17 October 2011

I used to be decisive but ...

I used to believe, with some confidence, that my fellow citizens would resist the blandishments of Fat Eck on the little matter of Scotland's independence and that they would firmly return a resounding negative when it came to a referendum.  But now I'm not so sure.

It's not just the ComRes poll announced over the weekend which showed that even the English were unperturbed by the prospect of Scottish separation, although in many respects this was quite a remarkable outcome which will no doubt have its impact on the inclinations of Tory MPs south of the border - why should they fight to maintain a bloc of Scottish Labour MPs in Westminster, if the good people of Chichester and Henley and Tatton are not bothered about Scotland going gently into that good (or bad) night?

Then there is the question of North Sea oil or at least the oil lying west of Shetland.  If BP is prepared to invest all those billions and if the oil is going to last until 2050, then the prospect of Scottish independence becomes that much less scary.  I know that it's more complicated than that, but you can almost hear Mr Salmond asking the electorate if they really want to allow the UK Treasury to fritter away - once again - the economic returns from oil on unemployment benefits south of the border.

As for the Labour Party, the only party in Scotland which might have been capable of resisting the SNP, it's not looking good.  So far, the leadership campaign has yet to throw up anyone known to the Scottish population, let alone with the ability to take on Salmond and his acolytes.  Nor do the voices from down south in the form of Mrs Curran and her "crack team" offer any consolation; after all, they're there and not here.  And they are not exactly likely to set the heather on fire.

So, with apologies for being somewhat depressing on a Monday morning, we will await the referendum with trepidation.  As usual, it will probably end in tears.


No comments: