Thursday, 12 January 2012

Should the Scots go free?

As usual, the Green Party is way ahead of everyone else on the political scene. We awarded the Scottish Green Party independence way back around 1990. I was at the Conference where they went independent – that was when I discovered that bagpipes being played can make me cry: I had always scoffed at other people’s stories!

The basic Green position is one of self-determination. Whatever the constitutional position, Scottish people deserve to decide this themselves. Alex Salmond may have devious motives but what is wrong in principle with Scots deciding when they want to have a referendum and how they want to phrase the question – or questions. Of course, Salmond knows he is more likely to win a vote on ‘devo max’, maximum devolution, rather than one on full independence.

Who wants all the bother and expense of running a diplomatic and consular service around the world for your citizens - having to send delegations to all the proliferating World Summits and to the EU? We would lose the oil revenues which is probably what really scares Cameron. So charge Scotland for the other services separately.

Whether devo max or full independence, the West Lothian question becomes acute. With a greater degree of independence for Scotland, more and more decisions will be made about Scottish affairs at Holyrood by Scottish MPS. Which leaves Scottish Westminster MPs increasingly deciding on exclusively English matters: is that legitimate when England has no regional assembly of its own?

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