It’s a strange thing to say, especially for a English member of UKIP, who is happy the NO vote won in Scotland, but over the past 48-hours, the Scottish referendum has opened a “can of worms” which can ultimately, only benefit the English and UKIP.
Here is why.
Westminster party leaders, Cameron, Miliband and Clegg, made a last minute, desperate vow to the Scottish people, which none of them want to, or will, deliver. This reneging on a vowed promise, will ultimately show the existing parties for what they are: Self-interested, Liars whose only interest is their own position in parliament.
The knee-jerk vow of “more powers to the Scottish parliament”, which included tax-raising powers, has opened a massive question, not for the Scottish, but for the English, who are the only group of “nationals” in the UK, which DOESN’T have their own government or assembly. Indeed, as a people, the English are one of very, very, few people’s, in the World, who do not have a government specifically for their own country.
The way the UK is governed is not understood by many non-British, but intrinsically, Scottish and Welsh MP’s can vote on ALL laws pertaining to England, but due to the devolution of power, English MP’s cannot vote on a host of laws which affect Scotland and Wales.
This is obviously unfair, especially when we see, per head, more public money is spent in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland, than spent in England on the English.
This is clearly neither democratically and financially, fair, nor equal.
Realistically, the spending issue is secondary, because in ever country some people get more than others from the state. But democratically, denying the English their own voice in the UK, whilst giving more of a voice, in their own country, to the Scots and Welsh, is clearly wrong.
David Cameron, immediately stressed this point in his speech after the Scottish referendum, and vis’a’vis his “vow” to Scotland, he tagged the English issue, known as the “Midlothian question”, on to giving the Scottish want he promised.
Ed Miliband, who has a massive problem, because 40 of his MP’s are from Scotland, immediately argued against more power for the English, whilst continuing to want his Scottish and Welsh MP’s to vote on all English related matters.
Miliband and Labour have badly managed this issue, and now whichever way he or they turn, they are going to be placed under pressure. But this is not a surprise, as the current Labour Party is obviously “rudderless” and lacks direction, indeed, the socialist ideology is clearly being questioned everywhere.
Admittedly, much of the criticism of Labour is based on past performance, therefore not directly the responsibility of Miliband. However, he has been leader for long enough, and his leadership is proving to be weak and his “poorly spun” policies are out of sync with what the UK wants and needs (IMHO).
EU-membership, Immigration, Multi-culturalism, Political Correctness, are all issues supported by Labour, and are all under heavy criticism from the vast majority of the British public. And Labour’s defence of these issues is not convincing anyone, except for die-hard lefties.
There is no denying that support for Miliband and Labour is dying, and the support of UKIP is a clear indication England is moving towards the right of the political spectrum, whilst in Scotland we have seen the Scot’s have lost patience with a Westminster Labour Party, who went into “coalition” with the Conservatives and Liberals on the matter of Independence.
The winner out of this “fiasco”, is UKIP, who are already, very much, in the ascendancy, at least as far as England is concerned.
UKIP were not part of the “vow” made by the other 3 parties. Yet is has long been UKIP party policy, that powers should be more devolved to the people of Scotland, Wales, N Ireland AND England!
Leader Nigel Farage, whilst admitting that UKIP did not support Independence for Scotland, was able to criticise the vow to the Scottish people, as rightly, it was using English money to buy Scottish votes. Moreover, by offering this vow to the Scottish people, it was making “the English”, who are the biggest group of people in the UK, by far, second-class citizens, as far as having a voice in the UK democratic process was concerned.
Personally, I am a little concerned about UKIP making the “regionalisation” of the UK, a big issue at the present time, because it is too in-line with the aims of the EU. Moreover I do believe we need a unified government in Westminster, to give us a referendum and to take us out of the EU, and therefore an internal row, over who rules who, amongst the “Home Countries” is a potential distraction. However, now the “cat is out of the bag”, there is no way of putting it back.
Whether UKIP opponents like it or not, UKIP continues to be on the right side of every topical debate in British politics, and this is continuing to drive more support to a Political Party which was far too long considered simply as a “protest” party.
The left of British politics continues to underestimate the influence UKIP is having on the British psyche, and Labour’s tactic of “unjustly” insulting UKIP and its members with racial slurs, is back-firing on them, just as much as it is back-firing on the Tories, and the almost extinct, Lib Dems.
The route Labour is taking, under the leadership of Miliband, (and his fellow millionaires who run the Labour Party_, is seen as increasingly out of touch by the majority of British workers, and if Labour lose the support of the “working-man” – or, as is probably the situation, lost the support of the working-man – their chance of being re-elected as a government is very slim.
As for UKIP, there is very little chance, under a “first-past-the-post” electoral system, that they will achieve more than 25 MP’s in next years General Election. However, should they win next months Clacton by-election, which looks almost assured, the momentum will accelerate even faster for UKIP. And perhaps the impossible could be achieved.
Whatever happens in next years General Election, it would be political suicide for the next British government to deny a referendum on the EU to British voters, now that the Scottish have been given a referendum on the United Kingdom. Moreover, it would also be wrong to deny the English their own government. Which means the whole structure of how the UK is governed is going to be completely changed over the coming years.