State of the Union

In her speech to the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected the suggestion from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland holding its second independence referendum, just 2 and a half years after Scotland narrowly voted 55.3% in favor of remaining within the United Kingdom. But with an ever increasing political divide between the electorate on both sides of Hadrian’s Wall what reasons are the predominantly socialist and pro-EU Scotland to do as the minor member of our union with an ever-increasingly conservative England that voted 53.3% in favor of leaving the European Union compared to Scotland’s 63% in favor of remaining. Where do the two nations have to disagree to decide that our 310-year relationship perhaps has a natural end?

But does Scotland’s place within the UK make it more important to some in England than some realise, with the largest opposition party, the Labour party is consistent disarray with divisions between the current Jeremy Corbyn led party and the still very influential Tony Blair era members, the SNP and their 56 MPs are a truly united front that some in England can find themselves supporting when tackling Theresa May’s government policies, especially in terms of Brexit, with Labour following the government in regards to the Article 50 bill, the 494 MPs that voted in favor of the bill that did not give indication under how negotiations between the UK and EU would be decided, with as many as 120 MPs voting against their constituents, many of those being Conservative and Labour constituencies. Is it right for an MP to vote against their constituents and follow the party line?

Is this increasing disparity between votes and seats be the final nail in the coffin for FPTP? Not according to the government that often cites the 2011 failed Alternative Vote referendum in order to talk against suggestions for other voting systems such as those used in Germany, London, Northern Ireland and of course Scotland. What place does Scotland have in the United Kingdom? Is it an obstacle against Brexit, a counter balance for socialist unhappy with Tory austerity, or are they filling in as the socialist party during the Labour party civil war?

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