While the media and political establishment have been either wetting themselves or shitting themselves about a poll showing 55% support for Scottish independence this week, the fact that 49% of English people said they were in favour of English independence last month seems to have gone largely unreported.
The 55% figure for Scottish independence is getting there but it’s still not enough to carry a vote. It’s a useful distraction from the real story though.
The Scottish National Party has been campaigning for Scottish independence since 1934. They an independence referendum in 2014 and secured a 45% yes vote. They have been in control of the Scottish Parliament since 2007 and have 80% of Scottish seats in Westminster. This poll shows 55% in favour of Scottish independence.
Plaid Cymru has been campaigning for Welsh independence since 1925 and were part of a coalition Welsh government with Labour for four years from 2007. The last poll on the subject published in June showed 32% in favour of Welsh independence.
Sinn Féin has been campaigning for Irish unification since 1905 and is the second largest party in Stormont and would be the second largest group of Northern Irish MPs in Westminster if they didn’t abstain. They are part of the power sharing coalition in Stormont with the DUP. The last poll published on the subject of Irish unification in February showed 49% in favour of Irish unification.
There is no campaign group of any note campaigning for English independence. There is no devolved government in England and all devolved functions are carried out by British government departments, agencies and ministers. Declaring yourself English is frowned upon and expressing any sort of pride or patriotism in England is denounced as racist. There is an active campaign of misinformation and misrepresentation in politics and the media to associate anything English with Britain, including conflating the two terms so that Britain and England are interchangeable words for the same thing. Yet despite this a poll last month found that 49% of people are in favour of English independence.
A well organised, well funded campaign for English independence would drive up support for the cause well beyond the 55% in favour of Scottish independence. If an English independence referendum was announced tomorrow the yes campaign would walk it and I would be the front of the queue at the polling station to vote for it.