I’ve been reading with increasing dismay newspaper columnists expressing an increasingly relaxed and resigned attitude about the United Kingdom’s demise. They seem to equate the surge in SNP support at this General Election with an inevitable loosening of the ties that bind us together and a sign that Scotland will soon declare her independence. One notable example amongst many is the gloomy Simon Jenkins of the Guardian: “so be it.”
But that’s tragic. We voted by 10 clear percentage points to stay in the Union, despite all the lies and spin pedalled by the government in Holyrood. That’s the result which matters most and must be the once-in-a-generation declaration of loyalty, which even both Sturgeon and Salmond have previously conceded (yet since refused to confirm). This is the one opinion poll that truly matters!
Moreover, if we moved to a fully proportional voting system, or even the model proposed in that benighted AV referendum, the SNP would not be making the dramatic gains that can only be produced by our discredited “First Past the Post” system, which is supposed to deliver solid Parliamentary majorities for governments, but seems set to fail again.
What Scotland (and the UK) needs is a proper system of government that ensures everyone is better represented and served. A federal structure where decisions are taken at the optimal level, whether local, regionally or nationally. We need MPs who can’t just put-up their feet in safe seats, but are truly accountable to the electorate. The SNP are an increasingly noisy and unmissable protest because our rulers have become too distant from their subjects.
Scotland’s departure is not inevitable. Politicians and journalists must learn to listen to what we’re actually saying.