Archive for September, 2014

Scotland’s choice

September 17, 2014

Scotland is voting on independence, and it’s neck and neck.

It’s unarguable that the United Kingdom has done many significant things, for good and ill. Scottish nationalists like to claim Scotland as a victim of imperialism, but the reality is more complicated. Scots took a leading role in the British Empire, and were as willing to enslave and exploit (and sometimes assist) as the English. To pretend victimization now should draw scorn from those who had a real claim to it.

So why seek independence now, when Scotland has been moving towards greater autonomy? It’s part of the crisis of confidence in the British state. Britons have learned that their society had been rotten to the core for a long while, with rings of sexual abuse and corruption at its highest levels. The windfall of North Sea oil was squandered, and the people’s party led the country into a worse than pointless war with Iraq. The once-proud Liberal party sold all its principles for a Deputy Prime Ministership and a failed attempt at electoral reform. Scotland was caught between uncaring Tories and a Labour party filled with Blairite careerists and time-serving numpties.

Could Scotland be any worse off? Perhaps, if it goes for independence. An independence where the SNP proposes to keep on using the pound and threatens default if it doesn’t get its way. Why do they want to keep the pound? Well, it’s stable, it’s a known quantity, and it makes sense, given the border and close trade relationships between England and Scotland. JUST LIKE THE ENTIRE IDEA OF THE U.K.!

The nationalists would retort that even if there were problems, they could be resolved eventually. And they are right – what is even thirty years of downturn compared to the lifetime of a nation? But that cuts both ways. Eventually Cameron will be as little-remembered as the 1st Viscount Sidmouth, and Britain will continue on, one way or another. Against all the wrongs of the U.K., set the defeat of fascism, the successful union of nations, the benefits of liberty without the harshness of the U.S., the invention of television, and Dr. Who. In the final analysis, the Scots are much more similar than different to the rest of the U.K. And we are all better together.