At least for Scotland the stranger is no stranger than normal, in fact many would say its the same grumpy old sow that’s been some kind of partner for the last three hundred odd years, but “mibees naw” as Kenny Dalglish might mumble, just like a booze fuelled fumble at the end of a night in the students union, rash promises have been made, fidelity promised, and all for the alleged pleasure of a bit of union.
We watched with a wearied anticipation as the pollsters predicted first one result and then the other, its worth noting that “don’t know” turned out to be “No!” just as surely as had the question been asked of the prettiest girl at the school disco, but the reality is that fear won the day, for the Scots, pensioners afraid of losing pensions spoke louder and longer than the school kids voting with heart in hand, down south, fear of everything drove a government to promise all but the kitchen sink to the northern nationalists who will have to settle for Devo Max, whatever that might be.
Business played its part, some of it shameful in its blundering attempt to threaten voters into submission, some of it just plain intimidation, and most if not all of it, totally un necessary. If Scotland had voted yes, there would have been as many new opportunities as lost ones, a country outside of Europe suddenly on the doorstep means customs, exports and a hell of a lot of admin, not to mention the gains to be made on FX, by the sleekit money grabbers who run the very institutions that would supposedly have run south, run away from a profit? Sorry but I smell manure in the air !
The whole event has finally shaken the English establishment from its corpulent slumbers, some kind of federal UK with national parliaments making all but critical decisions and a reduced GB house calling the shots on things like defence, spending the oil profits and negotiating with the EU, the big loser is going to be London, no more will it be allowed to be the grumpy rich kid giving out freebies to its mates, its going to be the powerhouse of the new quasi independent England, and its going to have to pick up the tab for whatever gets decided in the new English parliament, a parliament that could well be led by the Monster Raving Looney Party or Ukip, as it likes to be known, people will lose interest in the European question when little England lurches so far to the right that benefits all but dry up, paid holidays for workers become a distant memory, and being anything other than the son of a baronet born in Surrey will see you classed as a secondary citizen.
Just like the morning after spent looking at a right munter, too much has been promised and too little thought given to what the union might look like in the end. England has had its way, but at what price ?