It is now inevitable that more powers will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament—Westminster must follow this up by empowering other English citiesby Lucy Webster / September 19, 2014 / Leave a comment
It was quite something, yesterday, to know that the future of my country was about to change. I am 19, and I have yet to cast a vote in a national election, yet every election to come will now be affected by today’s result. Scotland may have answered the independence question pretty emphatically (55 per cent to 45 per cent in favour of No is a decisive margin), but the result has simply started another debate: what to do now?
I am about to go into my second year at university—and worries about job hunting, house finding and all sorts of adult-life things are beginning to bubble away at the back of my mind; on top of which I am painfully aware of the £27,000 I am soon to owe the government. Even though I have always cared deeply about politics, the decisions made now have never felt more personally relevant.
The only thing we can be sure of is that more powers will now be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. With a general election already visible on the horizon, it seems unlikely that the three main parties will renege on their promises to hand over powers to Edinburgh. But with Scotland staying in the Union, it will be difficult to grant it special treatment without doing so elsewhere. Cries of unfair advantages would go up across the country.
To its credit, the coalition did try to devolve power to English regions and cities—and its proposals were mostly rejected. Perhaps it is fair to say that the regions lack a sense of binding identity (I have never heard someone describe themselves as a West Midlander), but I don’t believe this is true of the cities. Having grown up in London and recently left the city for the countryside of Warwickshire, I feel that my status as a Londoner is a crucial part of my identity. Maybe this is because almost all conversations in term one followed a “what do you study?” and “where do you come from?” pattern, but I also believe it is because being from a big city gives you a different outlook—one based on rushing around and paying exorbitant amounts for a drink.