Photo courtesy of Telegraph
In the last month one of the most startling election results to grace UK politics occurred. In a result that flew in the face of every single prediction poll, the right wing Conservatives won a majority and the left wing Labour party crumbled, resulting in the first Conservative government in over 20 years. But this startling outcome has divided the United Kingdom and promises far reaching consequences for the future of the UK.
Despite winning a majority of the UK seats, the Conservatives only won one seat in Scotland, an area which was dominated by the SNP. The SNP, or the Scottish Independence Party, are a left wing independence group that picked up major support during the Scottish Independence campaign last year. Since then they have grown in number, and in a surprising turn of events almost completely dominated Scotland. But this result has made the divide between Scotland and Britain become even more apparent, with two radically different parties forced to work together in Parliament.
The SNP platform was based on two key concepts. The party campaigns for an end to the austerity measures put in place by the last government, and further powers being given to Scotland in terms of full fiscal autonomy. They have currently put aside their push for an independent Scotland in the wake of an unsuccessful campaign in the referendum last year, which resulted in Scotland staying in the United Kingdom.
These aims clash directly with the aims of the Conservative government. Aimed at furthering the British economy, the Conservatives aim to make further cuts to most areas of public spending, cuts which have ignited outrage in the United Kingdom. In the wake of the result protests erupted in London outside Downing Street, the home of Prime Minister David Cameron. These protests, dubbed the ‘Tories out Now’ campaign, argued that the cuts proposed by the Conservative Government would put the future of Britain at stake.
This belief is grounded in the evidence from the last five years of Conservative power. While the economy and Britain may have grown, this is not felt by Britain’s most vulnerable, who have been hard hit by the previous Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government. The number of people using food banks and the amount of homeless has risen dramatically thanks to benefit cuts. And while the Conservative aim of repairing the economy has been largely successful, the lowest in society are yet to feel the benefits of these advances.
And these cuts are not set to stop any time soon. The Conservative government pledged an additional 12 billion pounds of benefits cuts in the Queen’s speech, which is an event at the start of a Government which outlines the party’s aims for the next five years. The Speech also included a referendum on whether to leave the EU, additional measures to counter extremism and efforts to counter un-employment.
Over the next five years the UK government is going to have to deal with rising tensions between Britain and Scotland and a divided population across Britain. It is unclear whether they will be successful, but it is obvious that the fate of Britain will have far reaching consequences on the world stage.