Sunday, 8 May 2011

Yes to Mr Salmond's Scottish Referendum. And Yes to an English Referendum

Suppose only women could initiate divorce proceedings. Everyone would think that unfair. Suppose only men could. Most would think that unfair too and those who don't aren't nice people.

I very much hope that the Scottish National Party in government will be able to hold an Independence Referendum and I hope that the vote is Yes.

But I think it would be jolly unfair if no parallel Referendum is held in the rest of the UK, asking voters if they wish to remain in Union with Scotland. It would be a good idea to do everything at once, so that English voters would be asked:

Do you wish to remain in Union with

(a) Northern Ireland Yes / No
(b) Scotland Yes / No
(c) Wales Yes / No

I don't know how English voters would feel about divorcing Scotland or Wales, but I think they would be delighted to dump Northern Ireland.

One of the oddities of the Tory position on theses issues is that whilst they are viscerally attached to England's Union with three loss-making subsidiaries, they are entirely happy to have the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man operating as rogue statelets with no function other than to deprive the UK Treasury of tax revenues. I wonder why ...

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