Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scottish independence would mean Tory rule in England and Wales

Am I the only one to question the Tories' line on Scottish independence? They say they're strongly in favour of the union. But they're also a political party above all focused on getting into and wielding power. So it's hardly cynical to point out that getting rid of Scottish seats from the House of Commons is far more likely to bring electoral success to the Tories south of the border. In fact, I seem to remember someone telling me that even in 1997 John Major polled a greater share of the overall vote in England than Tony Blair. Whatever its accuracy it does highlight the point: that Scottish independence could well mean permanent Tory rule in England and Wales. It still foxes me as to why the Labour party didn't grasp this pretty basic idea when introducing devolution. Maybe they thought that they could contain nationalist sentiment in Scotland with the sop of a separate parliament? But in my view those who argued at the time that devolution would inevitably lead to independence will be proven to be right.

2 comments:

Praguetory said...

Hi Tim - I think it wasn't until 2005 that the Tories shaded the popular vote over Labour in England (the disparity in seats was still significant). It seems to me that there is greater feeling in England in favour of Scottish independence, so maybe the best way for Alex Salmond to get his wish is for England to have an indepedence referendum.

Tim Kevan said...

Thanks for that clarification. Yes, the idea of an English referendum is a very interesting one though I guess it always seems a little like bad manners if a country was voting to oust another one from the union rather than that other one specifically choosing to leave. But interesting times...