First the good news. Thanks to last night’s “No” vote in the Scottish referendum Britain has been spared the following: a run on the pound; the hasty exodus of Scotland’s finance industry; the premature death of UKIP; the gloating of Alex Salmond; a Red-Wedding-style outbreak of backstabbing and bloodletting among Tories and Labour alike; a collapse in the markets; at least two years of procedural sclerosis in the British and Scottish parliaments; the entirely unnecessary and utterly ill-considered rupture of a the greatest Union between nations the world has ever known; waking up this morning to find ourselves no longer in bed with cherished (if fractious) friends, allies, partners and comrades alongside whom we’ve fought, loved and prospered for over 300 years.
Now the bad: it’s all over anyway.
What Alex Salmond and his Scottish National Party (SNP) insurgency achieved in Scotland last night is equivalent to what the Viet Cong and NVA achieved during the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. Yes they may have lost the battle. But it was their stepping stone towards ultimately winning the war.
Just as the speed and aggression and co-ordination of the Tet Offensive caught the complacent US military and political establishment on the hop, so were David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and all the other “Better Together” campaigners completely wrong-footed by the Saltire insurgency of Alex Salmond and his woad-painted nationalists.
With hindsight, we can all tell ourselves that last night’s victory for the “No” vote was inevitable. With almost the entire British political establishment – including three prime ministers – behind it, not to mention an excedingly rare and unlikely union of the left and right media (and The Daily Mail shall lie down with The Guardian and the BBC…), as well as three hundred years of history, the continuation of the Union ought to have been a foregone conclusion.
But that is certainly not how it has felt in the last fortnight. Hence the unseemly scramble we witnessed in the last few days as Cameron and co headed north to grovel and abase themselves on broken glass promising Scotland anything and everything just so long as it remained in the Union.
And so it has come to pass: a small tactical victory has been gained at the expense of a massive strategic defeat.
Read the rest at Breitbart London