Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

UK local elections today

Please note: LOCAL. Pissed off with Tony Blair? Think David Cameron’s a nob? Don’t like the way the Lib Dems got rid of Charles Kennedy? Against the Iraq war? Fine. Don’t take it out on your local councillors – unless they deserve it.

For non-Brits, you may have missed the whole “the United Kingdom could come to an end” scare story that’s been one of the major space-fillers for journos in the run-up to this election – because it looks like the Scottish National Party may become the largest in the Scottish Parliament, which could lead to an end of the Union, a little bit over 300 years after Scotland and England became (legally) as one.

A scare story is all it is. There’s no way the SNP will be able to get a Scottish “independence” referendum bill through the parliament, and it’s highly doubtful the Scottish people would be silly enough to vote for it even if they did – not even all supporters of the SNP are after full “independence”, after all.

Still, it makes for nice “what if?” type articles – some based on a Mel Gibson-style view of the land of Sir Walter Scott, others a little more objective, some comparing it to local issues, yet others blatantly party political, and others making the case for maintaining the Union – something increasing numbers of English people are, apparently, not overly keen on what with the perceived over-representation of Scottish MPs in Westminster, tales of £10 billion per year subsidies for the land north of the border, etc. etc.

Personally, I’d be quite happy with a UK-wide referendum on independence – not Scottish, though: for Northern Ireland. A bloody chain around our ankle for far too long, that one – and anywhere about to be run via a power-share between a raving psycho and a known terrorist sounds to me like the sort of place it’s best to have very little to do with. Scotland, on the other hand, is great – it may be my Scottish ancestry (my great-gandmother being a Colquhoun, and great-grandfather a Kirkpatrick), but haggis and good single malt remain two of my favourite things. It’d be a shame if they went independent, but meh. The joy of the EU is that it’d probably mean that I’d be able to get whisky cheaper here in the south…

Update: From the comments, this strikes me as the best election day ever. I am quite insanely envious.


  1. north of the border we weren't very impressed by your last paragraph, nosemonkey

  2. North of the border you're never very impressed with anything us lot to the south do – FACT…

    (Has the cultural stereotyping and lack of appreciation for the contributions Scotland has made to Britain in the final paragraph convinced you to vote SNP, then – or do I need to throw in a few references to men in skirts, Irn Bru, deep-fried Mars bars, incoherent drunkards and smack addicts to really do the job? Heh…)

  3. Hello from Berneray (population 128) in the Outer Hebrides.

    Have voted, and blogged, and taken pictures. A fine day for it all:

    Hope the weather is as good for you there.

  4. Colquhouns, eh? We're probably (relatively closely) related then…


  5. The national/local split is a bit spurious. I'm not fed up with Tony Blair as an individual – or even as a Prime Minister – so much as I'm fed up with Labour, including Labour in local government. Our local councillor is probably a very nice person and a conscientious representative, but I doubt she's either able or willing to go against the party line.

  6. As a northern Irish Catholic living in London, most people in England yucca can be found to agree with nose monkey, including myself.

  7. Even non-Brits can vote, provided they are EU citizens and live in the UK.

    I voted. A few days ago already. Unfortunately not combined with a nice walk over a beach like John, but instead I just stayed at my computer. Call me lazy if you want.

    I might have had a Laphroaig afterwards though.

  8. @nosemonkey: no, it came too late ;-)
    i had already voted labour+green