Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 22nd 2014 Contents A33
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T&T Guardian columnist Mark
Wilson explains the scenario
after the Scottish people voted
to remain as part of the UK on
Scotland s voters said
"No" last Thursday to
"Yes" to continuing union with
England and Wales. It was 55 per
cent in favour, 45 per cent
against. That s a fair margin---but
closer than predicted just a month
The pubs were open all night.
There was a huge turnout---85
per cent of the voters. Indeed, after
years of slow-fuse campaign and
a final week of frenzy, I d have
expected 99 per cent.
Apparently, 15 per cent of Scots
don t care either way.
Alex Salmond, First Minister in
Scotland s devolved government
and leader of the Scottish National
Party (SNP) will step down in
November, to be replaced probably
by his likeable and energetic
deputy, Nicola Sturgeon.
So ... business as usual? In Scots
dialect, a big fat "Naw" to that.
In a last-lap panic, England s
main three party leaders promised
more powers for the Scottish par-
liament. Details will be clear in
the next few months, we re told.
"Notes on the back of a ciga-
rette packet," was the snide come-
back from the independence camp.
And yes, the party leaders are
all English. That s Conservative
prime minister David Cameron
(with a Scots surname; it means
bent nose); his LibDem sidekick
Nick Clegg (whose surname is
Scots for a stinging horsefly); and
Labour opposition leader Ed
Miliband (no Scots surname that
I know of).
There s a British general election
next May. That s all four coun-
tries---England, Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland.
An election run-up is not a great
time to win consensus for imag-
inative constitutional change. If
you re in any doubt, ask Kamla.
Cameron, Clegg and Miliband
won t see eye to eye. Indeed, there
will be splits within their parties.
Meanwhile, the SNP is in firm
control of the Edinburgh parlia-
ment until May 2016. If she s
leader, Nicola Sturgeon may play
hardball. If anything goes even
slightly wrong, she can cast the
blame on London.
I have not been to Scotland this
year. But checking Facebook and
on-line comments, there s some
bottled-up hatred around.
Here s a nightmare scenario for
next May s British election. The
SNP, bursting with confidence,
sends a bunch of MPs to West-
minster. Outside Scotland, it s a
close result. Neither Labour nor
Conservatives can form a govern-
ment without SNP support.
Sturgeon s next move in that
case, if she s leader? Mebbe she ll
support either party---once she can
pick the Lego Bricks.
Canada s museum showcasing
human rights opened in the Prairie city
of Winnipeg on Friday, dogged by con-
troversy that began long before the
first visitor arrived.
The Canadian Museum for Human
Rights, a tower of glass and tyndall
stone, riled cultural groups who ques-
tion its content. This week, Canadians
of Ukrainian and other backgrounds
urged a boycott due to "the lack of a
meaningful portrayal" of Canada s in-
ternment of so-called "enemy aliens"
during the First World War.
"This is supposed to be a Canadian
museum of human rights and really the
internment should be front and cen-
ter," said Marsha Skrypuch, whose
grandfather was interned for about a
year a century ago.
Skrypuch said she has no direct
knowledge of the museum s contents,
but does not plan to visit it and add to
any impression that it is inclusive (AP)
Canada human rights museum stirs controversy as doors open
Scotland: Trouble now start?
Could Nicola Sturgeon, left, be the next leader of the SNP? She seems set
for the role after, Alex Salmond announced he was stepping down in
Continued on Page A34
No supporters for the Scottish independence
referendum celebrate at a No campaign event at a
hotel in Glasgow, Scotland, early Friday morning.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own assemblies.
They control health, education, and plenty more besides.
England, the saying goes, is the Mother of Parliaments. But England
---with 84 per cent of the population and a similar slice of MPs---does
not have its own Assembly.
It's a bit like T&T, or St Kitts and Nevis.
Scotland, Nevis and Tobago have self-rule---and their MPs also help
choose the national government. England, St Kitts and Trinidad get no
In May next year, David Cameron's Conservatives will win a just a
handful of seats in Wales, and perhaps one in Scotland. But they may
win majority support in England.
Labour is stronger in Scotland and Wales. They may win an overall
majority---but with a minority of English seats.
There are a few ways round this problem:
• Leave things as they are and don't fuss.
• Don't let non-English MPs vote on English matters. So there's a
majority British government -- but it might not be able to set English
policy in areas like health and education.
• Move to a federal Britain, with separate parliaments for English
regions and major cities.
Conservatives seem to like the second alternative.
Labour might prefer the third. It would give them strongholds in
much of northern England, with the Conservatives taking the rural
south-east. London and the Midlands would be battlegrounds.
Don't hold your breath for a quick consensus. And English voters?
Most have not yet given this stuff a moment's thought.
Does England need a parliament?
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