

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    I am totally opposed to the "Union". On the basis the Scots are making their own decisions on what to do with their own economy and providing better deals for the people of Scotland whilst being funded by English Tax payers. Tax payers who are lead by Scots who don't care a damn about England and the rights and needs of the English.

    Let Scotland have independence, but then they will probably need grants from the EU, one of whom's biggest providers of this money I believe (correct me if I'm wrong?) are English Tax payers!

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    There are only two possible options to the state of the Union.

    1. Independence for England and Scotland.
    2. A federal system of government.

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    I don't support the Union, it has no benefits for England. Basically hildolf said what I wanted to say.
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