All together now!

Hey Kilts, revenge is on its way!

Hey Kilts, revenge is on its way!

Two lessons for David Cameron, the beaming winner of the Scottish referendum.

In the night of the Scottish referendum the skies opened over London at 2 am in the morning: Thunder, lightning and a downpour of rain came as a result of the unseasonal late summer heat the city had experienced the day before. But because of the bizarre timing it almost seemed as if the capital breathed a huge sigh of relief because of the news that arrived at the same time. The results of the first districts in Scotland indicated a clear and loud No! to Scottish independence.

So much for the back pipes. Now comes the revenge of the English. A beaming Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street Nr 10. spoke about a new constitutional deal for his part of the Union - England. After having avoided the disaster of almost loosing a third of the UK during his term as Prime minister, Cameron will now get back at Alex Salmond. The chubby, chirpy and at the same time sincere popular politician in Edinburgh resigned on Friday. Salmond had been a constant nuisance for the ruling Posh boys in London. He has something Cameron misses: Charisma. At last Cameron could claim victory. For him the time has come for "English votes for English laws“.

The Prime Minister has to deliver what he promised the Scots in his last moments of panic before the historic vote. Cameron’s Tory backbenchers will not accept to give the parliament in Edinburgh more powers without getting some for their own English constituencies here. This debate is called „the West Lothian question“. Why, a Labour MP asked in the Seventies, was it ok for him as MP for the meanwhile abolished Scottish voting district of West Lothian to decide over English laws in Westminister while the same MP was not allowed to vote for or against laws for Scottish matters which were devolved from London to the local parliament in Edinburgh? It will not bring England its own parliament, but, as Janan Ganesh points out in his editorial in the FT, Cameron seems to think of „a system in which only MPs with constituencies in England can vote on legislation that affects only England.“ ( Project UK has not become easier to manage after this referendum. But there is room to maneuver and political gain to be had.

As a European observer I would wish the government in Westminister would think a little bigger than just getting back on the Scots now with nitty gritty West Lothian reprisal maneuvers. There are two important lessons to learn from this high drama moment in the history of the United Kingdom.

First: Not only the Scots want a socially more balanced and financially more just society. The Tories loose a lot of votes to UKIP in the English country side where the Middle Class cannot afford its lifestyle anymore. They feels totally detached from the over prized capital. Instead of catering to the City and its clients overseas Cameron should engage his good citizens outside the capital in a dialogue on what they need in order to keep voting for him. Not only Scots, also the English want a socially just country to live in.

Secondly: Not only the Scots are „Better together“ with England. What goes for the Scottish economy goes for the British one, too: Small is limiting. And borders are bad. Globalized trade and world politics are better negotiated for a medium power when it is sitting at the table. If anything, the Scottish vote for the Union should inspire the UK government to one thing: to do whatever it can to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union.

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© 2018 Tessa Szyszkowitz