Will we get new powers? Scotland wants to know
Violent scenes in Glasgow’s main square on Friday night may not been repeated elsewhere but many Scots see their nation as divided and are looking to the next few months with uncertainty.
A key question is what fresh powers Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Britain’s other main parties will now hand to the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh. Many people do not trust a Westminster elite preoccupied by a general election in May to honour a pledge of accelerated devolution made in the heat of the campaign.
Salmond said that the proposed timetable already showed signs of slipping and warned that ‘some of the people who voted ‘No’ will be incandescent’ if it is not delivered. ‘All these promises were made—it’s as if they were dangling a carrot and he (Cameron) has taken that away now he’s got the vote he wanted,’ said Louise Roberts, a27-year-old who voted for independence.
‘I can’t believe that everybody has given the chance for freedom away.’ Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is credited with helping push the pro-union camp to victory, said Saturday that ‘the eyes of the world’ were now on London’s political leaders.
In a passionate speech in Fife, the Scot vowed to personally keep up the pressure and said a date had already been set for the British parliament to discuss a new Scottish settlement on October 16.‘These are men who have been promise makers and they will not be promise breakers,’ he said.
This uncertainty comes as Scotland tries to unite after a passionate and sometimes fractious referendum campaign which left more than four out of ten in a nation of 5.2 million disappointed with the result.
Politics has, unusually, been the talk of Scotland’s homes, pubs and cafes in recent weeks and Thursday’s referendum attracted an unprecedented 85 per cent turnout. Although Scots rejected independence by over ten percentage points, many ‘No’ voters did so on the basis that they had been promised fresh powers for Scotland. ‘It’s a very divided country at the moment, but if the powers come into play I think it will be fine for us,’ said Adam Stevenson, a hospitality worker.