Contempt from both sides
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Today we see the three “main” UK party leaders publishing a “Vow” in the Scottish newspapers designed to get Scots to vote “No”. This vow has not been through the House of Commons and there is no evidence that the (English dominated) House of Commons would support further concessions or appeasement (call it what you will) of “rebellious Scots” – particularly without the English getting similar concessions.
The problem is if you gave similar concessions to the English you would undermine the “vow” on offer to the Scots – you can’t give everyone a favourable financial settlement. The whole point of the Barnett formula is that money is taken off the English and given to the Scots – so we can’t all have a Barnett formula.
So what is the status of this “vow”?
It is an un-mandated un-negotiated promise made purely to try to win the Scottish Independence Referendum. A bit like Scotland’s Future is a set of aspirations which have yet to be negotiated between a Scotland headed for independence and the UK that will have just been rejected.
Salmond and Co have this idea that Scotland’s Future will be conceded by the UK as an act of benevolence. This is possibly just as misguided and just as misleading as the three (temporary) amigos’ vow in today’s papers.
Both sides seem to believe the people are stupid. Or is it now just a case of telling “your people” whatever they want to hear in the hope that this will get them out to vote on Thursday?
Whatever happens on Thursday, we now face the forced implementation of change on the UK which may well lack the support of the majority of the UK. This could get ugly.