Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fear and loathing in the UK

It is now only 9 days until the UK election, and having failed to win any public support for their policies, the tories are trying to frighten the electorate instead. Their core tactic has been an attempt to delegitimise Scottish MPs - only one of which is a conservative. The latest spin? Scottish support for a labour government would cause a "constitutional crisis":

Britain will face its biggest constitutional crisis since Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 if Ed Miliband runs Britain with Nicola Sturgeon, Theresa May has warned.

In a dramatic intervention in the Election campaign, the Home Secretary questioned whether English voters would accept the 'legitimacy' of a Labour Government backed by Scottish Nationalists.

And she compared the effects of such a pact to the way Britain's governing class was paralysed for months in the 1930s because of King Edward VIII's affair with American divorcee Wallis Simpson.


By questioning the 'legitimacy' of a Miliband Government backed by Sturgeon, Mrs May has raised the stakes in the row over the prospect of Labour teaming up with the SNP to rule the UK.

She believes that English voters would not accept Sturgeon's party having vital power over their lives.

These remember are the same people (both the politicians and the English voters they're attempting to appeal to) who argued that Scotland should remain in the UK because they were "better together". But apparently "better together" only extends so far, and doesn't extend to Scottish MPs being allowed any say in how their country is governed or who it is governed by. And then they get upset when the Scots respond by talking about a second independence referendum...

If the English want the Scots to stay in the UK, they need to treat them as equal citizens, with an equal voice in the running of the place. And if they don't want to do that, they have only themselves to blame if the Scots decide that they'd rather be their own nation than be treated as a subject people by the English.

(Meanwhile, as for "English votes for English laws", the solution is for the English to have their own Parliament with its own devolved powers, rather than trying to use the UK Parliament as the vehicle of their devolution. But then I suppose people would wonder what the UK was actually for...)