The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC) famously wrote “It would not be better for mankind if they were given their desires.” Much later two great writers wrote similarly.
“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.” – George Bernard Shaw and “In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants and the other is getting it.” – Oscar Wilde
Doubtless these and similar will have entered the minds of British Gazette readers when they heard of the advances in support for Scottish independence. A YouGov for the Sunday Times sent shockwaves through the political establishment north and south of the border as it showed the yes camp had 51% to 49% for no, excluding the don’t knows.
Of course British Gazette readers will not be the only ones. One particular person in particular must be considering what the near future may have in store for him: Alex Salmond.
Mr Salmond as British Gazette readers will know has made a successful career out of peddling nonsense. Mr Salmond’s brand of nonsense ably assisted by that great Anglophobe, Mr Mel Gibson (the producer of “Braveheart”) has portrayed Scots as victims of all sorts of wrongs perpetrated against them by the English.
Of course, had Mr Salmond have picked on another group, such as black people or Jewish people, he would have been picked up by the police and put in gaol years ago!
Mr Salmond’s problem will be if he is rumbled. And there looks to be a possibility that he might be. IF – and it is still a big if – the Scottish people decide – in a moment of mass collective madness – to actually vote for Mr Salmond’s barmy idea – Mr Salmond will be handed the poison chalice by whoever is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after May 2015. Being handed a poison chalice is one thing: Mr Salmond’s dilemma is that he will have to drink from it! Not something that is ever advisable!
But Mr Salmond is a willy and slippery customer. Far more willy and far more slippery than the unfortunate Mr Ed Miliband for instance! Of course, Ed is now becoming aware why his brother David was secretly happy to hand Ed the position of Labour leader.
British Gazette readers can be sure of one thing: Mr Salmond will have made plans for the eventuality of him winning the referendum. British Gazette readers will remember Mr Salmond’s disappointment when Mr Cameron refused to grant him his wish of having “Devo-Max” put on the ballot paper along with Yes/No to independence. You see, this was the thing that Mr Salmond always wanted. SECRETLY – not that he could not ever say that! You see, Mr Salmond realised that Scotland has got quite a good deal with the status quo. One that with Devo-Max would be ideal! You see, any failures by Mr Salmond can now be blamed on the English!
So, what will Mr Salmond do? Probably to try and put off drinking the poison! How may he do that? Well, he will need an ally. That will be Mr Ed Miliband. In order to enable Mr Miliband to be of any use to him, Mr Salmond will have to help him enter No 10 Downing Street. He will likely do this by announcing (in the event of a “Yes” vote) that the SNP will not field any candidates in the May 2015 General Election. This will assist Mr Miliband in forming the next government. If Mr Miliband’s majority is equal to or less than the number of Scottish Labour MPs Mr Milband will want to put off Scottish independence for as long as possible. Thus there will be a confluence of interests. Mr Miliband will not want to hand the poison chalice to Mr Salmond any more than Mr Salmond will want to drink from it! If such circumstances come about, expect both parties (Labour and the SNP) to announce that disentangling the UK and negotiating Scotland’s entry into the EU is going to be far longer a process than earlier anticipated.
You see, Mr Salmond will want to ensure that the large numbers of UK civil service jobs are retained for as long as possible. He will want to see to it that the state owned banks – RBS and Lloyds do not relocated south of the border.
Of course Mr Salmond’s price for pytting off Scottish independence to enable Mr Miliband a full or nearly full term as Prime Minister will be involvement in the UK government. Expect a Joint Exchequer Board to be set up. Expect Mr Salmond to be given a cabinet position as a Minister without Portfolio. “Ah!!!!” We hear you exclaim. “Mr Salmond is not a Westminster MP or a Life Peer. How can he be a cabinet minister?”
Because appointing ministers of their government, English, British and UK monarchs have by convention appointed Peers and/or MPs. They do not have to however.
King Henry VIII would appoint whomsoever he liked!
There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that prevents this. As long as the Monarch respects and seeks the advice and counsel of Parliament, the Queen’s Ministers can be any sane person. The Queen can also appoint anyone to the Privy Council. Mr Salmond might even glory in the title of Deputy Prime Minister! Of the UK!
This will of course confuse the Americans. It will not however confuse Frau Doktor Merkel. Frau Merkel will be fully aware of the size and nature of the poison chalice, the contents of which will have to be poured down the unfortunate Salmond’s throat! This is because in 2020, Scotland will have to join the Euro. Scottish use of Sterling will be strictly temporary!
And now British Gazette readers will have realised the willy and slippery Salmond’s “cunning plan” – Scotland will never gain actual Independence! That is because when Scotland becomes “independent” it will enter the Eurozone – thus loosing the independence it just gained!
Scottish independence you see is a chimera, an illusion. Brought to the People of Scotland by the Grand Illusionist Mr Alex Salmond and his (glamorous ?) assistant Ms. Sturgeon!
Of course, England and the residual UK will likely leave the EU at that point and enter the EEA.