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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Anarchy in the UK: 4th May 2007?

4th May 2007 - Anarchy in the UK, coming some time - maybe? [Note image of actual record, bought in Castle Douglas branch of Woolworths as a 'unsold remainder' for 37p. Easter 1977. But same Woolies refused to sell Pistols 'God Save the Queen ' that summer and also as re-released in 1997. ]

Following written more for 'straight' http://westlandwhig.blogspot.com blog than more dodgy readers of greengalloway. But I would appreciate any comments. The more critical the better.

It is spring - new green leaves exploding out of the tips of branches and the sun (today at least) blazing forth. The surge of springish energy can easily lead to over enthusiasm , especially when there is an election on the go. So many promises of a brave new world just a few votes away ! Suddenly the politicians are out on the streets talking about a revolution , oh what bliss to be alive and to be young must be heaven! [Wordsworth/ Prelude]

Upon our side, we who were strong in love;
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven; 0 times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute took at once
The attraction of a Country in Romance;
When Reason seem'd the most to assert her rights
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchanter to assist the work,
Which then was going forwards in her name,
Not favour'd spots alone, but the whole earth
The beauty wore of promise, that which sets,
To take an image which was felt, no doubt,
Among the bowers of paradise itself…

… and then? Its back to politics as usual, excitement over and the same dull round of ‘today in parliament’.

Could it be different this time? Maybe. There are some interesting possibilities emerging. We could be heading for ‘anarchy in the UK’. By this I don’t mean hordes of middle aged punks rushing out into the streets waving scratched copies of records by the Sex Pistols in the air. Rather that a very slow process of structural change could be about to trigger a constitutional earthquake. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland could be about to fall apart. The centre cannot hold … more poetry, Yeats this time:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand…?

All a bit clichéd? I suppose so. But what I have found from reading through almost every newspaper article (and comments) and every political blog (and comments) is that there is an increasing level of ‘English nationalism’ entering the equation. A sensible and mainstream consensus newspaper article about the constitutional future of the UK ‘if the SNP become the biggest party in the Scottish Parliament’ which in the past would have only attracted comments from a few hard core Scot Nats arguing with a few hard core Unionists now seems to provoke as many, or even more, comments from advocates of an ‘English parliament’.

The Conservatives in particular seem to be splitting along national lines. Scottish Tories may still be trying to prop up the Union of 1707, but many English Tories seem happy to dump their Scottish cousins in order to have a clear field of fire against - as they assume- Prime Minister Gordon Brown ahead of the 2009/ 2010 UK general election. It is all being done on a ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ basis at official level, but get down to English Tory activist level and the picture gets clearer. These Conservatives are no longer Unionists [which in any case = the Union of 1801 between Ireland and GB not that of 1707, and the 1886 split in the Liberal Party over Irish Home Rule which created the Liberal Unionists who merged with the Conservatives in Scotland in 1912... I think. All a bit confusing, since also a National Liberal faction].

The English Tories reckon they can win in 2009/2010 - but only by denying New Labour’s ‘Scottish as British’ unionist credentials. Which effectively means dumping the Union of 1707 and breaking up the UK. So the Tories really want as many Scots as possible to vote SNP to create maximum chaos post 3rd May.

But to further confuse the situation, there are arguments going on about ‘federalism’. Should there be several regional English assemblies with real powers? Or should there be one English parliament as part of a federal union including Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland ? If there is one English parliament, dominated by the Tories, where does that leave north England which is as strongly pro-Labour as Scotland and Wales? Should the Cornish have their own regional assembly? How will the Welsh and Northern Irish react if Scotland goes her own way? What about the European Union? Is ‘devolution’ part of an EU plot (from the UKIP/ BNP end of Tory spectrum) to break up UK regions which the EU can then absorb into their evil plans?

Confused? I am. Do I believe any of this? Or is it all spectacular hype designed to confuse and bewilder innocent voters on May 3rd? Am I an innocent or a cynic? If voting could change the system, it would be illegal, as the more radical politicos say. But from where I am here and now, it looks like the way myself and other Scotch folk vote on May 3rd might just undo 300 years of history.

If (and only if?) the SNP emerge as the biggest political party in the Scottish Parliament on May 4th will there be ‘Constitutional anarchy in the UK’?

To be boring, I don’t think anyone really knows. We will just have to wait and see.


Blogger Highlander said...

As an Englishmen that spent most of his life in Edinburgh before moving back to England, I have to say the prospect of breaking up the 'Union' frightens me. Not from any Tory based historical perspective or bias but purely as a starting point for all sorts of divisions. If we go along the Nationalist route, where next? Religion, race, sexual preference... We need only look at the break-up of the former Yugoslavia to see the potential for chaos and, whilst I am not suggestng UK would necessarily head the same way, it should be a warning.

8:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Highlander - I can understand what you say, but in fact the former Yogoslavia is just the wrong example,. It was a fake state, whcih cemented together those who could never co-operate and the longer it lasted the worst the unresolved tensions became.

It is maturity that is brininga about the end of the union , a perfectly understandable desire to go our own way and do our own thing - to be part of the world, and not to be spoken for.

That maturity will lead to a better and more tolerant society in Scotalnd, not the opposite.

As for anarchy in the UK - no, just normality at last. Even in Galloway, if it can look towards the country it is in, and away from the old realtionships .

5:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is yugoslavia more of a fake state than the united kingdom? Aren't all states fake?

10:06 pm  

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