Here is a first for my site…a guest blog…
This piece looks at the aftermath of the recent Scottish Independence referendum and the author, Paul Hasney, suggests a masive lost opportunity in the NO vote which was subsequently delivered…
Okay so I’ve had the weekend to recover a little and think about what the hell we chose last Thursday.
Leaving aside the inevitable accusations of fixing which are in abundance in the social media. These accusations would have happened regardless which way the vote went.
What I have concluded is the No campaign was about nothing. They did not campaign for one single additional benefit for Scotland. They campaigned for no change whatsoever, they campaigned for things to continue as they have for the last 300 years, and in particular the last 50 (my lifetime). They campaigned to continue to be thought of and treated as a region of England.
Analysis of who won the vote for the No side says mostly the over 55’s. Okay some would say the group with more knowledge and experience swayed it. But on the other hand, this is the group that is scared stiff of any change to their routine and comfortable existence, the group that has done their days work, the group that has paid off the mortgage, hopefully raised a couple of kids who contribute to the country and take care of their parents. The group that wistfully still believe that honour and integrity can come back and replace the corner cutting, backsliding, slipshod workmanship and greed that is prevalent, that the stiff upper lip and a good cup of tea will return and all will be well again. The silver-haired group whose main concern is pensions and health care.
These people were successfully targeted and cowed by the No campaign scare tactics and propaganda on the topics of pensions and health care, topics which were disproportionaly reported by a very biased establishment controlled media.
The No campaign campaigned for the continued selling off of any public enterprise left to the private sector, after which it could be rented back at a lot more than it cost the public to run it. Generally less efficiently, but as long as it puts money in the politicians pockets and that of their buddies – who cares. They campaigned for the continuation of no heavy industry in Scotland, we were the most sought after engineers in the world, Scottish and Engineer, the two were inseparable in the blood.
They campaigned for the continued cuts to our military. A troop of boy scouts could probably invade UK and we wouldn’t be able to stop them. They campaigned for our returning troops to be treated with scorn and disrespect and not the heroes they are. They campaigned for all the sacrifices these brave men and women made, often with their lives, to protect our freedoms and rights to be judged as immoral. Whether you judge the battle or war they fought in right or wrong are irrelevant, these men and women went to do their duty your government asked them to do, they should all be treated as heroes, respected and helped on their return.
They campaigned to continue to have no Merchant Navy worth mentioning. An island nation with no merchant ships or seafarers. The British merchant Navy and seafarers, like many things, were once the best and most highly regarded in the world. Now it’s all foreign flag with cheap labour crews. But the No campaign don’t care, cheaper ships, cheaper labour delivering the goods we need, mean more of the select few can fill their pockets faster, the goods for Joe Average to buy aren’t any cheaper in the shops, just more profitable.
In the early 70’s there were scores of British Merchant Shipping companies flying the red ensign. All with a proud history, even though some were founded on not so proud trading businesses (slave trade). Many suffered scores of losses in men and ships keeping this nation alive during the wars. All gone now because of corporate greed and not being seen as worthwhile to support by the Governments since. A call for the Falklands war was answered by those companies still around, British seafarers sacrificed themselves again. We couldn’t even carry lunch to troops these days with the ships we have flying the red ensign, do you think the foreign crews would sail their foreign ships to help the UK?
They campaigned for the continued cuts to the police forces, they campaigned for the inevitable privatisation of the NHS. They campaigned for a continuation of a laughable justice system with no effective or real punishment, where the criminals are given all the rights and support whilst the victims, their families and friends continue to be left to suffer. They campaigned for the continuation of extremists to radicalize our young people, and not be able to deport them, which cost the public huge sums of money. They campaigned for foreign justice (Sharia) to thrive in this country; it has no place in Britain.
They campaigned to allow “travellers” to invade good honest people’s property and set up camp at the expense of honest hard-working citizens. They campaigned for the continued influx of cheap foreign labour. They campaigned for an immigration policy that lets anyone in regardless of their interests, knowledge or plans for the UK.
They campaigned for the continuation of skill and knowledge to emigrate to countries that offer a better way of life instead of staying to build a better one here, because there isn’t the glimmer of hope for a better way of life in the UK.
They campaigned for the continuation of ridiculous political correctness that has made every citizen of this country so afraid of saying or doing anything in case it may cause a slight offense. They campaigned for the white, Christian, straight, honest, law-abiding citizen of this country to be abused.
They campaigned for the continuation of absurd HSE policies that inhibit people from doing their jobs, following traditions and customs, having fun, or a child growing up experiencing a few knocks, bumps and bruises.
They campaigned for the continuation of ambulance chasing law firms and the “sue anyone for anything you can” culture. They campaigned for the continuation of common sense not being common. They campaigned for the continuation of no discipline at schools, where teachers are scared of children, where children murder teachers.
They campaigned for the continuation of absurd green policies, wind farms to be built, not one of which makes a profit or has lowered the cost of energy. Scotland has an abundance of hydro schemes and potential hydro schemes, but these don’t put the same revenue in the pockets of the few so why build them? Sea current and tidal power generation, same as hydro – there is not the revenue to be made from them, they don’t need the continuous repair wind farms do, so not the same amount of money to be earned by the few shareholders.
They campaigned for a welfare system that continues to support those too lazy to help their own country, people who give the country nothing but who would rather screw the system because they believe the country owes them everything.
They campaigned for Westminster to be dictated by a minority few – the fat cats in London area, average Joe outside the M25 doesn’t matter to them. They campaigned for the media to skew reporting to meet the political agenda of the fat cats and continue never to report impartially or unbiased. They campaigned for the Government to continue to make promises and then renege on them and lie to the public. They campaigned for the Government to have secret meetings and implement policy without proper debate or discussion, like the maritime borders pre 1999. They campaigned not to have this restored. That is what the No campaign campaigned for.
This is what we had and will now continue to have. The Yes movement, they had loftier dreams, everyone knew it was going to take hard work and a lot of suffering, the Yes movement did not offer an instant utopia, they offered hard work to make a great country in two or three generations time. But in the end the referendum was the won by the No campaign, a side that want people to continue to pretend everything is okay, continue to believe skewed tabloid reporting and institution controlled media, continue to wear rose-tinted glasses and believe we still rule the waves and have an empire.
The UK was a broken country way before this referendum started, there are no plans to fix everything that is wrong that I have mentioned above. Just policies to continue as is; or make it worse. Just to put a heavier tint on the glasses and carry on…
The No campaign did not win any of the extra powers offered at the eleventh hour. They were won by the Yes movement. Powers thrown like a bone by the very scared establishment to pull more to the No side. The No campaign did nothing to win them. How many of these powers will be honoured? The No campaign doesn’t care because they weren’t asking for them anyway. What is the No campaign going to do now? What is their way forward? How are they going to repair everything that is broken? Do they really think our little 9% of the UK means that much to Westminster?
The UK as a whole cannot be fixed now, it’s too far down the broken road. We had a chance to take it into our own hands and fix our small part, we chose not to, we chose to stay broken, and be broken even more. We had our chance to take our small portion of land and restore some of the glory, we chose not to.
Now the arguments rage that England, Ireland and Wales all have the same powers as being granted to Scotland. That’s good, that’s fair, complicated but good. Scottish MPs only vote on purely Scottish matters, English MPs vote on purely English matters, Welsh on Welsh and Irish on Irish. Irish and Scottish on Irish and Scottish matters, Scottish and English on Scottish and English, and so on and so forth.
Complicated but doable if we put our minds to it. Politicians are up in arms about it, why? Because they are scared of what it will mean to their own pockets, their chums with the money will drop them in favour of a new puppet. One thing is certain though; it will no longer be the United Kingdom of Great Britain, why was it never referred to as the United Kingdoms of Great Britain? With the new powers to each individual country, it will be the United Countries of Britain or the United States of Britain; probably the latter would be more appropriate if you figure in Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
If the new powers to all countries work properly and all things are honoured, then it could be for the better. These new powers aren’t nearly as much as we wanted, but we secured more than we had before or what the No campaign were going to give. In the end, the Yes movement, by having these powers ceded to Scotland, did more for Scotland than the No campaign.
Am I still proud to be Scottish even though the vote didn’t go the way I would have wished? Damned right I am.
Note: The author of this post is actually my nephew, although he isn’t that much younger than I. He’s currently an expat and a marine engineer by profession. He is Scottish by birth and I am English. Having both grown up in families with similar standards and viewpoints, I suspect one of the only major differences between us would be the way we would have voted in the referendum…if either of us had been entitled to do so.