Sometimes being right is the very worst thing. Saying “I told you so” can be incredibly satisfying if someone else has just made a mess of something despite your sage advice but when it’s you who gets screwed over, it’s cold comfort to have been bleating on about it.
In the wake of the No vote, politicians, the media and even the monarch have been keen to suddenly tell us things we’ve all been saying for fucking ages. If the message last week was, “if you don’t know, vote No” this week has been more like, “you voted no, now you know.” So without further ado, here’s a handy list of the things which we have “learned” since dependence day.
1. The oil will last for ages
Oil being a key battleground during the campaign, with the No side insisting there was hardly any, it wouldn’t last long and would cost more to extract than it was worth. Oddly, back in August, the news of the “biggest discovery in decades” off Shetland was reported by such mainstream sources as, erm, industry paper Oil and Gas People. So imagine my surprise when a few days ago, the BBC reported that new technology developed by scientists at Herriot Watt could add DECADES more extraction potential to North Sea Oil. While there’s a massive debate about the consequences of a fossil fuel based economy (which we have right now by the way, just the money goes to notorious No campaigners like BP boss Bob Dudley), it’s pretty odd that all of a sudden, the oil will last for ages.
2. The NHS isn’t safe after all
“Vote ‘No’ to save our NHS” cried Labour last week, yet having dutifully followed the instructions of our rulers it seems…THE NHS IS UNDER THREAT. A massive demo to defend the NHS in England & Wales was widely underreported because it occurred during the last week of the indyref campaign. This week, Red Ed warns that the NHS will continue to be privatised (which will in turn reduce the amount Scotland receives in funding under the block grant). You know, like we all said?
3. The UKIP-turn
Two short weeks ago, one of the Flowers was in the room with Nigel Farage in Glasgow, as he outlined his vision of fluffy federal freedom for his bonny Scotland which he totally loved (despite his party having argued Holyrood should be abolished until recently). Today, one UKIP source is quoted as having said Scotland had better get ready to “take the rough with the smooth” and that UKIP would insist on a reduction of the block grant and savage cuts in exchange for any more powers. It’s a remarkable about turn which no-one could possibly have predicted…
4. Lamont vs Murphy for Labour Leader
We called this as soon as we saw Jimbo on his bru crates last month. There is no doubt this was what the man famed for poultry based tantrums had been thinking all along and now Lamont has been fighting back. Labour can’t really be construed as the winners in any sense, having lost hundreds (thousands?) of members and the respect of all but their most, erm, loyal supporters and there really isn’t much you can say about Johann Lamont, so the one cheery thing I’ve done with myself this week is make this ode to her reign:
5. The Queen is a unionist
Speaking of increasingly implausible representatives of the people, Betty Windsor shocked the whole universe this week when she’s purred down the phone to the PM, on hearing the news that the union was safe. Who would have thought her majesty would support privilege and inequality? Was she worried about the “republican plot” to ditch her which was such a secret, we had big conferences about it? We look forward to the Betty/George Galloway cat/hat mashup popping up on Youtube promptly.
6. Austerity, Austerity, Austerity
The Institute for Fiscal Studies decided Friday was a good time to announce we were still also going to continue to be royally screwed by austerity, a position supported today by a former civil service chief who warned that it will be even tougher for the next 5 years, whoever is in charge. Last week we were told to think about all the good times when we all pulled together, this week we’re reminded that the politicians have decided the good times are over. Whichever party governs, they will continue to needlessly throw thousands of people below the breadline, to pursue an economically illiterate and morally repugnant ideological attack to ensure profit is maximised by driving down wages and costs for the bosses. UKOK.
7. We’re at war again
Just over a week ago we were dreaming of finally getting out of the relentless Mess-opotamia at Westminster. Now we’re back on the Iraq Attack, dropping bombs half way across the world, in case the last two wars there weren’t brutally counterproductive enough. This time we’ll have the support of allies like Nobel Peace Prize winner and droner of wedding parties, Barack Obama, Tony Abbott and maybe even our new bezzies Iran, the Assad Regime and Russia…what could possibly go wrong? Thankfully, we’re OK in Scotland because we have Trident to inflict nuclear genocide on anyone who inflicts it on us first. Safe.
8. There is no agreement on more powers for Scotland
THAT fucking poll which suggested Yes might actually win the referendum was enough to send all three UK party leaders on a mad dash to Scotland, along with notorious robber of pensions and economic vandal Gordon Brown, to commence a massive game of “who’s the biggest bullshitter?” What started as George Osbourne’s federalism, descended into “not Government policy“, then it was a “timetable”, then it was just Gordon Brown and finally it was “the vow”. Backbench Tory MPs are making clear they want no part in what sounds like the shittest boyband single ever, Labour are already calling all discussion “divisive” and who knows what the Lib Dems are saying as they pack their hemp rucksacks and wonder if they could maybe just keep that stapler, now they’ve got no chance of being re-elected. There is no scope whatsoever for anything of substance to occur during this Parliamentary term.
Cameron, Miliband & Clegg will not all be leading their parties after the next election. The new party leaders (Boris, other Miliband, Charlie K again maybe??) will not be bound by the desperate pledges of their predecessors. Only the winner stays, if that’s Cameron, he’s either in coalition with Farage or with a majority…of politicians representing English constituencies. If the Tories lose, they, Labour backbenchers and UKIP will be able to block any further powers or insist on crippling financial punishment for Scotland in exchange. English MPs will (quite rightly it could be argued) be interested in their patch, not ours. All the respective parties have to say is that the whole thing was just too complicated, we tried, we really did, but no-one could agree what the jocks could get, so they got fuck all.
More powers? Scotland said No to them remember. No wait…