People who know me know that it is my intention to move to Scotland in 2017. It has been a longstanding ambition and the EU vote acted more as a kick up the arse than any actual reason to get out of 'little' England.
Not that Scotland is exempt from the EU vote, but because they simply seem to be a more tolerant society and that will, if nothing else, soften the coming blows. However, while chewing the political fat with a friend recently, we kind of came up with half a half-baked idea that I want to share with you before moving onto the more ... honest... nature of this blog.
- Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU.
- Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have benefited more than anywhere else (apart from Cornwall) from EU money - these places wouldn't be so much better off without the EU's money and help.
Now, the idea of Northern Ireland campaigning for independence is not likely to happen, but the idea of Northern Ireland being independent from Westminster and autonomous, yet still part of the Commonwealth and a player in a more 'loose-knit' United Kingdom, might just float in Proddy strongholds.
But why stop there? How about an economic union with an independent Scotland and the Irish Republic, that would mean Northern Ireland, like Scotland could remain in the EU with almost as much sway as the old Britain headed by the English had and a lot more respect from the other nations because, well, quite simply, they're not English.
Of course, if Northern Ireland could remain part of the sovereignty but also as a semi-independent state it would negate the need for borders, however it might require closer checks when travelling from Northern Ireland to England and I can think of quite a few Scots who would love the idea of a hard border between England and Scotland. Hopefully not because there would be an influx of disgruntled English people wanting to escape the hell that is coming.
The reason I like this idea is because it allows sections of the British to remain part of what they, in the majority, believe in; would lessen the impact that Brexit-geddon will bring to many in England and Wales and would make these countries arguably greater than the Britain they'd leave, because there would be a kind of Gaelic unity that us English struggle to identify with (because it's culturally different, innit?).
The other reason I like this idea is because I've recently become a traitor to the cause. I no longer have any faith that the Labour Party or specifically Jeremy Corbyn can turn the fortunes of the party around, especially in the face of the growing right wing tide sweeping up even reasonable people in this country and the fact that basic left wing politics just doesn't appeal to a large percentage of a growing isolationist and intolerant society. The only way Labour can appeal to people who've left them or would normally vote for them is if they broke with some of their fundamental core beliefs and under Corbyn and propelled by Momentum that simply isn't going to happen.
I heard this rumour that the Northampton South MP, David Macintosh, would not be sacked by the Tories because they feared a bye-election. I also heard the Labour Party also didn't want a bye-election for exactly the same reason. That reason was because the Tories would probably increase their majority, despite all the corruption and scandal. This was Labour's reason as well - from up top. Now, before you start telling me how foolish I am, consider this - the Tories are actually quite comfortable with an ineffectual old man leading the toothless Reds because they can basically ride roughshod over most things they want to and there's bugger all opposition. Regain a seat currently held by arguably one of the most corrupt politicians of modern times with a greater majority, regardless of boundary changes, it is going to trigger more ructions among the people on the other side of the chamber and eventually if Labour's slide into oblivion becomes too obvious Jeremy will eventually either fall on his sword or another massively damaging leader election happens again, throwing up the possibility that someone who might change things - for the perceived good - might appear and disrupt everything.
I can't help but notice how little Labour appears to be doing about everything. Not even my social media is buzzing - hell, it's not even murmuring inaudibly, so the theory that Jeremy and his team were all over the internet, cutting out the press, seems to be more hope than hit. PMQs is still an hour of backslapping and obfuscation at best and lies and slander at worst and Corbyn could beat Treeza in a wrestling match, with rabid wolverines, and the press would still call it a draw with the Tories regaining the moral high ground even if it is of a subterranean nature.
He doesn't stand a chance. I don't care that Labour are going to try and rebrand him in the New Year, it's too little far too late. Even if he was given a fair platform and some objectivity from the media he'd still probably struggle because NOTHING IS HAPPENING and a lot of that nothing is affecting potential supporters. His message just might not appeal to more than a bunch of internet bubbles.
But, I wanted Corbyn politics to work because I fear for the entire socialist movement in England and that people like me might end up being labelled 'dissidents' or 'subversives' because we don't subscribe the common right wing beliefs, meaning that 'liberal' speech might even be suppressed, probably by those who would have posted it, for fear of reprisals from who-knows-where.
There has been talk recently of a Progressive Socialist Alliance of Centre-Left and Left wing parties - an idea that seems like it has been born out of one of the Tories key issues not to vote for Labour at the last election. In a Britain that is to become divorced from the rest of Europe there is more need for the countries within it to work together in the interests of 'the Kingdom'. The Tories do not speak for Scotland and only have versions of themselves in Northern Ireland. In Wales, despite a waning support for Labour, the Tories are still unpopular in many areas and in England there are socialist heartlands, and more importantly, areas of the country which would have 'socialist' MPs if the centre and left parties worked with each other to stop the rise of the right.
But for this to happen Labour would need to do a deal with other parties and as we saw from Richmond, they'd rather lose their deposit and credibility than be seen working with someone with ultimately the same goal as them.
Labour would need to sit down with the SNP and forge an alliance that would mean Labour gives up Scotland, but works in a democratic partnership with Scotland to allow SNP MPs to vote along side them for the greater good. The Tories suggested this would mean the downfall of the UK if that happened at the last election, for many keeping Scotland happy is now the key to keeping the United bit with the Kingdom part.
It would also mean working with Plaid Cymru, the Liberals and to a much lesser extent the DUP, to ensure that someone other than a right wing candidate wins. It doesn't take you long to work out, looking at 30 marginal seats won by the Tories at the last two elections you can see that had an alliance been in place and the Liberals endorsed a Labour candidate and didn't stand against them and vice versa, those 30 seats wouldn't have been won by a Tory. Yes, it's simplistic and general, but convince the public that it's the best way and fairest way forward for Britain and it might just work.
But Labour still retains illusions of grandeur and the divisions within the party run so deep the entire concept is anathema to them from the top to the lowliest backbencher, because it would mean some of them possibly losing seats or would rest control to a coalition of similarly ideological but deeply different bedfellows. The problem is Britain has clung to it's left, middle and centre model for so long that change is happening and it's leaving politicians behind. How else can you explain the popularity of UKIP amongst a certain demographic and one which UKIP is exploiting to the glee of the Tory party?
If nothing else, a progressive coalition of Labour, SNP, Liberal and Green would at least have similar hymn sheets and could stem the tide of anti-tolerance, bigotry and hate that is becoming more public, by making a government that is both prosperous and tolerant of difference and diversity.
Still, however crazy the political landscape has become in the last 12 months, something that might actually be of benefit to more people in this country than ever before would not get house room and it might take the Tories to achieve complete breakdown of the country's economic and social stability to bring about a change for the benefit of both the country and the many.