It’s not something I’d considered as I’ve never been fond of nationalism, like I’m not interested in the colour of someone’s skin I’m not interested in their country of birth. However, during a discussion on Scottish Independence it was said that Scotland had no influence at Westminster – I thought this odd at the time as labour has surely relied on Scottish MPs to hold power. In fact without Scotland it’s difficult to see Labour ever winning power again.
Looking at the actual figures the UK parliament is made up of 650 MPs, 533 from England, 40 from Wales, 59 from Scotland and 18 from Northern Ireland. Currently labour has 257 MPs of which 41 are Scottish the same number as when Tony Blair won in 2005 with 355 MPs. Gordon Brown the last Labour Prime Minister had a 66 seat majority so it’s not true to say Labour wouldn’t win without Scotland. Although interestingly in 2005 Labour also had 29 Welsh MPs although there are currently 26. So the truth is that without Scotland AND Wales Labour would find it difficult to win power in Westminster.
Anyway I’ve diverged, back to Scottish influence.
You only have to look at Gordon Brown, Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath from 1983-2005, the last Labour Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer for 10-years under Tony Blair to see Scottish influence at Westminster.
Incidentally Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh. So does that make Blair Scottish? Personally I’d like to thinks so as blaming the Scots for inflicting Blairism on us seems so appropriate in the current political climate.
Without looking too hard there seems plenty of Scottish influence at Westminster. Obviously whether it’s been the right type of influence depends on your standpoint.
I should perhaps add that personally I find independence movements, distasteful and jingoistic and little better than racism and although I have a lot of sympathy with the view that Scottish Independence has to be worth it to get away from the Tories, like my sometimes deep loathing of the EU, when it comes to actually voting I’ll not be swayed by independence and it’s dubious delights.