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This Is What the SNP's Sweeping Victory Means for the UK

Scotland now finds itself ruled by a government that almost none of its people voted for, which obviously isn't going to go down too well with all of those people.

Photo by Barryob via Wikipedia.

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

This might be the end of the road for the United Kingdom. It's had a good run, by which I mean that for 300 years it's flowed like a torrent of liquid shit across the face of the planet, splattering against every continent, and leaving filth and disease in its wake. And now, after the results of yesterday's election, what comes next might be even worse.

Leftists distraught by the national Tory victory might try to take some hope from the successes of the SNP, whose armored columns have stormed across Scotland, leaving just one seat for each of the main Unionist parties. At least some people, the thinking goes, might be able to escape the kind of political logic that would feed half the population into a threshing machine if it meant some numbers on a screen in the Bank of England might get bigger. For those of us in England and Wales, condemned to five more years in which the future will only appear through a haze of blind, stupid panic, the new socialist utopia north of the border might give us just enough hope to keep the emigration rate within manageable levels.


Except it won't happen like that. Stuck on the opposition benches, the SNP's shiny new parliamentarians have little chance of ever impacting government policy. While the SNP are very likely to start pushing for full fiscal independence from Westminster, it's not clear if this (if it happens) will actually do Scotland very much good. It's worth remembering that, before last year's referendum, the SNP were promoting themselves as the most business-friendly party in Europe—and what's good for business tends to mean pointless misery for the rest of us. Under the current system, the nationalists in Holyrood are more than happy to be the local enforcers for Tory austerity, cutting spending on schools, and the NHS with even more glee than the sadists in the coalition. Under their plans for full autonomy, Scotland would lose an annual £6.5 billion [$10 billion] in revenues from the rest of the UK, which the nationalists would have to tear, still bleeding, from public spending.

A large part of this has to do with the sheer poverty of different ideas in the political mainstream. Nicola Sturgeon did a good job of positioning herself as the candidate of sensible anti-austerity politics, but when it comes down to it, the only ideology actually available today is the one that sees human beings as just a swarming, ugly mass of hungry mouths and spewing assholes; the population of the country as a sadly necessary drain on the state's resources; and a human life itself as something that should just do its duty to the share price index and, eventually, quietly stop existing.


When the great disaster comes, it'll probably be less about the economy and more about power. It's clear that Sturgeon doesn't want another independence referendum soon—far better if her constituents start to really suffer under Tory rule, so that when it does happen they'll do anything to break free, like a chained wolf gnawing off its own leg—but events are likely to start swirling out of control. Scotland now finds itself ruled by a government that almost none of its people voted for. Since long before the election, the Conservative line was that while Scotland absolutely must stay in the Union, any government that actually included their chosen representatives would be structurally illegitimate.

Cameron won by appealing to the worst kind of petty English nationalism. Not the kind we're all supposed to be afraid of, some mythical hard-hatted racist spitting anti-jock vitriol into his foaming pint of 5 percent piss, but the kind that's really dangerous. People who don't want the nasty Scots to break up our lovely country, who share Facebook memes about how awkward and apologetic and oh-so-English they are, who think Stephen Fry is a genius and that living near a Waitrose is a personality type. In other words, the worst people in the world.

Related: The New Wave: SNP, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens.

This isn't far off from the breakup of Yugoslavia, with Slobodan Cameron deploying his ancient ethnic hatreds against those of Nicola Tudjman. After all, it's hard to rule people after announcing your implacable opposition to their existence. How long until Scots stop charging discriminatory fees for English students and start charging at them, with knives and sticks, until the bodies of mutilated poshos hang from lamp-posts all along the Royal Mile? Will the people of Newcastle have time to evacuate before Scottish heavy artillery starts raining down indiscriminately over their heads? Would it really be too bad if anyone playing the bagpipes in central London were torn to grisly shreds by a rampaging mob?

At this point, civil war is all but inevitable. The last time a nuclear-armed power broke up was in 1991, and even though the Soviets were always a kinder, better, more tolerant people than the British, they're still suffering through decades of persistent ethnic war. When Britain falls apart it'll be pure slaughter.

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