If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

No mandate in Scotland?

I've seen a lot of Scottish persons on the televisual apparatus in the last 24 hours complaining that the Government have no mandate to rule Scotland. It seems that, as Scotland voted overwhelmingly for Labour, and that there is only one Tory MP in Scotland, the present arrangement has no validity North of the border. (Oh, and not to forget that the people who voted Lib Dem never meant for the Lib Dems to climb into bed with the Tories - that wasn't in the script.)

I would like to remind them of one thing. For the last 13 years (and for a long time before that), England has voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives, and we have been ruled by Labour only because of their Scottish and Welsh MPs. I can't recall anyone saying that Labour had no mandate to rule England then.

I suspect that may change.


  1. Labour got the most English votes in 1997 & 2001, it was only in 2005 that the Tories overtook them.

    The inclusion of the Lib Dems in the coalition nullifies the no mandate in Scotland argument, between them the two governing parties got more votes than Labour north of the border.

  2. Thanks for the info on 97 and 01. On reflection, I am sure you are right. I think there was a Tory majority in England before that, though, for many years, although I am willing to be corrected on that too.

    On your second point, mathematically you are correct - but sadly Scottish Labour and the SNP don't seem to see it that way. The Lib Dems are only OK when they are either a) impotent, or b) allied with the right people. For them to join with the Tories wasn't what anyone expected and there has clearly been some mistake.

  3. I've got to say I remember a lot of talking heads saying that Labour didn't have a mandate in England after the 2005 election.

    They were on Fox News and Al Jazeera though...

  4. The principal of democracy has really passed them by hasn't it? We're all part of one kingdom, so the majority rules. That's how I though it worked, am I wrong?

    Personally, I'd be happy to give the Scots full independence, including having to rely on their own income instead of being subsidised by the English. Sounds good to me.

  5. If you assume we are 'one kingdom', then it goes without saying. Trouble is, it's only 'one kingdom' when it suits them. When it doesn't, it's undemocratic.

    I was always a big supporter of the Union, but now I am not so sure. I feel that if Scotland truly wants independence it should have it. Wales too, although the mood for breaking away is far less strong here. But independence must mean just that. Find a fair solution to the North Sea Oil issue, and then cheerio. I wonder how long it would remain a happy state of affairs. There are many fine and intelligent Scots, but there is a huge ballast of welfare to drag any economy down, and I am not sure that would be sustainable. Ultimately, I feel it is an issue for them, and would support a referendum on the issue. In fact, what about a referendum in England about Scottish independence? It cuts both ways, after all.

  6. "Trouble is, it's only 'one kingdom' when it suits them." I ought to be clear that I am referring to Labour (or the 'anti-Tory majority') here, not the Scottish people.


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