The Scottish Referendum was a triumph for modern democracy, considering that most general election turnouts tend to be less than 45 per cent, and this vote roused an astonishing 84 per cent of Scots to leave their sofas and rally to the ballot boxes. With the May 2015 general election now only seven months away, politicians should be making a concerted effort to keep these newly mobilised masses engaged. Not only in Scotland were the people making a noise for change, but throughout the United Kingdom. However, the party conferences that have taken place over the past two weeks have, once again, revealed a step backwards to politicking back and forth and promises for change being flung around like discarded chip wrappers.
Both the Yes and No camps are starting to come out of their referendum hangover and wake up to a post-referendum world which looks exactly the same as before. For example, the battles between Dave and Ed over the NHS and economy are becoming more heated and the issue of more powers to Scotland are being put on the back burner. In their panic prior to referendum day, changes were promised to be introduced for the whole of the United Kingdom before next May. However, it would appear that the chances of any further powers to Scotland, or English votes for English MPs, are becoming increasingly less likely to emerge before next May. This is dangerous because those in society who had never given a considerable thought about politics, or who had never even voted before may begin to fail to see the point in exercising their democratic right again. The newly mobilised masses in the post-referendum world do not want to have to sign Gordon’s online petition to ensure that promises are enacted, and quite right too.
From political discontent comes sweeping swings of the political pendulum to either the left or sharply to the right. While Ed and Nigel maybe eager to see the pendulum swing in their favour this time around: are either of them really up to the challenge? In the next seven months Dave, Ed, Nigel and Nick need to make sure that changes to the political workings of the United Kingdom are a firm goal which they strive to work towards before entertaining notions of getting behind the doors of Number Ten.
It is a tough job to be a politician in the post-referendum world. How can you ensure that the 84 per cent of Scots who turned out in their numbers to change the fate of Scotland are not disenchanted and retire back to their sofas instead of rallying to change the fate of Britain? Of course politics is a game people play, but it should stop being a game that’s played at the expense of ordinary people. In this post-referendum world politicians should take advantage of this big “thumbs up” for unity and start delivering big changes quick and efficiently to keep the mobilised masses happy. In this post-referendum world, all political parties need to come together and start delivering their panicked promises. In this post-referendum world, if changes don’t start to appear before next May, there’s a risk of something greater than a Labour government under Ed or the smug grin of Nigel if he triumphs. A revolution could be brewing and the mobilised masses could turn out in their droves for something much more ominous than a democratic vote.