THE LION ROARS

We woke at 5.30 am on Friday morning after the election, in our gite in Brittany, to hear Peter Hain announce in lugubrious tones, ‘Scotland is lost.’ But we felt – glad, confident morning – Scotland was won.

We appreciated the irony that Scotland’s SNP had swept the board – an extraordinary swing which we did not expect – but had retained one token presence each of Labour, Tory and Liberal. I was delighted that Gordon Brown’s seat (which he had not contested) never the less fell from his previous majority of 23,000 to an SNP candidate with a majority of 10,000. I felt sorry for Danny Alexander who lost his seat – I would have found him acceptable as Chancellor of the Exchequer – but I thought that Douglas Alexander (part of that ignominious and largely despised group of persons who have been Secretaries of State for Scotland on behalf of the English) deserved his fate when he was felled by a 20 year old Glaswegian girl student. Alex Salmond won his seat but then that was no surprise at all. If that lone Tory MP becomes Secretary of State for Scotland he had better enjoy his tenure for he is most unlikely ever to be re-elected to any post in Scotland.

And yet though we rejoice that our countrymen stood up to be counted, when you look at a map of the Disunited Kingdom, its polarisation is rather frightening.

In England, I think the Tories won (and let us not forget it was a most meagre victory) because:

a) the country did not forgive the Lib Dens for throwing their lot in with the Tories and abandoning their principles (though this may have been an unfair judgement)

b) the country, even although times are hard and nobody wants to see people resorting to food banks to feed their family, did not trust Labour with its end-to-austerity slogans, and wishes to               continue the slow haul out of our overspending (and future administrations should remember this.)

c)Ed Miliband did not appear to be sufficiently confident, competent or charismatic to be Prime Minister. An in-coming prime minister, to successfully bring his party into government, has to           appeal personally to voters beyobd his own party, and not only did Miliband fail to do this; he did not even seem to have great appeal for his own party.

d) the country was afraid of an unholy alliance between Labour and the SNP leading to God knows where

e) Cameron had run a steady-as-she-goes ship, managing to put us (he said) on the road to recovery, without mass unemployment, rip-roaring inflation and riots on the streets.

But in Scotland, I think the dynamic was quite different, although I believe they shared the English dissatisfaction with the Lib Dems. But if, in more peaceful times, Scotland and the Lib Dems were friends, Scotland and the Labour party were lovers. Their spectacular parting, more over the Labour party sharing a platform with the hated Tories than their actual support for the No campaign, plus the undeniable realisation that Labour merely regarded Scotland as a bank of in-the-bag votes to bolster their power base in England, will be far more difficult to heal than will its relationship with the Liberals. I heard some female Labour spokesperson, asked what the Scots were saying to Labour, reply: They don’t want us to be more Scottish; they want us to be more Labour. I thought, Madam, you still don’t get it. They just want you to clear off. They’ll carry on without you, and I should think Labour as it is currently constructed will never be welcome in Scotland again. It is not good of course to be a one party state, but when they’re ready they’ll construct another party.

So, as Alex Salmond has put it, the Scottish lion has roared. I believe it’s saying to the English establishment, which has ruled over it for 400 years: We intend to be taken seriously. Deliver as you promised. Do not mess with us.

We need to proceed cautiously here. We should listen to one another. We should aim to consider the desires and wishes of each of the four nations. We should aim for a Federation which would both give each of us more control of our affiliations but preserve our common aims and objectives.

To those of you who still hanker after a United Kingdom as formerly; that is lost. It cannot be recovered. Yet much can still be saved that Is of great benefit to us all.

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About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

2 Responses to THE LION ROARS

  1. Sheena says:

    The results were thrilling!

    Nicola Sturgeon has been impressive.

    There is a petition going around, don’t know if you’ve seen it, generated by the north of England, asking to secede and join Scotland! We’ve also seen lots of activity on social media from disgruntled voters in England lamenting that they don’t have an SNP candidate to vote for!

    • adhocannie says:

      Thanks Sheena! While this is an amusing idea, I don’t think we should be annexing sections of other people’s countries! We can of course support and advise other sections of the UK who wish to be more in charge of their own affairs. I heard Alex Salmond, in a Question Time audience some months ago in Liverpool, joking with the audience that at the next election, they should ‘come with us’ – they would be very welcome, and the audience applauded, but Liverpool is as red as Clydeside; and it was all in fun. I think…

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