Scotland has spoken. No is their answer. I didn’t really go to bed on Thursday night: On TV, I had BBC 1 on mute, while I listened to LBC’s coverage on the radio.
It is my view that Scotland’s vote against independence is a good result – I stop short of saying the ‘best possible’ result, because it is clear to me that many feel the issue has not been settled. Nationalism has not been defeated as was originally hoped. It should have been, but it wasn’t.
The Conservatives have tried to stay out of this debate. LBC presenter Iain Dale explained why this was unwise during the station’s excellent coverage on Thursday night/Friday morning. Here’s what he wrote on the ConservativeHome blog:
It is complete nonsense that the Tories are toxic in Scotland. Margaret Thatcher got more votes in general elections than the SNP ever has. Even now, the Tory vote share is only four points behind the SNP. Yes, they only have one MP, but their vote share is roughly the same as the LibDems who have 11.
It seems to me therefore, that the Conservatives did not need to keep out of the debate i the way that they did.
The question now is what powers should be devolved down to Scotland, and what about the other nations of the UK?
Could we be heading now towards a more federal United Kingdom?
If we are, I think we should look towards Germany, where this kind of set up works well.
In Germany, each of the Länder – the 16 states – have their own Parliaments, each with a Minister-President (equivilant to a First Minister) and a Cabinet.
Could the same set up work in the UK?
I think it could.
Devolving powers down to regions of England – possibly even to existing County Councils – is, as the Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has argued – better than restricting the powers of non-English MPs in Westminster.
I quite like this idea.
I do wonder though whether anything will actually happen now, or whether it’ll all be forgotten as we get close and closer to the General Election, now just 8 months away…