CLACKMANNANSHIRE was the first to declare in the Scottish referendum and piloted the way to a No victory. The final result was Yes 44%, No 55%: but this is not the end of the matter regarding national constitutions – particularly in England.
Twelve days ago the Sunday Times published its now infamous poll showing for the very first time in over two years of taking such polls leading up to the Independence referendum that the Yes vote was in the lead for the first time. Considering such an incongruity, one would have thought that our three party leaders south of the boarder would have waited for such a poll to become a trend before they took to the pages of the Daily Record to award the Scots with the over generous endowment known as devo max (something which Cameron had refused to allow as a third option on the ballot paper).
Panic had set in, and Gordon Brown was chosen to set the ball rolling by promising his native countrymen all sorts of goodies in order to keep the Union safe. This was followed by, what in Scotland are known contemptuously as the 'Three Amigos', rubber stamping Gordon's promise of more beads and blankets for the Scottish people.
The Vow as it was christened by those who made it, reads like a begging letter for the Scots to stay as part of the Union. Once the Vow was made, Alex Salmond knew he could not loose either way. Sure. He faced personal disappointment at not getting full independence; but he had a weak hand anyway according to the polls; on top of which he set the cat among the pigeons in England regarding new constitutional arrangements…not a bad result for someone who has lost.
In the end the 'Three Amigos' folded with a Royal Flush. Thiers was not a promise made behind closed doors (although it had been made on the back of an envelope) which they could argue over after the result: the whole country had the ability to see and read it. Salmond will now have comfort of knowing that what he had been offered was 99% of what he would have had under independence. He had made Cameron promise, in the end, what he would not allow on the ballot paper…devo max.
NOW THE 'THREE AMIGOS' are left to face their own electorate south of the border. For not only will the Scots be allowed to raise their own taxes; but also be allowed to continue enjoying the unequal Barnett Formula which allows a far greater per capita head of spending on the Scottish people than on the English, who pay the taxes that gift the Scots their greater worth.
During the campaign Lord Barnett (now 91) gave an interview where he said, what has been described as his 'formula' was in fact ‘a subterfuge of a formula’ meant only as a temporary measure for Scotland to last two years: and, asked whether he thinks it should be axed, he said, 'I do now'; adding that he was now prepared to call for a debate in the House of Lords to try and force a debate on the issue.
It is now time for the English to have their say. Their voice has been all but ignored principally by the Westminster parliament on countless political issues; but also by the Metropolitan London elite who see themselves as the beacon for the rest of the country, without knowing or even trying to understand what the rest of the country thinks. It is on their say-so that immigration is welcomed; it is on their say-so that multiculturalism has to be accepted.
The London liberal 'progressive' tide that has brought this country gradually to its current impasse over the past 45 years, cannot have any say in the new English constitutional settlement that must follow yesterday's result in Scotland.
First of all, only English MPs should make laws and vote for purely English legislation. Secondly we must be given an English Parliament if the various English regions are to be accommodated. If the Scots and the Welsh have their own devolved parliaments; then so must the English.
THE ENGLISH have been ignored because of their passivity and tolerance by the self-regarding liberal elite that have swamped this English nation with their progressive diatribe for near-on 40 years. An invective that has wrought fear through opposing all forms of political correctness and multiculturalism.
This Scottish result has reverberated across the UK, and has hopefully awoken the English from their passivity and fear of challenging the status quo regulated from London. In parliament Tory backbenchers are already seeking to challenge Cameron for what he, along with his other two amigos, are prepared to offer Scotland; and many Labour backbenchers are also appearing in somewhat querulous mood about Miliband's performance in all of this.
This is not all over by any means. This is not the end, or even the beginning of the end. There is a long road to yet travel. The English have yet to have their say. A say on the Union which they were disenfranchised from; as they have already been from any say on any aspect of the European Union .
It is now time, after this vote, for England to have its own say. The English will be the financial providers for Scottish devo max through their taxes, promised them by the sweaty panic stricken 'Three Amigos'.
The English should thank Alex Salmond for unlocking the key to a more equitable constitutional arrangement…but we English must treat with the greatest caution and judge the political motives of any contribution from any of the party leaders towards this farer English constitutional arrangement. My advice for what it is worth to all the supporters of the three main parties is side with and vote Ukip. By doing so, who knows, the 'Three Amigos' may put in another appearance – this time on England's behalf.