Friday, 22 March 2013

Should the English have a vote on Scottish independence?

All those years ago a simple act of Parliament sealed one of the most successful unions in world history.  The initial article simple said - 

That the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the First day of May which shall be in the year One thousand seven hundred and seven and for ever after be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain And that the Ensigns Armorial of the said United Kingdom be such as Her Majesty shall appoint and the Crosses of St. George and St. Andrew be conjoyned in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit and used in all Flags Banners Standards and Ensigns both at Sea and Land

During the intervening 308 years this partnership has been unbelievably successful, between us we have:
1.  Colonised about about a quarter of all the earth 
2.  Forged the industrial revolution
3.  Kept freedom safe in Europe twice
4.  Spawned 119 Nobel prize winners (More the either France or Germany)
5.  Survived some of the worst weather on the planet and come up smiling!

All this is now to be swept away to suit the grandiose aspirations of Alex Salmond - the self style First King of New Scotland.  The formal countdown has now started and in  545 days’ time – on September 18, 2014 – the people of Scotland will be asked whether they want to break the ties of centuries, and leave the United Kingdom.  The referendum date is chosen to coincide with the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn about the only battle the Scots ever won against us.

The current polls suggests that a large majority of Scots will vote to remain part of Great Britain but a lot can happen in 18 months.  Anyway I believe there are certain advantages for England in an independent Scotland -

  • We can foist about 10% of our National debt on them (£150 billion will be their share in 2015)
  • We can give the The Royal Bank of Scotland back to them with it loses and risks and the loss-making half of Lloyds - the old Bank of Scotland business.
  • We will be free from a Labour government for the foreseeable future as the Tories have no MPs from Scotland whereas a sixth of all Labour MPs hail from across the border
  • We won't have to share our oil revenues with them (Scotland has no deposits of oil shale for fracking)
  • We will no longer have to listen to  Scottish presenters on the BBC (they dominate our airwaves) and indeed the BBC could be broken up and privatised
  • We won't have to subsidies the Scots any more - the UK Government spent on average £10,212 per person in Scotland last year – £1,624 more than in England, this amounts to a £460 saving for each English family.
  • I will be able to tell the children we are going abroad when we next holiday in Scotland
  • The high speed rail link can stop at Leeds, saving £ billions.
So the real question is why don't the English get to vote on whether we want the Scots in our Union.  A referendum in which only the Scots can vote is like an election where the top rate tax payers are barred from taking part.

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