Captain Caveman wrote:
When you say "They want the same as Ireland", I assume you actually mean Northern Ireland, as Eire got rid of the English a century or so back?
No, I mean—albeit in a much shorter period—they [the SNP] essentially want what eventually happened over many decades with Ireland: break away from the UK and join the EU. From everything I've read in the Scottish press, that appears to be the goal, and not even in the long term. Northern Ireland will, I suspect, not be hugely affected by Scotland going its own way; and even Wales seems reasonably happy with the status quo these days. And, as others have said, I'm sure the SNP would happily blame the English for an independent Scotland's problems until, say, about 2150.
I've a feeling the referendum's going to either be an AV-style 'surprise' (i.e. early positive polling leading to a collapse/disaster for those in favour) or an absolute knife-edge 50/50 battle, with some appallingly dirty and misleading politics. Actually, we'll get the dirty politics regardless…
Thank heavens we've got a "fuckwit Tory(tm)" who's prepared to fight our corner against said Germans and French, eh
What he did ended up being right, albeit for largely the wrong reasons. But for every 'win' I'd say the Tories have had from my point of view, there are tons of things they're doing which will rip the heart from this country, not least butchering the NHS, removing benefits from those who need them, hammering the BBC (although I'm well aware that's also a Labour goal), maintaining a vaguely bonkers energy policy, not reigning in the banks, letting massive corps get away without paying tax, and so on. But that's the nature of this country's politics—we lurch from one extreme to the other. And the all too regular disgusting capitulation of the Lib Dems suggests they aren't in the long-term any kind of moderating force for these extremes, which is a pity as they could have been. (The LDs voting with the whip on the NHS bill, even in the Lords, was really the final confirmation on that.)
Also, aggravating the Scots is a curious means of getting them to remain a part of the UK. Polling already suggests a four per cent rise for independence, and it'll be interesting to see if that sticks, or if it's just a short-term gain from the subject being thrust into the spotlight again. But then I suspect the Tories would be thrilled if the Scots buggered off. Combine that with the boundary changes and we have Tory governments well into the future. The LDs would be even more screwed than they're going to be in 2015, and Lab would also be in serious trouble.
Still, Cavey, we at least agree on the idea of a federal Europe. I can't see that working at all, and I just don't see what the end game is. Even now, we're essentially seeing Germany saying "do what we say, or we'll fuck you", France being the plucky sidekick, and everyone else falling into line. (Cameron, sadly, somewhat messed up there, in that he could with better tactics have got roughly the same result he did—getting the UK a little out of the mess—and
bringing along a fairly large number of 'allies', not least the Scandinavian countries, which don't really like Germany's vision for the EU either, and also constitutionally in many cases cannot follow the current plan either. But in the end, he created a unit of 'everyone else'. A pity.)