Mike Vickers' Blog

September 21, 2014

We live in stirring times; tea-stirring times ?

Filed under: In Our Time, Politics, Scotland, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 10:01 am

‘We live in stirring times; tea-stirring times’ quoted Mr Norris in Mr Norris Changes Trains

Christopher Isherwood repented his stories later – he stated:

‘What repels me now about Mr Norris is its heartlessness. It is a heartless fairy-story about a real city in which human beings were suffering the miseries of political violence and near-starvation. The “wickedness” of Berlin’s night-life was of the most pitiful kind; the kisses and embraces, as always, had price-tags attached to them, but here the prices were drastically reduced in the cut-throat competition of an over-crowded market’.

OK – Scotland is not like Berlin in the inter-war years but there what has emerged during the build up to the Referendum is a grass roots feeling that it is time for real change and a break from the Westminster (and for that matter Edinburgh) centric, out of touch with us the people.

I was wrong – I guessed that when people actually came to put their X, they would decide to take a punt and vote Yes. In the event they did just the opposite, worrying about the risk, and voted No.  5% either way was enough to swing it.

It would have been much better if the vote had been much closer – like Quebec.

We are left with all three parties having made great promises of greater devolution which they would after the vote be hard pushed to keep to anyway if the vote had been much closer, but now the vote was not decisive for No the feel they can be a lot more relaxed. They are now squabbling about what they need to honour.  So do we live in tea-stirring times?

Let’s hope that all the articles and statements are correct that we are moving to a much more ‘federal’ Britain, but that is going to be very difficult unless or until the English regions stand up and say ‘why about us, why can’t we be devolved’. The trouble is that we are all, including Scotland, dominated by London and this continues to get worse.

Now that the Referendum is over, do we just collapse back to tea-stirring times or as Isherwood repents after WW2 that we have all misjudged the mood of ‘Joe Public’, not only in Scotland, but throughout the UK that we have all had enough of the main political parties promising great change and just falling back to political in-fighting.

Gordon Brown has a lot to answer for and to follow up. It remains unclear how much his intervention in the last days before the Referendum affected the outcome, but it is clear it did in some way and he deserves his ‘pound of flesh’ from the main Westminster parties.  Will he get it?  May be Clacton will point the way for England.


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