At the foot of Big Ben, next to Westminster, commonly described as the cradle of parliamentary democracy, politicians come and go. We got reactions to the Scottish referendum result from several of them.
Former UK Defence Secretary and Conservative MP Liam Fox was personally active in the Westminster parties’ efforts to convince Scots to vote against independence.
Fox said: “Well, it is a Scotland which has shown itself to be very involved democratically and that is always a very healthy thing, and if the parties in Scotland play their role constructively, there doesn’t need to be division or recrimination or bitterness, which is always the risk after a referendum of this nature. But I have to say despite all the reports, when I was in Glasgow yesterday, I wasn’t finding that level of bitterness or hostility.”
Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, which won the European elections ahead of the Tories and Labour in spring, lambasts the ruling Conservatives for what he suggests is preferential, unfair treatment.
Farage said: “Mr Cameron himself will be very relieved this morning that the Union has been maintained, but, my goodness me! he is in a hell of a flap over England. We have had a couple of years talking about Scotland but today we are talking about England. And the English have been very quiet and very well-behaved, but frankly treated appallingly over the whole devolution question over the past 18 years.”
Professor Vernon Bogdanor notes there’s a constitutional shake-up for the entire nation on the cards: “In my opinion, instead of making up the constitution on the hoof, it is time we followed almost every other democracy and had a proper written constitution. Perhaps 2015, which is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, would be a good time to start.”
Magna Carta limited kingly power and protected rights.
British voters may reserve their verdict on the Westminster establishment for the general election in May.