Sunday, 31 March 2013

Illiberal Britain - is 'Yes' the answer?

There is a growing awareness across the UK that Westminster and its media lackeys are illiberal and sustain a world which only exists within the confines of Whitehall the threat of change comes from neither Westminster politicians or itself serving media.

A review of the self same media and politicial mixes attitude towards the major upheaval of the Scottish referendum in 2014 reveals their complete introversion and detachment from the everyday concerns of the people who make up the UK.

They view what is happening in Scotland through their peculiar Westminster prism. The vote for independence is all Salmond's doing (the Westminster fascination for celebrity over cause), the Scots are too stupid to make the break (Westminster's denial they can be wrong in any way or form), Scotland is too poor (denial of the sizable positive impact of Scottish exports and economy on sterling), and too small (the idea that Scotland with the population the same as Greater London could survive outside of Westminster's orbit just does not compute).

What is actually happening in Scotland is a repossession of ideas which are important not just to Scots but to many across the UK. A restatement of the importance of social democratic / liberal political concept and action which is seen in the very different approach in Scotland to the NHS or on the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh on Saturday in the anti-bedroom tax marches which saw over ten thousand Scots marching against inequity.

The SNP are popular in Scotland because they are social democrats and their policies chime with the Scots sense of who they are and what is important to them. The vote on independence will be won on a social democratic political ground long deserted by Westminster in its rush to the right of the political spectrum.

It can be argued that UKIP are now moving into the ground which used to be inhabited by 'one nation' Tories in England, yet the same Westminster bubble inhabitants tried to sell UKIP as a UK wide phenomenon. UKIP has less than 0.3% of the vote in Scotland where New Labour now represent the right of Scottish politics and are seeing their popular vote share decline.

Westminster has failed as a parliament. It is guilty of pursuing political vanity for its own self measured ends and because there is no written constitution the UK electorate has no method, bar wrecking the place, to bring it back to its senses. Declining voter turn out is a direct result of this sense of powerlessness felt amongst the UK electorate and increasing dislocation and rejection of what are considered to be 'London' centric Westminster policies.

The best hope for the future of a more liberal democracy in England is for Scotland to vote to end the Union in 2014. The problem remains; the English electorate would still only have four right wing, neo-liberal parties to vote for in 2015 and no written constitution to give them any real ability to hold the new English Parliament in check. The West Lothian question would be solved in this instance but the democratic deficit between Westminster and the English regions would remain along with it all the growing tensions currently hidden by the politicking around the 2014 Scottish referendum.

Without Scotland just who will Westminster then 'scapegoat'  after 2014 to deflect the English regions from Westminster's failed economic strategy of 'London first'?

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