Sunday, 17 August 2014

The British Idea

"It is the Scots who have succeeded most in preserving the British idea of fairness and compassion in terms of state support and intervention. Ironically, it is England, since the 1980s, which has embarked on a separate journey."

So says Sir Tom Devine.

But that "separate journey" never commanded majority support in England, and it is about to be rejected very comprehensively here.

As, for that matter, in Scotland, where its popularity was always as masked by the electoral system as its unpopularity was in England.

That said, Scotland provided Margaret Thatcher's majority precisely at the 1979 Election: 22 seats, when her majority was 44.

The West of Scotland Left does a good job of selling itself as Scotland's political mainstream. But it is not.

Scotland's present governing party, which would run an independent Scotland forever as such parties always do, is Thatcherite to the core, piling up votes and seats in the wealthy old Unionist heartlands while scarcely troubling anywhere that has ever voted Labour very often, if at all.

The national and parliamentary sovereignty of the United Kingdom is, with municipalism, the only means to social democracy in the territory that it covers, and is thus the democracy in social democracy.

No less than the previous point, only social democracy, and not least the public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, is capable of safeguarding that sovereignty, national and parliamentary, and that democracy, parliamentary and municipal.

Both the vote against Scottish independence, and the result of the General Election, will confirm that implicit public understanding, first in Scotland, and then throughout the United Kingdom.

One Nation, indeed.


  1. Aren't you Alistair Darling's cousin? You should be at the very top of restoring the British vision after the Scottish No vote. All of your posts yesterday were hugely important. The people who deprived the parliamentary process of your voice committed a kind of treason. What happened to the bloke they preferred? He is not in Parliament or a candidate for next year but he must be nearly 40.

    1. I do not know the details, but there were Darlings from the right part of Scotland among my father's fairly recent ancestors, an elderly relative is adamant that there is a connection, and I have no reason to doubt her. My mother says that my eyebrows will stay black once my hair has turned white.