One rule for me

Maybe I’m being extremely thick here — I don’t really understand the objection to dealing with the West Lothian question and further Scottish devolution at the same time.

(Except if you’re a Labour politician. That I get.)

For the general population of Scotland — if independence is so important to the 45 percent of those who voted — empathy with the English people’s desire to have full control of their local affairs should come naturally. Of course it works well, politically, for the Conservatives, but why is it being declared as reneging on the promise?

Unless the Scots have no interest in fairness and social justice for others…?

Will there be trouble

When supporters of the Yes camp say people need to vote the right way next time, as well as saying those who voted No were bribed, intimidated, or led on by false promises, it leads me to think they have nothing but contempt for their fellow voters who happen to disagree. Not a promising sign.

(Refusing to pay their TV licence fee is also pretty stupid. And I’m not sure if they’ve noticed, but newspapers have been suffering for a long time anyway — I doubt most of those 45-percenters buy any papers. Numpties.)

Alex Salmond will go out a hero, deserved or otherwise. People will continue to talk about and press for political change, which is a good thing. At least something good’s come out of this long and nasty campaign.

Please make sure you register to vote and actually go out and do it at your local and national elections. There’s no point bitching about things being bad because of corrupt politicians if you say you’re so disenchanted you won’t vote — you’re being a hypocrite.

And I would not want to be out on the street in Glasgow tonight. Yeesh.

Thursday’s a-coming

Being outside of Scotland, Neil and I have been pretty shielded from most of the Scottish referendum propaganda, but we do hear reports from his mum about how it’s being discussed so much she’s utterly sick of it. It says so much that Neil does not get a vote, but a more impressionable 16-year old does.

If a majority of voters does vote to break away from the UK, it will not be seamless and they won’t suddenly live in a utopia where everything they liked about the UK remains and everything they didn’t like is replaced with something better. A small nation becoming independent faces a hard road ahead. I have no doubt Scotland could ultimately be economically successful as an independent country, but I doubt there is sufficient awareness of the cost — cost to the short- and medium-term stability of the region, and cost to the economic and civic freedoms Scottish residents currently enjoy.

Many of the things the Independence camp are touting as ‘Scotland’s too’ (the pound, the NHS, the defence forces, the BBC) come about because they are part of the union. If they choose to leave said union, it stands to reason that those things will exit the country, and Scotland will need to set them up themselves. Threatening to punish businesses for warning about the costs of uncertainty and nationalising the oil industry doesn’t really lend itself to that vision of utopia.

Please vote for independence if you live in Scotland and believe you will be able to shoulder the burden and responsibility, helping your community to do the same. Please do not encourage people to vote for independence if you do not live there — and therefore will not have to deal with the consequences.

Roles reversed

I was in the Chinese grocery shop in town and the proprietor was chatting to another customer about one of his products (in Mandarin, of course). They talked about how this particular type was very popular with the 老外 (foreigners). I piped up, since I couldn’t resist:

“在英国你是老外!”
(Translation: In Britain, you’re the foreigners!)

Hopefully he’ll still sell me udon, 白粿 (large flat rice noodles), and 小笼包 (these small meat buns Neil loves) in future.