Wednesday, 17 September 2014

You're breaking up!

So, one way or another, ‘The Scottish Question’ will cost English taxpayers a mint. There is no money to provide better border control and immigration services, or to get rightful British citizens their passports on time, or to patch up the roads, railways and other essential infrastructure… There is no extra cash to support our already over-stretched armed forces, police or health services… We can’t afford to build the several million new homes we need to avoid overcrowding, sickness and squalor in our cities…

But wait, here’s a gigantic bag of dosh marked “For Scottish Use Only”. If they vote Yes to independence, it will be used to help pay for their generation-long pretend separation from the British teat, but at least spent that way we might, eventually, get value for money. If they vote No, however (and they will), it will be spent to further rub English noses in the fact that we have had very little say in running our own country for a very long time.

When commentators claim a British victory for the triumphs of the Andy Murrays and Chris Hoys of our shared island it is small recompense for the way in which the supposed ‘evils’ of our former empire are laid squarely on the English doorstep. Everywhere else in the world ‘British’ means English, especially when it is hissed in tones of contempt. Yet Scottish thinkers and doers - as they often remind us - were in the vanguard of our expeditionary zeal and military ambition and shared handsomely in the rewards.

That’s a position they seem loathe to relinquish – the plucky wee independent nation that nevertheless punches above its weight and is justly rewarded for doing so. But if they go off alone, why should we keep on paying? And if they stay, how can we justify paying out even more to keep them from rebelling? I heard today how complicated it would be to have a devolved English Parliament, with Scottish and Welsh MPs denied a vote on English-only issues. No it wouldn’t; it would really be quite simple in principle.

Stay or go, make Scotland self-ruling and self-financing and remove their representation at Westminster. Do the same for Wales and Nor’n Ireland. Because, whether or not the Scots leave us, the genie of devolution is abroad and the so-called Balkanisation of Britain kicks off on Friday. Cornwall, Yorkshire, Shetland, Orkney, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man… even a school in Berwick-upon-Tweed is holding a referendum on independence!

Tartan Taliban
The Tartan Taliban

I say go for it, folks. Let’s start a fund for all the freedom fighters around the former (lower case now) united kingdom. Make Westminster an irrelevance and create world-beating industries in electric fences and border crossings, toll booths and machine gun towers. Let’s ALL have our own currencies, in imperial units so we can rip off the tourists like we used to do. Let’s make the island of Great Britain such a nightmare to negotiate that nobody who leaves can ever get back in again. I think this might just be the answer to our jihadi problem… Thank you, Scotland! 

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