Regardless of the outcome of the vote on the 18th, today marks the day the Union died - again! I say again because I wrote a similarly titled blog in 2011. Perhaps we exist in a strange Union led Zombie Apocalypse?
Today marks the day that the ‘No Campaign’ went into terminal meltdown, that the ‘offers were put on the table’ that the lie that these things take years was exposed.
Today marks the day that David Cameron’s leadership was called into question, in the last twenty four hours, we’ve seen those calls reverberate, because of what; because of two polls? Surely, two polls don’t create a reason, in England anyway, for presenting a PM with a P45.
No, the reason for the meltdown is the drop in Sterling and its impact. That first poll showed the City of London and its traders that they might just ‘lose Scotland’, so they did what good business folk might be expected to do, they started to price it in to Sterling’s value.
There’re a few interesting things behind these adjustments, things the regular press isn’t saying.
Firstly, if a currency union hadn’t been rejected by their lackey’s in Downing Street, it’s very unlikely they’d be concerned at all, not much anyway. If the UK didn’t have lunatics minding the asylum, none of us would be in this position. For several days the currency has been dropping. I’m getting hard hit by that currency drop, can I just say I’m conflicted, between ‘Damn’ and ‘Woo-hoo!’, it’s a hit I’ll happily take.
Secondly, Scotland represents just about 10% of the UK economy, so if we were a sponge, a soak, a drain, then dumping the deadwood could only see Sterling strengthen, stabilize or ‘firm up’ its position. The loss of size would most probably be more than offset by the reduction in liability. Effectively the drop in value by the markets is saying we’re a major contributor to Sterling and the UK’s credit-worthiness.
Put simply, if you’re the bank, and the junkie sponging kid wants to leave home, you might consider a loan to mum and dad. If the major breadwinner leaves and the junkie kid stays to keep draining resources, when the remaining parent who’s shown bad money skills comes along for another loan, your reaction might be a bit different.
It’s the prospect of that reaction, of the near calamity that the remaining UK would be forced into that’s causing the current panic in London Town. Let’s face it, if a kid’s a drain and a problem, we’re happy to see it leave, make its own way and grow up a bit in the big bad world. If that kid’s contributing and useful, there’s just a possibility we might not be so eager. Now just imagine if we’d borrowed on the strength of that kid’s wages and couldn’t pay it back without them?
Wouldn’t we fight to keep them under our roof?
Wouldn’t we argue against the risks and consequences of leaving?
Wouldn’t we hide our true predicament from them?
If we were unscrupulous, we absolutely would. There’s one thing we’d have to know though, we’d have to be aware that one day, some day, we’d be ‘found out’.
Today, the Union has been ‘found out’. Like the child who’s now growing into the knowledge, that information, that genie, it can’t be stuffed back into its bottle. It’s just not that compliant.
The referendum might fail, although I doubt it. Despite the outcome, today marks the day the Union died. Those powers being promised, the soul searching in Westminster, the hand wringing and finger pointing by our ultra biased media, in the event of a ‘NO’, they’ll fade away. It’s likely that those promised extra powers will too. There’ll be ‘unforeseen difficulties’ and they’ll never be implemented in any sort of functional way.
The thing is, the Scots won’t forget, Scotland is now a nation re-energized, it has recovered much of its political will. If ‘Yes’ isn’t successful on this occasion, there will be another, because the people won’t forget. However, next time don’t expect Westminster to agree, they’ve just had too big a fright.
‘Next time’ it’ll possibly even be a Unilateral Declaration of Independence that’s voted through by the people, after a party wins power on that platform, and it possibly won’t be far away. You see, you can lie, cheat and steal from the kids, but once their trust is finally betrayed, it’s over.
‘Next time’, be it referendum or declaration, can be prevented, but only with wholesale power transference to Edinburgh, power transference so meaningful and so utterly comprehensive that Scots will come to believe that we’re truly ‘better together’. The issue is that if any Cabinet attempted this, the riots in England would be unimaginable. Politically, such a transference of power is next door to impossible.
History will show September 9th 2014 to have been important, not only will it have been an excellent birthday present for my mother’s 80th, the day Flodden’s loss began the effective path to Union, and the day Mary of Scots was crowned, it will also mark the effective end of Scotland as a proclaimed dependency, and I say ‘proclaimed’ as it’s been such in the popular UK media for centuries. I say ‘proclaimed’ because the markets are right now, right here, telling a very different story. They’re telling a story similar to that of immensely prosperous Luxembourg, tiny, incredibly wealthy, it also got its independence today, 147 years ago.
One other thing, today was also the day in 1914 that the Irish met at the Gaelic conference and initiated the process that would become the revolt to free a nation. Ours is simpler, it doesn't involve guns, but just like theirs, it’s thrown Westminster into a state of confusion and panic.
A resumption of statehood for Scotland is drawing close; only the final date really has a question over it, that and how simple the process will be.
So, in a few days, there’s a choice. Do it now and do it simply, or suffer more and do it later.
For Scotland, it’s a bit like the difference between flossing today and a root canal tomorrow.