Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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"Wake up, England!"
This was the headline on the front page of yesterday's Sunday Times:

Sunday Times


Apparently the Tories are suddenly afraid that Alex Salmond might get his independence vote next year after all. Whether that's true I have no idea. Selfishly I hope the Scots stay, if only to forestall a permanent Tory majority south of the border, but if I were in Scotland I might well be voting for independence. Either way, there's nothing I can do about it.

Which brings us to the sub-headline: "Wake up, England, or lose Union." Doesn't that strike you as a bit odd?

First, there's the casual erasure of the Welsh and Northern Irish - but that's par for the course. Second, what is "England" meant to be doing about it? Not voting against: the future of the UK is not something in which we've been given a say. Perhaps the hope is that the English legislature/parliament/assembly will take a stand. But there is no such body. The English, uniquely among the nations of the UK, have no national voice.

In short, this headline is a good example of the confusion I mentioned in one of the comments to this post back in April 2011: "there's no contradiction between the English getting the rough end of the short straw over prescription charges, etc., and at the same time being snotty about the Welsh and Scots (and often forgetting the Northern Irish entirely). I think they don't notice that there isn't an English parliament to protect their interests because at some level they think Westminster is the English parliament." So much of the fucked-upness of our current constitutional arrangements stems from this delusion. If anything good comes out of the independence debacle (as I fear it will be), perhaps it will be the determination to address this.

As you know, I sort of have a foot either side of the border and from what we're seeing, Wee Eck doesn't stand much of a chance.

I suspect this is the Tories looking to play another not so subtle race card along with their present 'let's all hate Romanians and Bulgarians because they're all feckless Romani really (and with my ancestry, I bet you know how that one plays with me) one.

It doens't help when those from acorss the way think 'England' refers to the whole bang shoot either.

That seems plausible: this latest "scare" did seem to come out of nowhere, and the vague gesture of moral panic ("Wake up, England", yet!) has the smack of the Tory press. I'm too far from the fray to have much sense of what's going on in Scotland - it's something in which the national press seems to take remarkably little interest, considering the possible consequences.

Edited at 2013-12-31 08:57 am (UTC)

The eternal Tory winter isn't actually true - someone I can't find the link to has crunched the numbers and an independent Scotland would only have affected the UK election result a few times in the last century - mostly moving a hung parliament to the Tories.

That's slightly reassuring!

Maybe they're suggesting you lot should be especially nice to us for the next few months!

They can whistle for that, I fear. More a case of "Good fences make good neighbours" (as Hadrian used to say).

(Deleted comment)
I can totally see that happening. Voting reform redux.

Edited at 2013-12-31 07:24 pm (UTC)

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