Chris Croft's Personal Blog

October 15, 2012

Scotland – our fickle partner?

Filed under: News and Politics — Tags: , , — chriscroft @ 10:06 pm

Leaving aside whether it’s a good idea for the Scots and/or for David Cameron if the Scotland leaves the UK (I have no idea) and whether the English should get a vote as to whether they want to keep the Scots (too hard for me to decide that one!), I think the Scottish devolution referendum raises an interesting question of loyalty.

I’ll stick my neck out now and predict that the Scots will narrowly vote to stay as part of Britain, and I think this is the worst result for Scotland. Getting out – fine. Overwhelmingly want to be England’s ‘business partner’ – fine.  But deciding 60/40 to stay – well, what sort of half hearted vote of confidence is that?

Imagine your husband or wife saying they are thinking of leaving you and moving in with your next door neighbour, but they need a couple of weeks to think about it, and then finally they come to you and say they have very marginally decided to stay with you. Some marriage!

Surely in every relationship, whether it’s with a supplier, or someone who works with you, or for you, there should be a total and instant commitment. In fact, even if you have doubts, you shouldn’t show them, you should make up your mind and then give total support.

My fear is that the Scots will then be left looking feckless and disloyal, reluctant partners who don’t have their heart in the union, in which case the English will have a legitimate reason to despise them – and that’ll be a real shame.



PS I think my name might have Scottish roots!



  1. The same situation happened in Québec the second time they voted on separation it was even less decisively in favour of not leaving Confederation than the first vote. It does not make for good governance in this situation especially with the Parti Québecois with a minority government. The ability for a petition with enough names to force a third referenda and the Feds just not talking to the Province (the Conservatives got trounced along with the Liberals and the socialist NDP had big gains). The Federal conservative PM did not meet with the Provincial Premiere till they were both at the Francophone summit in Africa weeks after she was sworn in.

    They really do need to be decisive.

    Comment by Adrian Hetherington — October 15, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  2. Here’s a process:
    1) Put it to the vote in Scotland. if the vote delivers a two-thirds majority in either direction, that decision stands.
    2) If it doesn’t deliver a two-thirds majority, i.e.: if Scotland can’t make up its mind, then it goes to the vote in England and Wales. If they agree with the Scottish decision, it stands. If they don’t, add the two votes together (which would likely mean England and Wales over-ruling Scotland).

    This would certainly concentrate minds in Scotland.

    Meanwhile, deal with what is believe called the West Lothian Problem: Scots have their own Parliament in Edinburgh to deal with Scottish domestic problems, but Scottish MPs at Westminster also have a vote on English domestic issues. At the very least, Scottish (and Welsh) MPs should leave the chamber when English matters are discussed. BUT of course that might leave, say a Labour majority in Parliament for British issues, but a Conservative majority for English issues, as so many of the Scots who would have left the chamber would be Labour members.

    Comment by Martin Herrington — October 16, 2012 @ 2:08 am

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