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This blog rarely departs from discussion around painting. But there are some events that seem to be just too momentous to ignore. Today the people of Scotland are deciding whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or cede from it and go their own way. In the immortal words of Renton in Trainspotting they have finally got the opportunity to vote to change the “shite state of affairs” of being ruled by “an effete bunch of arseholes” from London!

Actually the effete bunch have pretty much distinguished themselves as such in their cackhanded botch of the whole process…after all as little as a couple weeks ago a solid ‘no’ vote seemed assured and their interventions only served to send the media into a frenzy of speculation that ‘yes’ might just be a possibility. Myself I suspect this was all a put up job to seed fear into the waverers and I’ll be surprised if yes get closer than half a dozen percentage points. What is certain is that the caravan of politicos, media hacks and celebs will, if I’m right, have moved onto the East Coast of England by next Monday morning (to Clacton methinks) and Scotland will be but a distant memory.

All the talk of ‘further powers’ will melt like snow in a furnace (several of the Tory headbangers ‘down south’ have already called ‘foul‘ on the very idea) and the Scots who wanted independence will fulminate in an eerie Westminster silence…until the next time that will surely come again and probably sooner than we all might imagine. The real losers in all this are the people of the United Kingdom, wherever they reside, who will continue to view all the mainstream politicians as the self serving, venal and oleaginous crew they have undoubtedly become and will find it harder and harder to bring themselves to vote for ‘any of the above’. No wonder the UKippers are having a field day.

The wholesale reneging on the ‘promises’ of further devolution that will surely happen (why is it that Gordon was deputed to ‘sell’ this message?!) once its ‘business as usual’ will be just another clear indicator that no one can be trusted to keep their word and cement the widespread view that they are all as bad as each other.

Somehow and somewhere down the road something has to give if the UK is to both keep its economic head above water and to maintain itself as a decent civilised society. What that is, a realignment of the liberal centrist consensus?, remains to be seen but something has to give for the sake of our grandchildren.

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