The proposal by the people of Scotland to separate themselves from the United Kingdom may be a little difficult for the English to handle now. With the YES movement gaining ground, David Cameron visited Scotland a week ahead of the scheduled vote to plead for Scotland to remain united. On one of the very few occasions where the opposition agreed with David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, warnings mingled with emotional pleas warned Scotland of the irrevocable move they have put into motion.
Spearheading the concoction of pleas and warnings is David Cameron, Britain’s Conservative prime minister. An unlikely ally at this difficult time, the opposition’s leader, Labour Party’s Ed Miliband, joined forces with Cameron to plead with the Scottish people to reverse their proposal. Feelers from opinion polls conducted on the separation opine that the largely indecisive voter base is leaning towards a separation.
With the threat of an outcome that veers close to independence, Cameron, Miliband and Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, scurried to Scotland to plead their case separately, hoping to avoid the separation. Schedules and normal parliamentary duties were abandoned at the drop of a hat to retain the unity in the U.K.
After being a part of the U.K. for 307 years, Scotland’s move for independence, to be voted on next Thursday, Sept. 18, will pilot profound changes in the economical, constitutional, cultural and political scenarios surrounding the region. Cameron insisted that he would be heartbroken to see Scotland tear apart Britain’s family of nations. He warned people that a decisive “yes” from them could mean an irreversible separation from the U.K., an institution that was jointly built with Ireland. Cameron, who is hugely unpopular for his Conservative views among the Scottish, asked them to consider the decision from a historical standpoint and not a political one.
The outcome of the vote has to possess a wider margin, indicating that a narrow “no” means a future referendum on the issue, while a narrow “yes” indicates an illegitimate victory. Urging the Scottish to look at the vote that will affect them for the next century and not the next five years, Miliband separately addressed a gathering of Labour party activists in the northern town of Glasgow, Cumbernauld.
At the community centre in Cumbernauld, Miliband pled with the Scots to cast their vote against the separation “from the head, from the heart, from the soul.” Cameron also authored an essay published in The Daily Mail, pleading with Scotland to remain united prior to his visit.
Alex Salmond, leader of the pro-independent activists who also doubles up as the leader of the Scottish government, scoffed at the visits from the British politicians. As the momentum for the YES campaign in Scotland picked up the pace, he wrote away their panic-stricken pledges. He promised greater powers for Scotland within Britain and spoke of a schedule to obtain said powers swiftly, if they voted for independence.
For anti-separatists like Cameron, Wednesday highlighted the effect of the YES campaign. Accused of being a complacent and negative campaigner of the Scottish cause, Cameron’s low profile until now on the issue is a calculated one. He hopes to charm the Scots into abandoning the independence campaign with his personal views instead of arousing hostility in them.
Coming from a party that holds just one of the 59 Scottish parliamentary seats in Britain, the Conservative and wealthy Englishman, who is an Eton College alumni, is seen as a person disconnected with the realities of most Scots and he remains unpopular as ever. Sharing in the Scottish sentiments towards Cameron, Miliband refused to share the stage with him, saying that doing so implies he contributed to the negative campaign.
Cameron, Miliband, Salmond and many others are busy influencing the decision that could change the course of history in the U.K. The Buckingham Palace reported that the Queen Elizabeth II is above politics and refuses to take a stand on the issue of Scottish independence. Although she will still remain Queen of an independent Scotland if it did come about, David Cameron maintained that her role cannot effect the decision, as he continued to plead with Scotland to remain united.
By Rathan Paul Harshavardan.