Latest post on Left Futures

“The Scottish referendum isn’t primarily about Scotland: it’s about London”

union-flag-melts-away-from-scotland-e1388694836550This is a shrewd observation by Prof. Danny Dorling, especially in the later stages of the referendum as Salmond repeatedly pinpoints the sheer dominance and ultra-wealth of London as a prime reason why Scots should vote for independence. It sucks the lifeblood out of the rest of the country, and so far from the rebalancing of the economy getting under way and wealth and commerce being redistributed the stranglehold of London is continually reinforced because that is where the most profitable investments can be made. Its growth feeds on itself.

It has been estimated by IPPR that transport spending per head in London is a staggering 500 times more than in N.E. England. London remains at the centre of ballooning British inequality: while Britain has 9 of the 10 poorest areas anywhere in northern Europe, it also boasts inner London as the single richest region anywhere in the EU. Against that background Salmond’s simple question ‘Do you still want to be ruled from London, squeezing the energy out of the whole country and particularly Scotland?’ is such a devastating one. As George Monbiot has said memorably in the Guardian, would you choose to stay with a government that “spies on its own citizens, uses the planet as its dustbin, governs on behalf of a transnational elite that owes loyalty to no nation, cedes public services to corporations, and forces terminally ill people to work?”

If it were a case of sticking forever with the English Tory obsession with predatory capitalism, cashing out the jewels of the public services to swell even further the wealth and profits of the super-rich, neither would I. The only way to put an end to this and change direction from the market fundamentalism and Tory domination of the last 35 years is the election of a radical Labour government with an overall majority next May. I firmly believe this will happen.

But I understand Scottish people not being prepared to take the risk. The best solution, which is now being offered in extremis and would not have been offered but for the shock 51-49% poll in favour of independence, is for a fully-fledged federal system to be granted to the Scottish people with a transfer of powers in the negotiation of which they are fully involved. That is a constitutional settlement that must be extended to the other nations of the UK as well as Scotland, and to the major regions within England itself.

All parties purport to believe in the devolution of power both politically and economically, but it has never happened because of the stranglehold of the tiny self-serving establishment elite cocooned in the over-dominant position of London. That was a power structure that was never long-term tenable, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment to open up the governance of the country to the three-quarters of the population outside the London orbit who have always been largely excluded.


  1. P Spence says:

    Unfortunately, recent past experience of Labour government is discouraging for many people who foresee that in 2015 Labour will remain entrapped by neoliberalism. A Yes vote opens up the entire UK constitution to radical change: that must be a good thing for the Scottish and English working class.

  2. Lamia says:

    This is self-pitying rubbish, made no more truthful by constant repetition. Scotland has its own problems but wealthy London has plenty of problems that Scotland does not. There is a lot going for Scotland, it is largely self-ruling already, and it already has the legal and financial means to improve its problems. Those problems are not all or mostly or even much the fault of London – and I can’t stand that bloody city.

© 2024 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma