We found out the results of the Scottish Referendum early on Friday morning, which I am assuming that everyone knows the result to by now. It was a victory for the NO campaign and it’s time to see if they will deliver what they promised to Scotland, more devolved powers. What I do find interesting thought is that although the Conservatives, Labour (who would have thought you’d see those two pairing up) and Liberal Democrat agreed to do this, classified as The Vow in some papers, do not agree on what powers to devolve to the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood.
It is now being proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron that more power will be devolved to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This was an interesting turn of events on Friday morning just after 7am but it would appear that this might be to keep the backbenchers in Westminster happy as not all of them want to give more powers to Holyrood. Also although not huge in the opinion polls may be a way of trying to keep votes away from UKIP who are currently at 16 in the YouGov poll. Although not a Conservative fan, though I’m not sure that many in Scotland are, they only have 1 Member of Parliament here, I will say that he has good strategy. He left much of the campaigning in Scotland to Labour and from what I’ve seen did not go out onto the street and speak to people. Also by announcing that more powers will be granted to the rest of the UK this could severely affect Labour as many of the Labour MP’s in Westminster come from Scottish voters. So if only England was allowed to vote on English matters it could make it more difficult for Labour to pass legislation even if they had a majority in the House of Commons.
The Prime Minister stated in his speech that more devolved powers for the rest of the UK would take place at the same time and at the same speed as those promised to Scotland but with such a tight time frame to make this all happen there are doubts. The ex-Prime Minster Gordon Brown created a time table for Scottish Devolution which all parties agreed to before the referendum took place. I don’t know about you but I don’t believe that it will be possible to provide more devolved powers everywhere in the same time that it was proposed for Scotland.
I think what needs to be bared in mind though is that if this timetable is not stuck to there will be many unhappy people from both the Yes and No campaign. Although the Yes may have lost out, do not expect them to remain quite if these plans do not go ahead as scheduled. It can be seen in the movement that is now taking place mainly though social media e.g #the45/#the45plus that although the referendum may be over there is still a want for a referendum in the future, which I don’t believe for a second will take a whole generation to come. It might be a good few years but if such an interest in politics stays alive in Scotland I think it will come sooner that a lot of people expect. Since the result was announced the Scottish Nationalist Party has gained 9000 new members, the Scottish Green Party announced more than 2000 and Scottish Socialist Party 1200 all of said parties were part of the Yes campaign. I think it helps to show that interest in Scotland being independent will not be going anywhere soon.
I myself was amazed at how much engagement there was with this referendum and how much there still is. I found most of it to be positive, although there was evidence of idiots, for lack of a better word, on both sides. For the first time those aged 16-17 were allowed to vote, and quite rightly in my opinion the choice was about their future too. An overwhelming majority (71%) from this age group voted Yes. I think that the vote age should be lowered as I feel that it would help to engage younger individuals. It also changed the way in which so many people view the society that they live in, forming new views on currency, what was scare mongering and what wasn’t, where the corruption was and whether they felt that the media was biased to one side. I think that media biased was most certainly portrayed in some respects, for example the events in George Square in Glasgow where The Times published an article on their website that suggests that in was Yes supporters who were behind the trouble when in fact it was a very large group of pro-Unionist who greatly outnumbered the Yes supporters. Here is a link to the article, you have to pay to read the full think (which I didn’t do) but I assume that it most likely continues along the same lines.
Everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions on this and although I voted Yes which lost by 10% (10.6) if your being picky, I hope more change comes. If you voted No then that’s fine by me the referendum is over, the result announced and definitely no need for any division between both sides. I will say that I am proud to be Scottish and I do hope that independence comes one but until then I hope that everyone who became more involved in politics stays engaged with it.