Principia Discordia > Aneristic Illusions

Scottish Independence

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Cain:
So, a huge, hilarious fight between the Scottish Government and Parliament has finally kicked off.

The issue is that of who actually gets to declare a referendum that can make Scotland independent: the Scottish government or the one in London.  Each claims they themselves have the mandate and the constitutional right to do so.  As such, hilarity has ensued.

It's not a simple yes/no question, incidentally.  While I favour Scottish independence (I think I have a good claim for a Scottish passport), the "devo max" option of transferring a large amount of powers and financial independence to Scotland, but staying within the Union, is also a very popular position.

I also think the Tories doth protest too much.  By having a fight with the SNP, everyone wins except Labour.  Scotland will be resentful of English, Tory interference in their affairs and so will cleave to the SNP more tightly, meaning the vote for Labour will drop significantly.  Meanwhile, if Cameron's own blundering makes Scottish independence more likely, that also makes Tory dominance of English politics more likely (without Scotland voting Labour MPs, the Conservatives have a "structural majority" in UK politics).

Now, all of this could be a little too Machiavellian for The Most Chaotic Government Ever to actually consider.  But I'm not so sure.

Anyway, it's going to be fun to watch in the meantime, even if it eventually dooms England to 20 more years of Our Mate Dave running the place.

Phox:
That is interesting. I'll like to see it play out as well.

Demolition_Squid:
I have to admit, I find the idea of Scottish (and Welsh) independence a little bit silly. Mostly because we're a very small island with highly interconnected economies. I also dislike the idea that all those Scottish people (like you, by the sound of it) who have moved to England might be denied a say in whether or not their place of birth gets to stay within the Union.

I also find it aggravating that it is cheaper for someone from France to go to university in Scotland than someone from England. Because for some reason, Europe-ness only counts when it is from the continent? Bizarre. Stupid.

But both Scotland and England have benefited massively from the Union. It has taken a long time, and seeing it start to break up is causing a rise in ugly rhetoric about 'Englishness'. I've got absolutely no claim to anything other than being 'English' if Britain ceases to exist, and most of the people who claim to represent 'Englishness' are disgusting human beings.

All of that said...

I do have to fall in with the Scottish parliament on this, if only because of practical reasons. If the question needs to be asked, nobody else is going to ask it. I hope that this whole issue goes away, but as it seems to have been gathering more and more steam since Thatcher decided it was a great idea to fuck Scotland sideways, I doubt it is going to. Which means more ignorant yammering from people prodding the 'sleeping lion' and even more dividing lines to draw ourselves up along.

Cain:
Well, strictly speaking, I'm not Scottish.  However, I do have a Scottish family background (my last name is Scottish, a clan name in fact) and I lived there for four years while studying.  If I had to choose, I would take Scottish over English citizenship in a heartbeat.

Sure, the Union seems a better economic situation than independence.  But this has been building steam for a long time.  In addition to Thatcherite stupidity, you have a political and media class who are intensely hostile to Scotland and Scottish independence or even political influence at any level (remember the hilarious conspiracy theorizing about a "Scottish cabal" during the Blair years?  Most Scots do), bolstered by a petulant English public whose whining and moaning while holding the majority of power in the Union really infuriates even the most mild-mannered of Scottish nationalists.

The way the Scottish see things, it's been insult upon insult delivered by the the most powerful factions of English society against Scottish claims for autonomy and a greater national identity with political influence.  Of course, there is also the idea that the Scottish political elite would gain much greater influence in an independent Scotland, even if it meant a decrease in overall influence for Scotland and England in the world.  Better to rule in hell and all that.

Also, there is the issue concerning the North Sea oil deposits, which has, to my knowledge, never been concluded successfully.  Scotland claims all of them, England claims half.  I wont deny admitting I kinda hope that devolves into a war.  I am very willing to off David Cameron in the event of a Scottish-English oil war, just give me a uniform, a rank and a serial number.  Quotes from Braveheart while doing so will cost extra.

Demolition_Squid:
You are right, of course.

The problem is that the English national character is essentially one of over-inflated self importance. We love to perpetuate this idea of England as the underdog who paradoxically rules the waves. That isn't helped by the media (largely based in London of course) continuously feeding us stories about how life in the UK is so much easier if you are anything other than English. Which is patently false, but popularly believed.

Amusingly, my dad was always very proud of his scottish roots. Then we did some family history digging and it turns out we have absolutely no claim to anything other than Englishness as far back as we can find, excepting one relative in the 1800s who may have been exported to America under dubious circumstances.

The final problem is that Tom Nairn is a bit of a dick and Scottish independence would make him happy, so I have a kneejerk reaction against it.

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