The Morning After

I stayed up until the bitter end, only giving up once the actual result had been confirmed.

The feeling, quite honestly, was one of relief.

I had hoped that the Scots would vote to stay in the union, but I couldn’t honestly have blamed them for voting “Yes”, given the decades of frustration they (and we) have experienced at the hands of what seems to be an increasingly kakocratic Westminster.  What is abundantly clear is that the one thing that really isn’t on the cards any more is no change at all.

And the Prime Minister is still in danger of blowing it. Even his promises this morning seems timorous and backsliding. The demands, not just in Scotland, but in Wales and in the English regions (Yorkshire has a bigger population than Scotland, for example) fir change are getting louder and louder.  And then people like John Redwood keep asking about who is speaking for England might wish to ruminate on what they think they mean when they say “England”, and whether there is even a single English voice at all. The thought of Westminster retrenching and folding in on itself, leaving the regions in exactly the same hole they are in now, makes me sick to my stomach.

Perhaps this is the time for the English regions to assert their own powers, just eight months from an election and approaching the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta,. Now perhaps is the time when we can push for the real reform of the constitutional settlement. And not cosmetic, but a real change in the balance of power, returning it to the places where it is best exercised: nearest to where it is needed.

This morning, David Cameron talked about “the settled will of the people”. Well, the only thing we truly know of that will is that is demanding major change. Anything else will not do, and failure to deliver it will cost.

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