Thursday, 14 May 2015

1974 and all that ...

So it begins, as Cameron's hubris meets the hard reality of not just the people who bothered to vote in England but the 37% who did not. It appears from the growing level of protests in England and Wales' cities, the disenfranchised English electorate are organising, as protests against austerity flower in the SW of England, South Wales and London. In the meantime folk in the North of England are petitioning to join Scotland, if the Scots exit the UK Union. The traditional heart of anti-Tory action, the Trade Unions, are also talking of national strikes and days of action against austerity and zero hours contracts. All this before the problems the Tory Party faces from an SNP MP majority from Scotland who legally and constitutionally can claim to represent the considered will of the people of Scotland at Westminster, a will the UK Supreme Court has deemed 'paramount' on two occasions since 2010, in accordance with Lord Cooper's 1953 judgement in McCormack.

Cameron may think as he has a 'majority' he can seek to ignore Scotland in much the same way as his heroine, Mrs Thatcher, did. The problem here is that he does not hold the respect of his MPs which Thatcher did in her first two terms, as Tory bank bench MPs openly talk about when 'Boris' will become PM. Neither can Cameron be assured his attacks on the human rights of UK citizens will come to fruition as senior Thatcherite Tories are already making their positions known in the Tory press that such a move is untenable in much the same way as they briefed against Cameron's attempts to put British 'boots' on the ground in Syria.

When it comes to Scotland the most Thatcherite of politicians Lord Forsyth is now making it known that full fiscal autonomy for Scotland is the only way to save the UK Union. He seeks to soften the blow by suggesting a re-run of the 'NO' campaign will put Scots off the idea but for the man who opposed the 1998 Scotland Act and its recent amending bill, at every turn, it is quite a shift in position.

For those of us over the age of 50, the Tories position looks more like the situation Edward Heath inherited in the 1970's than the swinging hand bag of Thatcher. Cameron has managed, in the few days since the 7th of May, to rub a large section of the English electorate the wrong way, forced the unions to remember what their actual job is as opposed to not upsetting New Labour Central Office, brought thousands of English folk onto the streets in protest against his government's policies and driven yet another wedge in the growing crack between the Scots and the rest of the UK by giving one of his pals a 'Lordship' then making them number two at the inappropriately named Scottish Office (or should that be 'Scotch Office') to the equally iffy 'Fluffy Mundell' (majority 789). Mundell managed to annoy Scots even further by his ignorance over whether or not Cameron's headline bill to end links to the EHRC can be legal in Scotland when opposed by the Scottish Parliament and the majority of MPs from Scotland. Now Scots find Fluffy's number two at the 'Scotch Office' was the architect of the hated 'Poll Tax', you just can not make up the political advantage of such an ill thought through appointment gives the SNP. It is as if Cameron has believed all the tosh and nonsense published by Severin Carroll and others in the 'Gruniad' about the good Jim Murphy did for Labour's 'Scotch' branch and looked around for a Tory supporter he could make a peer to fill a Jim Murphy sized gap in the Tory Party.

The Sewel constitutional fudge was a way of getting round the as yet unresolved problem of just who represents the 'considered will of the people of Scotland' at Westminster by accepting that Holyrood probably did; but as it was run by the Unionists this did not really matter as the 'Scotch Party branches' would do as their London bosses told them to do. Sewel has only become an increasing constitutional problem for Westminster since 2007 when a minority SNP government was in place, now it is a nightmare because the majority of SNP MPs representing Scotland rather blunts Westminster's claims as being sovereign over the whole UK in line with Lord Cooper's opinion in McCormack (1953) especially given the issue I have highlighted time and time again that Scots Law and constitutional practice does not recognise the UK Parliament's claim to UK  Parliamentary sovereignty based on the solely English Law and constitutional principle of the 'Crown in Parliament'.

This is the increasingly hostile mix a Tory Party with a slim majority is facing much the same fragmenting civil populous who are increasingly angry at the growing divide between haves and have nots, while repeating the mistakes Heath made economically and with respect to curbing Trade Union's rights. The RMT are first into the ring with a democratically called general strike in opposition to the paltry offer on the table from National Rail.

How long before more ordinary folk turn back to the Unions, as a way of legally harassing and bringing Cameron's Government to its knees?

How long before the UK is reduced to the 'three day week' as a hamstrung Cameron Government, seeing falling tax income and no economic growth faces the wrath of the UK's citizens as energy and other costs continue to rise while personal incomes of the majority of UK citizens stagnate or fall?

Heath's problems came from expensive energy costs, falling tax receipts, reducing economic activity and an attempt to prop up the economy which lead to hyper-inflation. Cameron's situation is very similar except for the next to zero inflation operating in the current UK economy which is creating a need to borrow money hand over fist to pay for his government. Austerity and hyper-inflation are simply the opposite sides of the same coin of economic failure and societal breakdown, creating the same chaos as the UK went through in the 1970's with IMF bail outs, the whole works. This time round, Cameron will not have massive North Sea oil and gas reserves to mortgage off, which saved Mrs Thatcher's backside, as they have already been privatised and sold off.

Labour's wonks and Hampstead focus groups' choice will be simple, join with Cameron in a government of 'national (read English) unity' and sign their death warrant in England and Wales or find a spine and a true understanding of the Labour Party's founding principles.

As the Labour Party turns to born again 'Blairites', such as Chukka Umma, clasping at straws like the proverbial drowning man, the obituary for Labour can be written with an apocrypha telling the story of Labour's role in the destruction of the UK Union in its failure to heed the people rather than its vested interests.

On Friday, I trust Ms Sturgeon will begin to bring Cameron up to speed with regards just what a fragile position he now finds himself in, not the least being SNP MP's ripping up the failed Westminster rules and out dated modes of behaviour to expose the corruption at its heart.

She will also, I hope, point out respect, in Scotland, has to be earned, is never automatic and is always conditional, so if Cameron's Government wishes the Scots MPs to respect Westminster, Westminster is going to have to earn the Scots respect.


  1. Oh, I do hope you are right. I am horrified at what we've heard in the last few days, it is barely short of fascism.

  2. Brilliantly put, and yes as Annette says, let's hope that you are right re the will of the people of Scotland, because if DC could get away with it, he would reek havoc, and impose the most savage treatment onto Scotland. I think now the people just will not let that happen, including even those living South of the border.

  3. Well said Peter.
    The Tories do power and not democracy so will regard their present position as being omnipotent with respect to all of their UK.
    Wouldn't surprise me if they decide to hold a referendum of their own in Scotland,when they deem the time is ripe,to ask Scots if they want to separate,break up the country,become completely destitute and worst of all continue to vote for the Scotch Nazi party who will do all of the above except the destitute bit.
    5 years is a long time in politics when you are faced with an implacable focused opposition so we will see what happens.
    Cameron will concede nothing to Scots which he perceives as furthering self determination and undermining His country's "unity".