Thursday, 17 April 2014

Kettle Boils over

 Martin Kettle  in the Guardian may well be pointing to a scenario of Britannia Waving the Rules that I warned about in a recent post.
He seems to be suggesting that if Scotland were to vote Yes in September, the Union may raise the spectre of the Silent Majority.
But there is a second thing to be clearer about too. If Scotland votes yes, the consequences could be messier and nastier for longer than most of us have allowed ourselves to consider. That is partly because there is a conspiracy of decorum surrounding the referendum campaign. The no campaign doesn't want to attack the nationalists too hard because that plays to the nationalist message of bullying and victimhood. But the yes campaign is equally bland about pretending that every problem triggered by independence will be sorted pragmatically, amicably and quickly.
 Apart from the fact that Kettle seems to disregard Project Fear which saw amongst other things,

  •  George Robertson   claiming  Independence would rob the West of a major anchor of stability and solidarity at a difficult time
  •  George  Galloway  and the claims of  Catholic persecution in an Independent Scotla
  •  and Labour joining with the Tories and LibDems to say Scotland will not be allowed to keep the pound

There's much more but the list is too long to quote on this post.

Kettle then evokes the possibility that Labour might even use a victory in the 2016 General Election to delay Independence

 If a yes victory is declared, how will the British Labour party, meeting for its party conference on the following day in Manchester, react? By promptly agreeing to expedite Scotland's departure? Dream on. A yes vote would explode into the UK party conference season. All the main parties would be destabilised in major ways.
 So what is Kettle suggesting  that the Labour -Unionist may claim (Unless there's a SNP Landslide) the result as second referendum and that the Scots didn't really want Independence?

Kettle goes on 
Salmond talks as though the negotiations following a yes vote would be straightforward, respectful and informed by mutual trust. Why should that be so? They would more likely be devious, antagonistic and riddled with mutual suspicion, as well as largely meaningless until after the 2015 general election.
Whether Salmond was negotiating with Cameron or Ed Miliband (and it is worth remembering that if Labour wins in the UK in 2015 and then wins in Scotland in 2016, Labour could in fact be negotiating with itself), the process would be likely to be prolonged. The UK government would have every possible incentive to drive a hard bargain with Scotland, as Hammond made clear in the defence context this week, and it would be backed by public opinion.
AH there's the Silent majority again, or is it English Nationalism Kettle is referring to  the worrying thin is he seems to be approving this scenario.
Meanwhile, what about the public mood? Views will not remain frozen unchangingly once the result is in. Nor will they inevitably remain benign and peaceful. Nationalist opinion could become more militant if the talks become bogged down.
Even acts of violence are not inconceivable in certain circumstances or places, as anyone with a smattering of knowledge of the Irish treaty of 1921 will grasp.”
As far as I can see the Irish Civil War that followed the 1921 treaty was between those who wanted a Irish republic outside the British Empire (as it was then) and those who accepted an Irish Free State which seems to be similar to what the SNP are offering Scotland .

Those negotiating for Independence will have a clear mandate the idea that some will accept a form of Devo-Max  splitting the group seems far fetched.
 So that's it Kettle may be right about this but as I said the worrying thing is he seems  Kettle seems to approve .

But is this an argument against voting YES as Kettle appears to be arguing. Democracy should not take place because others particularly the current regime will not in the end accept it.

Talking of Kettle it is said that the Irish Land league  leader   Michael Davitt once introduced his colleague Andrew Kettle  to a crowd with the words

The name of Kettle is known in every house in Ireland
Maybe the name of  Marin Kettle of the Guardian should be known in every house in Scotland not for his doom laden, prophesy but because it expose the old adage cut a British Liberal and you get the same Unionist blood as ardent Tory.

As a potential scenario Kettle may be right and I raised a similar fear in a previous blog  but that's no reason to vote NO

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