On Thursday the Scottish people vote on whether to become an independent state. Living in Wales, and to my shame never having visited Scotland, this will have little effect on me. Whichever way this goes I think the fact that the SNP is even calling for this referendum says a lot. Even if Scotland remains a part of the UK I think this may be the start of some big political changes. Like I said I don’t get a vote – if Wales had the option to be independent I would vote yes.
The political system in the UK is problematic. Often times, assuming we vote at all, we vote simply for the party we hate the least. I know who I’m voting for next election – its not exactly the party I want but I’m voting for them so the party I absolutely don’t want doesn’t get in. It feels like being a starving man and only having the choice of food that will kill you or food that will make you ill.
I have heard it suggested that England should have its own Parliament. This would be a very good idea. At the moment Welsh, Northern Irish, and Scottish MPs vote on devolved issues. In essence my local MP votes on legislation which won’t effect his constituents because its handled by the Welsh Assembly. An England Parliament would do much to make the countries in the UK seem more equal. Without a separate English Parliament England feels, paradoxically, both about and, arguably, below the rest of the UK.
Since the referendum was announced people have come out as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Some elements of the ‘No’ campaign have seemed really silly. The government have offered more powers to the Scottish parliament if they stay – but if they go they get them anyway. Also I saw that Barack Obama said that Scotland should remain, or words to that effect, which seems a bit rich for the President of a country that celebrates its independence every year. It makes me wonder what would have happen, back in the 1700s, if George III had offered the Americans representation in Parliament.
So in a few days we’ll know. As I said whichever way this goes I think big changes are afoot.