Don’t mention the Scots! – Ashdown and Marr avoid the obvious

Don’t mention the Scots! – Ashdown and Marr avoid the obvious

Edinburgh : United Kingdom | May 09, 2010 at 3:17 AM PDT
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Don't mention the Scots - Paddy Ashdown on Andrew Marr

The London-based media have been doing their level best to minimise any reference to the crucial role of the Scottish electorate in the political crisis that now faces the UK. Paddy Ashdown and his protégé, Nick Clegg, are now determined to get in bed with the Tories "in the national interest" .

Which nation, Paddy? The one you desperately avoid mentioning to Andrew Marr in listing the components of a rainbow coalition - Scotland?

The United Kingdom now has a hung Parliament - the party with the largest number of seats and the largest share of the vote, the Tory Party, nonetheless does not have an overall majority. The sitting Prime Minister, Gordon Brown - unelected as PM and unelected as Leader of his party - remains in office despite being rejected by a majority of the electorate. The third party, the Liberal Democrats, are now the kingmakers, and can determine who rules Britain.

But there is a great big worm in the UK apple - the United Kingdom is in fact deeply disunited.

The majority party, the Tories - most likely to form the new government in a coalition or as a minority government - have been enthusiastically endorsed by English voters, but decisively rejected by Scottish voters.

The Tory Party has only one UK Member of Parliament in Scotland, David Mundell, and he will become the new Scottish Secretary - a post that nationalist Scots believe is a relic of Empire and the Raj.

This has created a powerful view in Scotland that David Cameron, the Tory Leader and putative Prime Minister, will have no mandate to rule Scotland.

The democratic deficit created by this election is starkly revealed by the figure - the Tories have only a quarter of the vote in Wales and less than 17% of the vote in Scotland, a country with its own Parliament, its own legal system, its own church and a unique culture.

Not the least of the problems the new UK government will face is the so-called West Lothian Question.

59 Scottish MPs elected to the UK Parliament are able to vote on legislative matters affecting only English voters, and thus have the capacity to obstruct English legislation.

In contrast, English MPs have no votes on devolved matters in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.

There is a rising tide of English nationalism, deeply resentful of what they see as their democratic deficit. Many believe that the 1707 Treaty of Union between Scotland and England- which has lasted for 300 years since 1707 - is on its last legs and is the rump of a faded Empire. When the draconian cuts that the new Government must make begin to bite, the system may begin to fail, especially in Scotland.

The London-based media have closed ranks with the British Establishment to try to play down the most significant fact of this election – David Cameron would have been Prime Minister on Friday, with a workable overall majority, if the Scottish electorate hadn’t stopped him in his tracks.

The three unionist parties have closed ranks to try and hide the significance of this fact, and incredibly Gordon Brown and Labour are a party to it, in spite of the fact that, without Scotland, they are nothing, and would be a spent force in UK politics. Labour’s commitment to the Union is destroying it.

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Paddy Asdown on the Andrew Marr Show
Moridura is based in Kirkliston, Scotland, United Kingdom, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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