If the Scots vote YES will it be business as usual?
Should Scotland vote to leave the rest of the UK this month attention will be focused upon how the separation should be organised, and when it should take place. Who should retain what assets, how, or if, some institutions should be shared and of course the dividing up of our debts
Important as all of this is, there are other considerations that we should be addressing which will have long and profound implications for the future of the UK
For example can the country finally grasp the nettle and admit that it’s time to stop posturing as a world power? It’s people for too long have sacrificed having world class public services to fund huge military budgets and wars that we seem incapable of winning. We spend twice as much of our GDP on military funding as say Germany, Holland or the Scandinavian countries. We have more admirals than capital ships and nuclear weapons that probably need American permission to fire. We have two new aircraft carriers being built that won’t have any planes to fly from them for a decade. And to fund this we impose a bedroom tax on the poorest in our society, deny patients the latest drugs, and cannot afford even to protect our coastlines and countryside from flooding
Another example is the way that the country is governed. A south east centric approach has turned much of the rest of the nation into an economic wasteland. For decades the defence of a high pound has built jobs in London and destroyed them elsewhere. Add to this the expensive and incompetent way in which the country is run…a class based civil service built on an ethos of well meaning amateurs that have jobs for life and regular promotions culminating in gold plated pensions and honours. It seems almost impossible that this state of affairs still exists…yet it does. Too much of the nation’s power resides in London…a slimmed down parliament in favour of powerful regional assemblies and, moving our ministries around the country would be a good start
I suspect that our politicians will want a UK without Scotland to be ‘business as usual’ rather than to deal with the profound issues that have so bedevilled the nation. In 1945 our politicians determined that meaningful change had to take place for the sake of all the people, and, a step change took place with the creation of the NHS and social welfare policies. We need today’s politicians, with or without a Yes vote in Scotland, to be equally bold
As a footnote, it is interesting to reflect that all of the above are most of the reasons why the Scots want their independence, and, the things that will be changed in that country if it votes yes