Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: The Scottish Referendum
First, a little mood music:
The margin may have had to do with Prime Minister David Cameron promising to devolve even more power to Scotland. Unsurprisingly, this has caused Northern Ireland and Wales to demand additional devolved powers themselves.
One would think that the promise of more devolved powers being given to Scotland would aggravate the “West Lothian Question“…
Under the devolution packages passed under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Scotland and Wales were given control of, respectively, “Scotland-only” and “Wales-only” affairs with their own local parliaments, but England only issues were still taken up by the U.K. Parliament, with Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish members of Parliament voting on it.
Concomitant with the promise of more devolved powers going to Scotland, has been the promise to devolve powers to England. Though not being given its own separate Parliament, Scottish members of the U.K. Parliament will be barred from voting on “England-only” issues. Presumably, Wales and Northern Ireland would eventually follow Scotland.
This would result in a massive political shift politically when “English-only” issues are involved. This is because of the 59 members of Parliament that come from Scotland, only one is from the Conservative party (Labour have 40, Liberal Democrats have 11, Scottish National Party has 6, with 1 independent). The Conservative party would be an outright majority when Scottish members of Parliament are excluded.
Hardest hit of all? First Minister of the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond. Just how hardest hit? Hard enough to stand down from his satrapy (i.e. the aforementioned Scottish Parliament).
A sad, sad, Salmond indeed.