Monday, September 22, 2014

How Do They Go Forward Now?

The turn out of voters was "phenomenally high" at 85% and is a testament to the seriousness of the question being asked.

 The Scottish Referendum ended in a 55% No and 45% Yes vote.  Scotland will remain a part of the United Kingdom.

If it were only that easy.

As the election got closer the tide for a Yes vote (to leave the union) was gathering strength, a lot of strength.

English politicians, including the Prime Minister, began to worry.  Their lack of nerve, poor judgment and sense of panic can be seen in the  eleventh hour promises made to sway the vote.  A lot of promises.

Party leaders, including the Prime Minister, "vowed" to return more political power to Scotland. 

As one paper said, It was "reckless idiocy (to attempt) to rewrite in a few hour, on the back of an envelope, a constitution that has evolved over centuries."  And, just as importantly, these same leaders had no authority to give these vows. 

That authority rest with Parliament as a whole and not these few members, no matter how high up in the party structure they have risen. And, the vows made can only be fulfilled if BOTH houses of                   Parliament agree.  That agreement seems doubtful.

Now, it seems that keeping those promises may not be uppermost in politicians' minds. Amazingly, what seems to be more important is political survival and getting back at each other. (See, petty politics by insincere individuals who will say anything and mean nothing is not just a U.S. thing.  It seems to be a standard symptom of the disease of political power.) 

These promises were made to Scottish voters who were anxious as to the economic ramifications of a split from Great Britain.  It is understandable if their belief was tha,t with these promises of a greater say in the laws and policies under which they would live, they would in effect be getting a great part of what was desired without all the risk of seceding from the union. 

They did not take the time, they were not given the time, to think it through and discover they were being deceived, but the politicians knew it, or they should have known it. 

The ramifications of these promises; the upheaval; the many intended and unintended consequences are hard to get ones mind around.  These things can not be planned and all issues solved in the few weeks or months that Mr. Cameron has publicly said it will be accomplished within. 

It was originally promised that Scotland would have its new powers over taxes, social welfare and spending issues by January of 2015. 

How can all the questions be answered.  All the pitfalls seen and avoided or minimized in that length of time? How does one go about essentially reworking a constitution in only three months? Answer:  it cannot be done.

If the promises are not fulfilled the Scots will have every right to be angry.  This is adding fuel to the fire at a time when work should be underway to make people feel more united, not more torn apart and angry.

But, that is not the end of it all. 

Prime Minister Cameron appears either not to have learned his lesson or not to care.  At 7 am on the day after the election he promised England, Northern Ireland and Wales would also be granted the same  increased say in the taxes, spending and social welfare policies they live under, just as has been granted to Scotland. 

No public debate.  No real plan.  Just a politically fueled promise.  A cynic would be excused in thinking this is all just a personally inspired political ploy. 

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales already have their own national parliaments that would assume the responsibilities for these new powers when and if granted.  Only England does not have a seperate English only parliament.

England's representation rests completely with the UK Westminster Parliament, also containing members from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Does that mean that England now needs to set up its own national parliament or allow these other countries a say in England's laws and policies that England will no longer have in relation to their countries?

It seems that far from settling the issue, Thursday's vote, after the politicians got done with it (if they are done) just created one huge and ugly mess with the grave possibility of worse to come.

Reminds one of that ancient curse:  May you live in interesting times.

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