This is interesting

In Scotland, the three parties that favour independence (the SNP, the Greens and Alba) are on course between them to win a clear majority this week. If Westminster permits a second referendum, and allows it to be conducted fairly, the likely result is the end of the union.

Until a few years ago, Welsh independence looked like an eccentric hobby; those in favour tended to peak at about 10%. But a poll in March showed that, of those who expressed an opinion, 39% of Welsh people said they would vote to leave the union. Plaid Cymru and perhaps the Greens, both of which favour independence, should make some gains tomorrow.

Northern Ireland’s centenary this week is almost certain to be its last. Reunification is likely to happen slowly: it could be disastrous if rushed. But, prompted by the chaos of Brexit and a customs border in the Irish Sea, it has begun to look inexorable. A poll last week showed that a small majority of those with an opinion in Northern Ireland believe reunification will happen in their lifetimes. That creaking sound? It’s the ship of state starting to break apart.

That two parts of this main island should break free and independent is assumed to be both likely and a good thing. But that the unification of the two parts of the other main island would also be a good thing.

Logically we could run either way. That people who share an island but have different societies, cultures, should be allowed to rule themselves as they wish. Or, the other way, an island is an island and should be united.

Yes, I know, at least a century of insistence that Ireland must be united and all that. It is different. Politically it is different that is.

But still that breach in the insistences is interesting, isn’t it? No one at all thinks that the 6 counties could or should go independent. But also that Wales and Scotland could or should. It’s an interesting difference.

The – bare – majority in the 6 counties is arguably more different from the other 26 than Wales is from England. Certainly more different than Glamorgan is – say. Hawick is more like Otterburn than it is Glasgow. Even got the same landowner, Buccleuch owns it all in both doesn’t he?

Even I can think of reasons why they’re not in fact the same situations. But why is it that the general assumption is so different? Why is Welsh independence a good thing and Ulster independence so ridiculous as to not even be considered?

18 thoughts on “This is interesting”

  1. England – the English – remain the problem. A disparity of numbers, of populations, means that England will always get its way. We could of course split England into comparably sized regions with enhanced rights. Metropolitan regions ruled by left-leaning Labour councils see the potential for aligning themselves with the nutjobs running Scotland and Wales and breaking the Tory hegemony at Westminster. Trouble is that we quite like being English.

  2. I think Boris should immediately agree to a second indyref … provided Sturgeon agrees to an immediate an irrevocable 50% cut to the Barnet danegeld.

  3. @decnine

    Or agree on the condition the entire funding is stopped immediately as it would if they were independent. Then as the Scots have no choice but to look at their financial situation publicly suggest the English get to vote too.

  4. Easy: fundamentally, Irish, Welsh and Scottish nationalisms are motivated by hatred of the English, which in turn is primarily motivated by the fact they are dependent on the English, although it will be interesting to see how the Republic deals with the EU sucking money out of them for a change (I know the crossover happened a few years back, but without the UK’s opposition to EU taxes and net contribution it’s about to become a lot worse)

  5. And nobody asks the English people about anything. We don’t exist as an entity to be considered. Our role is to pay.

    I don’t see why the possibility of independence for NI is never mentioned. I went there a couple of times. It rained every day and they gave me a medal. Ireland the island has only ever been really united as part of the UK.

    Scotland? Well when the time comes there is no indication that they will vote for independence other than dodgy surveys where the intimidated give the answer that is safe to give.

  6. What is the difference?
    Well, since it’s The Grauniad, that is obvious. Each decision (separation or joining) would transfer some power from a right-wing government in one place to a left-wing government in another.

  7. It rained every day

    A good approximation of Norn Irish weather. Although it is sunny at the moment.

  8. John77, out of curiosity, where is the right-wing government? The Conservatives seem to be running on the same policies as Harold Wilson, with the addition of a load of eco-nuttery. The leaflet from my local Conservative Councillor could have been written by the Labour or Green Party. There is nothing traditionally Conservative in it

  9. @John77: it’s not about the shift from right-wing government to left-wing, it’s about The Guardian’s need to forever oppose their own country. Scotland and Wales breaking away are good and justified because England is bad and therefore they should be free. NIreland joining Ireland is good and justified because the UK is bad and NIreland should be free. Anglo-Saxon political traditions are bad because they come from the UK and the UK is bad. Etc.

    @Diogenes: having said my response to John77, it doesn’t matter whether the Conservatives are actually right wing or not. The Guardian claim every successive government to be the “most right-wing ever” and their idiotic readers believe it. These people believed Mitt Romney was a Nazi. They have no sense of proportion when it comes to the “right”.

  10. I’m not sure where the Grauntwat got the surveys from, but they seem to be very selectively chosen. In Wales, there seems more support for ending devolution than for independence.

    We do have an actual referendum result to refer to for Scotland and thanks to the terms of that one – as agreed by all parties t the time – we don’t need to check again for more than two decades.

    Perhaps to concentrate the minds of independence seekers, we could withdraw the English subsidy of Scotland and Wales for a year prior to any referendum on independence?

  11. @ Diogenes
    In the eyes of Moonbat and The Grauniad, Boris is right-wing – most of them regard Blair as a right-winger instead of left-of-centre.

  12. Why shouldn’t NI join with Scotland? Most of the prods are of Jockanese extraction and they are the majority.

  13. “England will always get its way”: only the other day I linked to an article that said 4 general elections since 1918 would have had their results changed if Scottish seats were excluded. I dare say the number would be bigger than four if Wales were excluded too.

    How many Labour governments would there have been if those exclusions had happened? Attlee’s first presumably. Wilson’s second, maybe, but maybe not. Blair – one, two, or three?

  14. I believe Blair owed his 3rd majority to Scotland. In fact, I seem to recall he didn’t even receive the largest share of the English vote.

  15. The Grauniad ‘logic’ runs thusly:
    1. Brexit is bad (for reasons unspecified).
    2. Therefore, anyone who supported/argued for Brexit is bad.
    3. Boris supported Brexit.
    4. Therefore, Boris is bad.
    5. All right-wingers are bad.
    6. Therefore Boris is right-wing.
    I won’t claim that it makes any sense (it doesn’t) but that’s what’s going on inside their heads.

  16. I don’t know where the Welsh independent stuff is coming from, outside some isolated pockets it’s not a topic of discussion and as others have mentioned you’d get more support for overturning devolution and getting rid of the Welsh Assembly than independence

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    @Chris Miller,

    I thought that the Grauniad’s logic collapsed to: if you don’t agree with us you are by default right wing and therefore a Nazi, some time ago.

    That saved them the tortuous steps you describe.

  18. @ BiND
    I think Chris Miller is right – until The Grauniad cannot get to the conclusion it wants that way, then it defaults to “if you don’t agree with us you must be evil”
    But any logic is just a pose. When I was an undergraduate I used to read the “Daily Worker” Vietnam reports in the JCR after breakfast (the college Communist always got up later than I did and all the other papers were taken) – so I could see that the Manchester Guardian reports were simply bowdlerised version of the DW’s taking out the glorification of murdering village headmen in their beds. The Grauniad just hates the Tories and anyone or anything associated with them.

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