An elderly man of my acquaintance, bless him, holds strong political views. Let’s just say that, whilst they’re not quite out there to the right of Attila The Hun, sometimes I suspect that he’s still struggling to come to terms with the concept of democracy.
In bald terms – his argument seems to run – for example, if you’re talking about decisions upon economic policy, the suggestion that a professor of economics at some reputable university should only have the same single vote as the kind of moron that appears on The Jeremy Kyle Show is de facto intellectually absurd.
As a Tory voter, he naturally blames the Labour Party and the trade unions not only for the state of the country today (i.e. dreadful), but literally everything that has ever gone wrong in Britain since Julius Caesar’s invasion of 55BC.
My father (for it is he) views the history of politics since 1945 as a cycle of Labour first making a complete mess of running the country …. followed by the Tories getting back in, working hard to get everything back on an even keel and tickety-boo … only then for Labour, courtesy of the terminally-misguided electorate, to win the next election and bugger it all up again … and so on, ad infinitum.
If you should ever wish to see him going purple and frothing at the mouth, you only have to say the fatal words “Tony Blair”, “Gordon Brown”, “Ed Miliband” or “Ed Balls”. This situation endures even today, despite the fact I have tried to point out, from his own (Tory) viewpoint, that having Miliband and Balls still in charge of Labour at the 2015 General Election is probably the biggest thing that the Tory Party could possibly have going for it.
[Interestingly, the only other political/public figure whose name being mentioned causes my father instant apoplexy is Chris Patten – he sometime of the Tory Party, Hong Kong and chairmanship of the BBC – whom he dismisses as “hopeless”].
There was a time when a young man, considering whether his current girlfriend was ‘the One’, would be advised by friends and family to take a jolly good look at his prospective mother-in-law first – because (the theory went) that was how the young lady in question was likely to look in another thirty years.
They also say that, over time, we all tend to turn into our parents, and recently I’ve been beginning to worry that (politically) I’m turning into my Dad.
The trouble with a complicated subject like devolution is that, once you let the cat out of the bag – and perhaps originally this was only as a short-term measure to guarantee yourself a slew of votes from those to whom it appealed at the next election – it’s very difficult to get it back in again.
Scottish devolution is now a monster. If the Scottish electorate votes “Yes” in September on the Independence question, there will be huge repercussions for everyone in the United Kingdom.
Further, even if it votes “No”, the three main political parties have already effectively indicated that they will grant further devolutionary concessions anyway, as a sop from a grateful population of England and Wales, if not also Northern Ireland.
In other words Scotland gains, either way.
I now wish to out myself as a full-on campaigner for Scottish independence, simply on the “good riddance” basis. Let’s be honest, the rest of the UK would be well shot of those moaning, sponging, minnies from north of the border.
The letter from 200 celebrities begging the Scots to vote in favour to remaining in the UK, the result of a national campaign that I funded and helped to organise – has apparently had its desired effect, if reports today in the media are anything to go by.
See here, on the website of THE INDEPENDENT
With a bit of luck, the initiative will have added at least another 500,000 votes to the “Yes” side of the argument.
As back-up, I am now also working hard behind the scenes at Westminster in order to promote the idea that the rest of the UK (i.e. England, Wales and Northern Ireland) should be given the chance to have its own referendum in September 2015 on the simple question: “Scotland should be ejected from the United Kingdom – do you agree? (Yes or No)”
Vote early and vote often, you know it makes sense!