A new 'vow' is heading our way

In 2014, a few short days before the Scottish independence referendum, yes jumped into the lead in the polls, publicly, and privately (Westminster's private polling had yes at 52%).
Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon

The UK Government's response?  To offer 'near federalism' or close to 'home rule.'  They offered Scotland the chance for "faster, safer change."  Of course, it turned out that the UK Government never actually planned to deliver anything close to federalism.

Blair McDougall, the chief of the 'Better Together' campaign admitted at a later stage, that "we would have struggled to win without scaremongering."

The word scaremongering, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is "the activity of spreading stories deliberately to make people frightened or nervous."  So the UK Government's no campaign chief has effectively admitted that the entire process was never supposed to be either fair or balanced, and that there was a very deliberate effort to mislead the public, in order to frighten them into voting no.

The vow 2014

But the no campaign went one further than that, when they proceeded to offer more powers to Scotland in the days before the vote.  The question was effectively no longer a straight yes or no.  It had become a yes, or 'more powers' question.  A no vote would not mean no anymore, it would mean 'more powers for Scotland.'

So effectively, we could say that 100% of the people who voted on September the 18th 2014 voted for at least "near federalism" - a concept that was never delivered, and it is doubtful that the UK Government ever had any plans to deliver it

So now we come to the present, and it was revealed in the last few days that Boris Johnson plans to spend millions of pounds on a billboard and advertising campaign, targeting supporters of Scottish independence.  He plans to spend millions of pounds of tax payers cash to try to persuade Scots to remain in the union, despite having seemingly ruled out indyref2.  Why would he need to spend any money convincing people to remain in the union if he plans to block a 2nd referendum?

It seems bizarre that Johnson publicly pretends to be confident that the union is safe, but on the other hand, feels the need to spend millions of pounds in order to beg us to stay in the union.

It seems as though the Prime Minister has taken George Orwell's 1984 as an instruction manual rather than a work of fiction.

Johnson argued for federalism in 2015, shortly after the SNP won 56 out of 59 seats.  Johnson said at the time "I genuinely think that after the election we need to have a sit down and people need to think about the future of Scotland.  I want a United Kingdom but we may have to think about a federal structure for the UK. I'm on for that."

Nicola Sturgeon revealed last year, that Johnson had once asked her "So Nicola, full fiscal autonomy – does that kind of buy you guys off?"

So it would not be completely out of whack to expect another vow very shortly.  I would expect that he will offer something which will be dressed up as federalism, or home rule of some kind.  Johnson knows that something has got to give, and he is very aware that he must address the issue of the union at some stage in the very near future, now that even unionist polls are showing that yes has taken the lead.

The question is, will we be taken in by yet another vow, yet another promise of federalism, which, even if by some miracle was actually delivered, could be reversed by a future UK Government?  Will we be fooled twice?


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