I’m getting worried about what may happen if those trusted Westminster Unionist people fail to rise to the Scottish challenge. From the desperate pleas of ‘We’re listening…we’re here to help…please don’t go’, we have entered the time-honoured hall of sang-froid British arrogance – ‘you’ll get what we tell you you’ll get and it wont be until we’re ready’.
As Elaine C said: ‘Get to the back of the bus.’
I read today that far from an Iron Timetable, we’ll have to wait three years at least until something is delivered. What will it be? They haven’t decided yet because that’s their decision to make, not ours and we’ll just have to wait. There are the first round of Scotland Act changes to come in first and then there’s the General Election (the Big One that’s more important than any other and is eagerly awaited around the capitals of the known world) and, well there’s lots of bits an pieces and anti-Scottish Westminstery things to be tidied up first.
It was best articulated by the majestic heavyweight that is Ruth Davidson when she declared we can forget Devo Max, that won’t happen. Sorry, but I distinctly remember Gordon Brown’s Mighty Speech on behalf of the UK parties championing Home Rule and Federalism, terms that swayed the vote and to the cognoscenti signal Devo Max. But Ruth has ruled that out. She who has an unrivalled mandate in Scotland as leader of the decaying Tories (how they must wish they’d listened to Murdo). What does happen to intelligent people with a desire to serve when they get contaminated by the Westminster bug? Like so many before her, Davidson is now displaying mild megalomania and imagining she is a key player in British affairs. What is her constituency again? What is the strength of her party? Is she like Brown now imagining herself to have risen to imperious heights and able by right to dictate what the Scots can and can’t get?
I do hope the Proud Scots But are enjoying how the nation is being treated. But then they presumably want to live on their knees awaiting permission from a loathe-some anti-democratic elite to treat the poor in our midst with some humanity? Why must we persevere with brutal benefits cuts because London can’t understand how a nation ‘within the family’ wants to behave differently? It fits the pattern set by the plan effectively to withdraw from the ECHR which couldn’t give a clearer message – Britain is heading for pariah status as an anti-European, anti human rights backwater with draconian anti immigration rules, outwith Schengen, threatening EU withdrawal and yet lecturing the dark forces of jihadism on the importance of human respect and democracy. Just as with nuclear weapons, the message is: It’s alright for us, but not for you.
If Westminster fails this test and lets us down, I fear the reaction might not be pretty. There are limits to peoples’ reactions and if those conned into a No combine with the restless energy of the continuing Yes, polite top-down noblesse oblige politics may be turned upside down. It would be a pity but at Westminster they learn nothing and only cede that which cannot be reserved to them. The truly hopeful sign is that our political exchange is changing before our eyes and there is as yet no telling what it will bring forth.
Check out the link for my discussion with Ruth Wishart doyenne of journalists (she prefers it to veteran) and Maurice Smith.