Gordon Brown might not bother going to vote in the British Parliament more than a few times a year since he lost the last election but he’s still capable of screwing England over. Today he made the following demands for the British nationalist parties to sign up to before Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum:
[fruitful_tabs type=”accordion” width=”100%” fit=”true”]
[fruitful_tab title=”A permanent role for Scotland in the evolution of the UK”]The former prime minister has already argued that the UK is on course for major constitutional change even in the event of a No vote. He wants a guarantee that any future constitutional change will be made with Scotland’s involvement. Some will fear that without such a guarantee, calls for more powers for England could be debated without Scotland being consulted.[/fruitful_tab]
[fruitful_tab title=”A guarantee of "fairness"”]Gordon Brown wants politicians of all unionist parties to sign a statement that the aim of a “modern union” will be one that secures “security and opportunity for all” by “sharing equitably the resources of the nations and regions”.[/fruitful_tab]
[fruitful_tab title=”A guarantee that the Barnett formula will survive and Scotland will be able to raise taxes to protect spending on the NHS if necessary”]Nationalists are likely to point out that there can be no such guarantees given that the unionist parties have not reached agreement on which powers to give Scotland in future.[/fruitful_tab]
I didn’t think it was possible for Gordon Brown to be any more offensive or detached from reality than he has been over the last few years but he’s really excelled himself. We didn’t vote for him, we don’t want him yet he still pokes his nose into English affairs (or “the regions” as he calls England) making demands for his beloved Scotland.
English people have had no input whatsoever into the promises the British government have made to give Scotland extra powers if they vote no so why should Scotland have any influence over how England is run? And why should the Barnett Formula – an arbitrary, temporary way of giving Scotland extra money drawn up on the back of a fag packet in the 70s – be guaranteed forever? It isn’t based on need, it’s based on greed; the irrational belief that the Scots are entitled to a share of England’s wealth just because they want it.
Gordon Brown signed the Scottish Claim of Right in 1989, promising to put the interests of the Scottish people first and foremost in everything he did. He honoured that promise throughout his tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer, during his brief but destructive stint as Prime Minister and he’s still honouring it now.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet. Smile at us, pay us, pass us by. But never forget.