How a £2 coin changed the landscape of British politics FOREVER

by Lorne Mitchell on 07/05/2015

In 2011, a Scottish couple, Colin and Chris Weir bought five EuroMillions tickets.  The tickets cost £2 each.

£2Euro Millions Ticket

Colin and Chris won £161,653,000 pounds

Celebration

 

and celebrated the fact!

So how on earth did that change the landscape of UK politics?

Well, Colin and Chris gave £3m to the Scottish National Party (SNP) and a further £3m to the same party for their independence campaign.  This money has accounted for about 80% of the SNP’s funding.  With this money, the SNP has radically changed the balance of power in Scotland – and the SNP are likely to win over 50 seats in today’s general election.  By this time tomorrow, we will all know the exact number.

In turn, this has devastated one of the Labour Party’s strongholds.  The two main political parties – the Conservative party and the Labour party – stand neck-and-neck in the closest run election for 40 years.  It has been the first campaign where the minority parties have been invited to debate on the same stage as the two major parties.  That, alone, has changed the whole way that people vote.  The number of people who have said to me that they are confused and don’t know which way to vote has been many more than previous elections.  Should I vote blue, green, yellow, red, or purple?  Who knows?

In five years time, in 2020, the SNP could have forced the independence of Scotland.  The United Kingdom might no longer exist.  Britain might have left Europe.  All these things are possible outcomes in a scenario of different winners or losers.  Who will win?  Who will lose?  Who knows?

However, it is very probable that the next election will be before 2020 particularly if there is no party with a clear majority.  The same happened in 1974 – a year I remember well.  My father was an MP from 1970-74 and gave up his seat in Aberdeenshire, Scotland before that double election year.  Several years of uncertainty ensued.  It was probably another Scottish butterfly – North Sea Oil – that saved the Union that time around.  I’m not sure what the saviour of the Union could be this time around.  Maybe another lottery ticket?  Maybe the second coming?  Who knows?

Many believe that the whole democratic machine is broken.  That the UK’s first past the post system is out of date and unfair.  The Green Party might win 10% of the National vote – yet only win one seat.  The SNP might win 4% of the vote and win 50 seats. Yet neither of the largest parties supports the idea of proportional representation.  How can the system be changed for the better when the vested interests of the two main parties don’t support the idea?  Who knows?

And yet the eventual impact of the Butterfly Effect of the Weirs’ £2 coin might well not yet be played out.  The result of this British General Election might well cause an even bigger set of knock-on effects in the global financial markets and even cause this current bubble to burst.  Who knows?

The EuroMillions Jackpot this Friday stands at £29m.  We seem to live in a Lottery Society where the only certainty is that someone will win or the game will roll-over.  Going to buy five tickets.  Much more fun!  Game on!  Will I win?  Who knows?

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