“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Sometimes, you have to wonder which planet David Cameron is living on. For me, the question of Scottish independence has always been a simple one. In 2011, the Scottish National Party won the parliamentary elections by a landslide, becoming the first ever majority government since the Scottish Parliament was set up, in an electoral system designed to prevent precisely that from happening. The SNP, whose main campaign policy is for Scottish independence, won 69 out of 129 seats. The Scottish Labour Party, in comparison, suffered their worst electoral defeat since 1931. The leaders of the Scottish Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative Parties were all forced to resign after such atrocious results. You would think that figures like this give a fairly clear image of public opinion in Scotland.
Nevertheless, David Cameron seems confused, and he thinks that the people of Scotland might be confused too. When the SNP were elected last year, First Minister Alex Salmond said that a referendum on independence would be held in the second half of their term in government. Again, a clear proposal and time frame, and one that they certainly had a mandate to put forward after such a large electoral victory. However, self-proclaimed Master of Scottish Interests Mr. Cameron says:
“It’s very unfair on the Scottish people themselves, who don’t really know when this question is going to be asked, what the question is going to be, who’s responsible for asking it. We owe the Scottish people something that is fair, legal and decisive. So in the coming days we’ll be setting out clearly what the legal situation is…”
Yes, it is really unfair on those poor Scots, isn’t it, Mr. Cameron? I’m sure they can’t wait for you to set out that legal situation for them, because they clearly can’t be trusted to deal with it on their own. If only Cameron knew how universally despised the Conservative Party are in Scotland, perhaps he would realise that the only thing he “owe[s] the Scottish people” is to stay out of their internal affairs.
It is nothing new for Cameron to speak with this kind of arrogance. However, even I was surprised by the stupidity of some of his comments.
“I think what Alex Salmond is trying to do…” Cameron continued, “I think he knows the Scottish people, at heart, don’t want a full separation from the United Kingdom – and so he’s trying to sort of create a situation where that bubbles up and happens.”
This is where the ‘what planet is he living on’ thought popped into my mind. Ummmm… “bubbles up and happens”? I don’t think that is quite how a national referendum on independence happens, Mr. Cameron.
It is looking increasingly likely that when a referendum on Scottish independence is held, it will be successful. There would be no “United Kingdom” in the form that we know it. But instead of facing the reality of Scottish independence, David Cameron, his supporters, and the entire English political spectrum would rather ignore, laugh and fight against it till the end. The delusions of a dying empire are still alive and well.