It has always been a bit of a mystery as to why so many Tories are so keen to keep Scotland in the UK. After all according to most of them we are a bunch of subsidy junkies living in semi luxury at the expense of the English. Now it seems that some Tories are not that keen on maintaining the Union. At least that is the message that comes from Peter Cruddas, the former Tory Party treasurer. He was filmed recently talking about the forthcoming referendum on Scottish Independence. Publicly the Tories are committed to fighting to keep the UK together, but according to Cruddas, “even if they’re not, we as a party have to be seen to be fighting to keep the Union together. Even if we don’t agree with it, because at the end of it all, if the Scots say we’re out of here and they want to go independent, we can turn around and say it’s not what we wanted, it’s not what we campaigned for, you can’t have this, you can’t have that, and you can get on with it.”
Quite a nice or should that be nasty example of just how duplicitous the Tories are. There are two main points it seems to me about this statement. The first is that at least some Tories are already preparing for a Yes vote in the referendum. Despite their public protestations they are clearly not quite as confident about keeping the UK together as they would like us to believe.
The second and to me, more important point, is that this kind of thinking shows up the Tories for what they really are - English nationalists. It is unlikely that Cruddas is thinking of what might benefit Wales or Northern Ireland. The “we” that he refers to is clearly the Tories in England. And what kind of Union is it anyway when one partner could even think of saying to the other partner - “you can’t have this, you can’t have that.” I certainly don’t want to remain part of this one-sided and increasingly nasty Union.
These revelations should have been one of the main topics for debate and analysis in our media, but, surprise, surprise, it went virtually unheeded by our increasingly biased BBC and the usual suspects in the pro Union print media. It is not a conspiracy as such, just that all the key people in the media, broadcast and print, are Unionist and almost without thinking about it, promote any story that advances the Union and ignore any story which calls into question the integrity of the UK.