Back last June, I made some rash predictions about the UK and globally (https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/uk-industry-some-predictions-for-2015-onwards-and-a-piketty-review/).
The first was that “the Scots will narrowly vote no to independence, reducing the uncertainty about the break-up of the UK for another decade. This will be a relief for British big business. Alex Salmond and the Scottish Nationalists will use the narrow defeat to get more concessions on tax-raising powers (already promised by the Conservatives) and will look for another vote down the road.”
The vote NO was decisive on a large turnout, but Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, voted YES to independence. That suggests a significant anti-Tory and anti-political elite vote, probably from the younger voters. The economic case for an independent Scottish capitalist state that would benefit working people compared to the Union was weak at best (see my post,
But the mood of opposition and disgust at the UK’s governing circles was strong and expressed in the size of the yes vote.
The major parties have promised extra tax and spending powers to the Scottish parliament and a continuance of the so-called Barnett formula for the distribution of central government expenditure to the regions. Scotland already gets a higher share of spending per head than elsewhere. So, in effect, the new powers (to be rushed through the Westminster parliament by Robbie Burns night on 15 January) mean that Scotland will have ‘home rule’ in all but name. This could lead to moves for similar regional powers for Wales, Northern Ireland and even the English regions. This is a creeping federalisation of the state in the UK.
Also, the failure of the Euro leaders to revive the Eurozone economy, provide more employment and rising real incomes for the majority is breeding fragmentation of European politics, both in a falling share of the vote for the major capitalist and social democratic parties, and in calls for independence by Catalans, Flemish Belgians and Romanians in Hungary etc. We shall see where it leads.
My other – very rash – predictions are still pending – Conservatives to win in the May 2015 election; the British people to vote to stay in the EU in a referendum in 2017; a peak in global growth in 2015; a fall in the rate of profit in all major economies from then; a new slump in 2016 or so.