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Saturday, 20 September 2014

The triumph of bribery and fear over the reality of experience.

The Conservative, Labour, Liberal consensus of "The Vow" which finally defeated calls for Scottish independence, has been shattered



Cameron: Further powers for Scotland will be linked to change in England.

Within hours of the results of the Scottish referendum being announced, David Cameron and Ed Miliband threw the question of further devolution of powers to Scotland, and the timetable for implementation of such changes, into chaos. The much publicised "Vow" to the Scottish people bearing the signatures of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg, was heralded days before the vote as, a solemn undertaking to begin the process of greater devolution of Scottish affairs "the day after" the Referendum vote takes place. At the time, many writers considered that "The Vow" was nothing more than a not very subtle bribe, designed to offer more devolved powers to the Scottish people in exchange for a "No" result. This inducement followed weeks of threat, intimidation and fear mongering by the vote No campaign who enlisted the support of businesses, banks, media and others to seek the retention of the union. Even foreign "leaders" were quite vocal in their support for the status quo, even though it is difficult to grasp what the matter had to do with Obama, Juncker, Merkel or the others.

Today, less than 36 hours after the vote, it is patently obvious that the prediction of prevarication, disputes and inter party squabbling, has already begun. The promised reforms, commencing the day after the referendum, have gone the way of previous promises on copious numbers of subjects (many to do with Scottish matters) made not only by previous Labour governments, but also by the ConDem coalition government during their almost five years in power. If this one element, "The Vow" has been the final consideration in anyone's decision to place their cross in the "No" box, then they have been deceived by the politicians "talent" of giving duplicity and falsehood a facade of credibility. 

prevarication, disputes and inter party squabbling

Within the coming months, right up to the general election in May of next year and even beyond, there will be the usual recriminations between the parties with proposals, counter proposals and even more promises in exchange for public support, rattling back and forth between the political groupings. In the meantime of course, the people of Scotland will wait for the Westminster government to finally, if ever, produce a set of proposals for "greater autonomy" for Scotland, which will bear little if any resemblance to the expectations that many people may have had on the 18th September 2014.
Cameron and some conservatives, plan to bring in "English votes for English laws" as part of wide ranging  "constitutional" changes. Miliband has proposed a "constitutional convention" that will not even present a preliminary report until sometime in Autumn of 2015. 

Between now and the next general election there will be much jockeying for position and popularity between the Westminster parties, with each bearing in mind the growing threat of UKIP and even other parties upsetting the comfortable "status quo" which they have enjoyed until now. It seems that with the bribery of "The Vow" with its vague promises now firmly established, the parties have painted themselves into a corner which they will find it difficult to extract themselves from.