Is Westminster being left behind?

For many years, Scotland and the North of England have felt left behind by Westminster. Now it seems these places are leaving behind Westminster.

Emily O'Dowd
9th February 2021
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed in January that the current Prime Minister must reform the state of the union, or risk the UK becoming a ‘failed state’, but for many this warning is too little too late. Many up North are clamouring for change and the idea of independence for both the North of England and Scotland has never been more appealing.

The idea of self-governance has never been quite so appealing

The idea of the North/South divide has been a contentious issue in the UK for a number of years, but never has this divide been quite so stark as during the current pandemic. The North of the UK has often faced tighter restrictions than the rest of the country for no discernible reason and the recent diversion of vaccines from the North of England to places in the South has angered many. A lot of people in the North feel left behind and as though those in power don’t care about them. For Northern England, the emergence of the Northern Independence party is symptomatic of this. A few years ago, the very idea of an independent North would have seemed ridiculous but to those who feel left behind by Westminster, the idea of self-governance has never been quite so appealing. 

In Scotland, the SNP has been going from strength to strength, with 58% of likely voters now saying that they would back Scottish independence. Against the backdrop of Westminster’s often disastrous response to the pandemic, Nicola Sturgeon has emerged as a pillar of strength, acting as a voice of reason for those in Scotland and for many in England. It often seems as though Boris Johnson is unable to make decisions relating to Covid restrictions until he sees what Nicola Sturgeon decides to do first. Rather than the First Minister taking her lead from the Prime Minister, the opposite seems to be true.  

All in all, it seems that many in Britain have begun to lose faith in Westminster at a time when the government should be a source of strength and guidance. The so-called United Kingdom is on the brink of collapse, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much being done to try and save it. 

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