The furore UKIP's success in the English council elections has shown a few of the true colours of Westminster politicians.
David Cameron is floundering, not in a pond, but in an ocean of resentment against his weaknesses regarding the EU and immigration. Until the recent election he was confident that the people - particularly his tory colleagues and supporters - would accept his proposition of an in/out referendum on the EU in 2017, adding the aside that of course it was dependent upon the Tories winning the next general election. Pie in the sky really, because the chances of the Tories winning an outright majority is perhaps 50/50.
This past week quite a few of Cameron's senior colleagues have said they would vote Out in a referendum but say they will abstain from the vote this coming week, should the Speaker accept the amendment. Abstaining is at times a cowardly act, but then politicians think first about their careers and the good of the country appears to matter little.
The mantra that 'we're in a coalition and therefore all have to agree about EU matters', is no longer believed. Most Tories think the LibDems have far too much say in government and the PM doesn't have the capabilities of standing up to Clegg & Co; thus the LibDems have had a very easy ride for doing nothing more than disagreeing with the Tories. Most people know that Nick Clegg will never consent to any form of withdrawal from the EU because his pension relies upon the organisation staying intact.
Then comes the elephant in the room - immigration. Due to mass immigration in the past 10 - 15 years, parts of England are unrecognisable. Integration for many, if they wish to integrate, is nigh impossible because services are completely overstretched and cultural differences make community balanced. In some parts of England it was reported UKIP's successes were more to do with the UK government's immigration policy than the EU. Perhaps that's why UKIP hasn't achieved a foot hold in Scotland.
Immigrants aren't to blame for the problems. Back in the early 80s Margaret Thatcher did away with what was then known as Customs and Excise, (the Customs policed our borders and coastline and the Excise checked all goods entering and leaving the country). It worked reasonably well although there were faults then. A major one was that individual entries to the country were not documented, but Customs officers were assured that once the wonders of IT were installed, it would be simple to record every arrival and departure. Today that still doesn't happen because since the old C & E was 'reorganised', few, if any, of those who had the skills which made our Customs successful, are around and our borders are now policed poorly.
How would an independent Scotland handle immigration? The SNP seldom talks about it, except to say that 'immigration will be encouraged' and perhaps that's understandable, because Scotland would possibly have to pool border security. London would surely insist that that Scotland would not become a 'back door' for illegal migration into England. As Scotland has very limited policing of our vast coastline these days, how an assurance could be given would be debatable.
While a 'new' Scotland would want to encourage immigrants, the numbers must be controlled to ensure that integration occurs and ghettos don't pop up all over cities. One manner is which to control those arriving would be to use a system such as Australia, Canada and the US have been using for some years - a points system.
However, unless England introduces such a system it would be pointless Scotland insisting upon it, because how would it be policed? People don't seem to have any desire to have border controls at Berwick-upon-Tweed or Gretna.
But there are plenty more issues for those supporting the cause of Scottish independence to discuss before immigration. In Scotland we have never had the problem of mass immigration flooding our services, yet we still, in a very small scale, provide every health leaflet in numerous languages and costly interpreters in courts to translate for some who have been here years yet have no grasp of the language.
Is it any wonder the Yes campaign are quite happy to discuss pensions, benefits and other matters when so many in Scotland think an 'open door' policy would be acceptable? Many countries have had great economic success due to the zeal of immigrants (not least Scots), but a balance has to made as to the number and skill set of immigrants to a new Scotland. A double-edged sword indeed.