Phew, what a night folks! It was one of those nights, the reverberations of which will be felt for centuries to come. Our children, our children’s children, and those still to come will look back upon this day and rejoice. Well they may rejoice, that all depends upon what we do with the gains that we have made. But first we have to understand what it is that we have achieved.
We have achieved the unthinkable, we have all but wiped out the unionist parties in Scotland. All of those familiar faces will now be Better Together seeking new opportunities, hopefully they will find some gainful employment, we wouldn’t want them to become a burden on the state again now would we. As the saying goes: we have more nuclear armed submarines in Scotland than MPs willing to vote for them.
We, as a nation, have elected 56 SNP MPs to the Palace of Westminster. That is incredible, I can’t quite get my head around it but it has happened. We have been battered and bruised by all that the establishment machine could throw at us, but we have endured. Now we can stand tall and say to the government in Westminster, “We, the people of Scotland, have spoken. These MPs are our gift to you.” The government in Westminster ignores our gift at their peril.
When they get to Westminster, we hope, our new MPs will represent our interests. Not trot through each division blindly following the whip, but faithfully represent the will of the Scottish people regardless of party loyalty. That’s what we expect from our new MPs. Nothing less will be acceptable. If our new MPs want some inspiration, look at the fate of Jim Murphy. See what happens when you neglect the electorate and are blinded by your own arrogance.
There’ll be no fiddling of expenses, no fiddling with children either. There’ll be no lying to the people of Scotland, no weasel words. We want our representatives to show the rest of them how a proper MP behaves, to act as a lead for the rest of the UK to follow. We want our MPs to oppose all austerity and to work with like-minded others to achieve that end. We want them to state the case, faithfully, for a new type of government. One that listens to the people and does as they ask. If they do all that, then our progeny may have the opportunity to rejoice. Let’s not squander this chance, we have waited 308 years for it.
Unfortunately, while the SNP were sweeping the board in Scotland, the tories were winning a slender majority across the UK by winning big in England. Make no mistake, this government is an English government. It is made up of 319 English MPs,11 Welsh MPs and a single Scottish MP. It has a majority in England only. It does not speak for the people of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. It is a UK government in name only.
On past performance we can expect the tories to continue to pursue the most vulnerable in our society. They will cut the safety net, which our forbears bequeathed to us, and sell off the choice pieces to their rich friends. They are a party of the rich for the rich. They have no interest in you or I. Profit is king and if you’re not making money then you are of no use. There’s is a poisonous, selfish ideology and the people of England will come to rue the day that they gave them a mandate to dismantle the welfare state.
During the election campaign they vilified the people of Scotland. They portrayed them as thieves. They told the English that it would be completely unacceptable for the Scottish people to have any say whatsoever in the running of the UK parliament. They made us out to be foreign insurgents, not of their country. So now is the time for them to reap their bitter harvest. They have made the gallant 56 persona non grata in the UK parliament.
They told us that they wanted us to have a strong voice in the UK parliament. But the problem is that the UK parliament does not exist in the eyes of the English tories. The parliament in Westminster is an English parliament in their eyes. It’s their own personal fiefdom. The rest of the UK can participate in name only, like Victorian children, being seen but not heard.
If the tories have their way the Westminster parliament will become the de facto English parliament and all non-English MPs will become second class, at least more second class than they are already.
This is the part where the dirty stuff is. We have to keep our eye on the goal which is the independence of our country. The SNP has NO mandate for a second independence referendum at the moment, it is not on the cards. Neither is a Universal Declaration of Independence, there is no way that such a declaration would have international legitimacy. If we are to have independence then this must be won through the ballot box. This can be achieved in a number of ways, some quicker than others. Let’s take a look at each scenario.
- The tories pursue the path of EVEL, making all non-English MPs second class in the UK parliament. This would be contrary to the Act of Union 1707 and could legally be challenged as such. It would have to be taken to an EU court since no court with a crown on the back wall would back our case. But it could be done. More importantly the second class nature of the non-English MPs could be exploited for propaganda purposes, demonstrating to the rest of the UK how unfair the current parliamentary system is. Much could be made of this, however there is no immediate need for the tories to pursue this course of action since they have a working majority and EVEL was designed to neuter the Labour party (who have managed to achieve that themselves).
- The legitimacy of the English government could be mercilessly exploited, thus highlighting to the rest of UK how the English run the whole country to suit themselves. This would have the effect of encouraging nationalism in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This would be easy and our new crop of MPs should be doing this already (are they?). It is a big crack in the union, it can be opened to a fissure with relative ease. From a tory perspective this threat could be neutered by offering FFA or Devo Max. The SNP should take this path with extreme caution as I believe that the tories will place many traps along this route. It could be a stepping stone to independence, however I fear that we would end up stuck in that rut once we got there.
- The EU referendum, which the tories are committed to hold in 2017, could be exploited to a couple of ends. The first is to divide the tories, we know that the party is divided on the issue of Europe and this fact could play to our advantage. Votes with an European angle could be exploited to work upon the divisions within the tory party. Any European dimension will do, work at them from this angle. They are weak here. The second end is to encourage England to vote to leave the EU but the rest of UK to stay. The easiest way to achieve this is to promote UKIP in England but vilify them everywhere else. Crazy as this seems the tories feel vulnerable on their right. UKIP are THE reason why there will be a referendum in 2017. I could even see myself donating money to UKIP so that they can threaten the tories, now there’s a mad idea. For if the UK (England) votes to leave the EU but the rest of the UK votes to stay, then we have cause for another independence referendum. To this end, membership of the EU needs to be promoted as a beneficient thing for Scotland, Wales and NI. Perhaps EU funds could be unlocked for our farmers? EU funds could be made available for important infrastructure projects. We would need to have friends within the EU to achieve this, do such friends exist?
Enough for now, these are just some of my thoughts about how we could proceed and make the most of what we have. Hopefully I will have inspired others to have thoughts of their own. Lets get them out there.