Democracy, it’s a principle that governments in what we commonly refer to as “the free world” are founded upon. It has a simple principle, one individual has one vote, and every vote has the same value. No sane person would have it any other way.
The reality is somewhat different, the reality is that it only functions properly under one unique and peculiar set of social circumstances and that when these social circumstances don’t exist democracy is simply another way of saying “elected dictatorship”.
The United Nations finally got it with its declaration of March 2008 concerning rights of indigenous peoples, it’s well worth a read especially when one considers that North Sea Oil falls directly under these articles, that Scots, English and Welsh are all “indigenous peoples”. The 2008 declaration was a final summation of the earlier declaration embedded in article 1 of the UN charter which states that all peoples have the right to self determination. The UN later published a comprehensive document detailing those rights.
The above document explains why the ancient right of conquest is now considered dubious, opening the door for Welsh autonomy, and why Scots have that unalienable and ongoing right to self determination. It also explains Spain’s consternation about national movements even though they “created” a constitutional amendment recently to forbid such choice. It also explains why the Union government has been using Spain in its widely circulated scare stories.
All of this effectively ties back into democracy, Spain only managed to get its constitutional amendment through by NOT asking the people, very undemocratic. Had the Catalans, for example, had a referendum and had to pass such a measure, their vote may have been very different to that in Andalucía. To get the amendment passed each region should have been required to have submitted an affirmative vote. That’s democracy. The Catalans have an ongoing wish, or voiced expression for independence, the Andalucían’s not so much. It is inappropriate for one group of people to remove or try to remove rights from another.
In our own situation, our sham democracy, none argue that Scots, and for the most part Welsh have a different ethnic and societal background to English, that’s reflected in polls that historically and continually show a center left leaning in democratic principles.
Both nations have boundaries; both are and remain more than simple “lines on a map”. History, language and culture make us all undeniably distinct, unique and separate. There is no common bond which exists, other than London’s avarice and determination that it must be so. There is no natural circumstance that could or should weld either Celtic nation into an unbending, unyielding incorporating Union which is dominated and dictated to by another country.
Both Scots and Welsh are effectively disenfranchised; they have little democratic impact, to a lesser extent this also applies to England.
Scotland and Wales find themselves in the historical situation the EU is presently facing, where the votes and rights of the individual are diluted in favour of the “greater good”, that political super-state. Political amalgamations can work, but each unique member needs an equal voice. Greece, to a lesser extent Italy, Portugal and Spain are all being forced to follow the Franco-German model, the consequences for the nations are dire. The US with its 2 members per state in the senate is one reason why that super state endures. The US has a balance with basically proportional representation in its “House”. The EU lacks such a system; the UK lacks such a system of balanced fairness. Both are doomed to ultimate political failure.
The UK could implement fairness as it reforms the Lords, making it fully empowered and fully elected with an automatic 100 members per nation. Direct national quantitative representation, just like the US senate. The UK will not do this, it speaks too much of fairness and true democracy. It dilutes the “Game of Thrones”.
Without such a system in place it means that a vote in Scotland or Wales has less than 1/10th the value of a vote in England. It means that for Scotland or Wales to obtain what they desire, at least 45% of English must agree, and those elected must be honest. It means that every Scot and every Welsh citizen is being denied over 90% of their democratic right, even before the intrinsic and endemic Westminster failings are considered.
We fundamentally exist in the United Kingdom within what is an “elected” dictatorship. It’s a dictatorship where one individual holds primacy for a period of years, where dissenters can be “whipped” into line to ensure the masters bidding. Today’s downing street incumbents are little more than the visible participants in a modern day “Game of Thrones”, participants not principles, as the true power appears wielded by the denizens of the City.
There is no method to remove this premier, this “elected” head of state, and if our representatives fail us there is no way to remove them either. It’s not democracy; it’s lightly modified perpetuation of the “rotten boroughs’” under democracy’s guise.
The Iraq war is a case in point, Scotland and Wales found themselves powerless. In England there’s the ongoing case of privatising education, the NHS and social structures, the English discover themselves powerless in face of the onslaught of the pursuit of private profit, against societal weal. Because of their own rotten electoral system, they’re also politically impotent. A politician, any politician who doesn’t keep his or her word must be impeachable. In this corrupt dis-United Kingdom, they aren’t.
Disenfranchisement and disrespect for democracy are not just historical; they exist today, this month, and are ongoing in the Union parties. Take for instance the local council elections in Scotland, just last week. The voter’s choice absent an overall majority is for the two largest parties to work together, to compromise. They got the most votes after all. Most often the outcome was a Labour/Tory cabal arising to prevent any potential of democracy being fulfilled. Unionist parties would rather compromise policy than cooperate with the SNP.
We also had the Scottish Government referendum consultation, where Labour freely admitted creating false email addresses and submitting responses under the guise of Walt Disney characters. Such an intentional attempted perversion of democracy’s course should surely see them struck from the political party register, but no, not in this severely disenfranchised Kingdom where such aberrations are to the benefit of the establishment.
Voter turnout is low because respect doesn’t exist in our political system. How many times have we heard the comment “they’re all the same, why bother?”
There is only one effective way to correct the situation, to revert to three nations with the Northern Irish choosing their own destiny. There could be a federal structure as the Lib-Dem’s previously proposed, and then reneged upon in Scotland. Alternatively each nation could truly see a dramatic increase in enfranchisement, in democratic value as its own nation gained a true voice in its own best interests at every one of the world’s top tables, each would revert to its natural state, independent. The Scots, Welsh and even the English themselves would no longer be isolated.
Until that day arrives the Scots and Welsh have no significant input to monetary policy, to taxation methods, to social benefits, to retirements, or to health and elderly care. The English are in little better shape. The Scots and the Welsh get what London chooses based largely upon the needs and desires of “the City”. The wealth and social structure of at least two constituent nations is presently available for the avaricious potential just of one town. That is a failure of democracy; it is a dilution of value of the vote of every individual in each nation.
To convince millions of Scots to vote no to independence, to continue to surrender over 9/10th’s of their fundamental democratic rights to another in return for “warm and fuzzies” would be an incredible accomplishment. Consider that there have been no serious arguments of substance as to the Union benefits to Scotland while those based in reality consistently show how Scots have been harmed by the 1707 Union.
With even the American’s affirming Scots probable success as independent nation, as this Wall Street Journal article voices, and it’s just one example, still some of us will vote against the idea of better democracy, of more individual power, of greater liberty, of independence. This leaves us with one inescapable conclusion to every Union vote placed in the upcoming referendum.
Votes for the Union will represent a completely unprecedented success in dictatorial propaganda, better and more polished now by London than ever Goebbels or Stalin’s Pravda could have imagined, for never yet in the course of human political history will it have been possible to spin so many into giving up so much for so few.