Friday, 24 June 2016

Goodbye, Little England

It has been a long relationship, with lots of good stuff and lots of not so good. But now it is time to say goodbye.

Not to Europe, but to England. 

Scotland has voted to Remain and that is precisely what we should do. Whatever weirdness happens in Westminster, and it is going to get pretty weird (Farage for PM, anyone?), we should be backing Nicola Sturgeon as she fights to keep Scotland in Europe. 

We have voted for the workers' rights, for the openness, for the wider international view that Europe offers. We must not be denied that, whatever happens.

Three further points:
The vote in England illustrates the divisive politics of Westminster, which coddles London and the South East and abandons the rest. The demarcation between the people Westminster cares for and the people it does not is marked by the Leave/Remain divide in England.

Scotland's politics and its politicians have been much more inclusive. The gender equal cabinet, Nicola Sturgeon's response to the Belgian bombings - she gave her statement in a mosque, next to the Imam, to emphasise Scottish inclusion - the range of sexualities of our leaders, all of these help to ensure that more people feel that Holyrood represents their interests. When you feel that a parliament takes an interest in you, you take time to listen to what your politicians say.

Nicola's campaign in Scotland was outstanding. She was the only UK political leader who stated clearly, and repeatedly, the positive benefits (workers' rights, women's rights, travel, business) of EU membership. She never tried to frighten us. And she won. Perhaps there is a lesson there for the Westminster scaremongers.


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