United Kingdom

If It's Not Scottish, It's Crap

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An old cause comes round again: Scottish independence. In The Guardian, Simon Jenkins makes the case for partition:

The Scottish debate shows British politics at its most conservative. Any sign of a desire for local autonomy, in any part of the United Kingdom, is seen at Westminster as uppity insubordination by people ignorant of their best interests. Unionism may have disappeared from Britain's industry, but it is the ruling ethos of its politics. Big is beautiful if British. The prevailing wisdom holds that anyone, be they Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish or, for that matter, Iraqi or Afghan, must be better off under the benign custodianship of London. Imperialism is still Westminster's default mode. Surely nobody could be richer, safer or freer than with a British soldier on every corner and a British subsidy under every belt….

The phased withdrawal of the subvention would be traumatic, but it would do Scotland nothing but good to learn that public money does not grow on English trees. If economic history teaches anything, it is that huge inflows of aid rot an economy, while "unearned" wealth, as from oil, is usually wasted. The phased end of the subsidy would be thoroughly good for Scotland, not bad.

Partition is the new politics, despite being the hobgoblin of centralism. It is through partition that Ireland is booming, Slovakia reviving and the Baltic states prospering….In the multi-tiered sovereignties of Europe only one thing is for sure, that the tiers will argue. In that argument power will always be centripetal and democracy always centrifugal. I prefer democracy.

[Via Mark Brady.]

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  1. This would presumably require repeal of the 1707 Acts of Union, and would throw the status of the monarchy into question, as the Queen of England is also the Queen of Scotland. Of course, the Scots would probably be the better off not having to subsidize the old biddy…

  2. By the way, despite my legalistic post above, I’m guessing that the real sticking point is the fate of the North Sea oil. That is within Scottish territory, I believe.

  3. Can anyone say Basque, Breton, Catalan, etc. “independence” or at least “semi-sovereignty?”

  4. I believe the latest research shows that independence is more popular among English voters than Scots.

  5. DavidS, that raises an interesting question. Can the Scots be kicked out of the Union against their will?

  6. Devolution ought logically to lead to a more federal UK. The various “kingdoms” would, like U.S. states or Canadian provinces, gain more power and responsibility, and London’s would be reduced. Westminster would deal with foreign policy, defense and other national concerns, while Holyrood, Stormont and the Senedd would take the places of Albany, Sacramento and Harrisburg.

    Unfortunately, it seems that, since the devolution movement has been led by pols who are as dedicated to socialism as they are to nationalism, adding a layer has resulted in more, not less government. Add the diktats from the Eurocrats in Brussels, and Alba has been in for some serious overgoverning lately.

    Kevin

    Cuimnidh ar Luimneach agus ar Feall na Sasanach!

  7. I believe the latest research shows that independence is more popular among English voters than Scots.

    So even the English want to be independent from England, huh?

  8. Can we please kill off the idiot Wilsonian notion that every half-baked ethnic group deserves its own country?

  9. The Scots, a half-baked ethnic group? Sounds like you need to be hung upside down from a tree with a claymore shoved up your ass, laddie.

  10. This would presumably require repeal of the 1707 Acts of Union, and would throw the status of the monarchy into question, as the Queen of England is also the Queen of Scotland.

    I doubt it. The queen would still be queen of Scotland, it would just be a situation more akin to Canada than the UK is right now. The queen is queen of Canada, too, but Canada goes about its business with no interference from Westminster. Likely the same situation would obtain in Scotland: the two kingdoms would be united in personal union, but not political union, and Scotland would have complete control over its own affairs.

  11. Free Scotland!

    Aye, the very thought of it makes me as steely hard as a claymore.

    We don’t need any Krauts leading our bonnie nation, lads. I’m sure we can conjure up a Stuart or two, if we look hard enough.

  12. Frreeeeeedddommmmm!

  13. Alba gu Bra!

  14. We don’t need any Krauts leading our bonnie nation, lads. I’m sure we can conjure up a Stuart or two, if we look hard enough.

    The present heir to the Jacobite claims to the throne of England is Franz, Duke of Bavaria. You don’t even have to look hard; Wikipedia’s done all the work for you.

  15. The present heir to the Jacobite claims to the throne of England is Franz, Duke of Bavaria.

    Geez, and here I thought we libertarians were the biggest champions of lost causes…

  16. Brothers and sisters are natural born enemies! Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damned Scots! They ruined Scotland!

  17. I lived in Edinburgh for six months in ’94, and there was no doubt who ‘the enemy’ was. It was interesting–that was at the beginning of the real unification of Europe (just before the Euro and similar things) and it was viewed much more favorably north of Hadrian’s Wall than south. We read The Scotsman during the week and The Times on Sundays. Letters to the editor of The Scotsman trashed the English, while letters to the editor of The Times trashed the Yanks. It was quite amusing…
    While I agree with the previous poster that not every ethnic group (however baked…) needs its own country, there certainly needs to be some local government in the UK.

  18. DavidS, that raises an interesting question. Can the Scots be kicked out of the Union against their will?
    More importantly, can Utah be kicked out of this Union?

  19. Maybe they can’t be kicked out of the union, but the other constituent parts can all leave and form their own union, like the formation of the NHL (every club but Toronto left the old league to form the new one), or what they did to Napoleon (You can still be emperor. Everyone except Elba is leaving the empire. Deal with it.)

  20. More importantly, can Utah be kicked out of this Union?

    and take Texas with them.

  21. More importantly, can Utah be kicked out of this Union?

    Utah’s a little wierd, sure. But how about getting rid of Washington, DC?

    OTOH there’s a difference between the U.S. having fifty states and Britain having three or four, that being size. A lot of our states are bigger than Britain, as well as most of the other EU countries.

  22. Geez, and here I thought we libertarians were the biggest champions of lost causes…

    Not quite 🙂

  23. Just for you Jesse:

    “I hate being Scottish. We’re the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English, but I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. We can’t even pick a decent culture to be colonized by. We are ruled by effete arseholes. It’s a shite state of affairs and all the fresh air in the world will not make any fucking difference.”
    Renton

  24. Look, any culture that invented haggis and the deep-fried Mars Bar has got to have something going for it.

    More seriously, the Nation-State idea may be reaching its limit in certain areas. Considering that there’s already an overriding type of sovereignity in the EU itself, I don’t see why we shouldn’t see more breaking up within the borders.

    Devolving of authority down to the lower levels–isn’t that what libertarians are supposed to be in favor of?

    (Of course, the final lower limit is something like what Iraq is nowadays—I’m surprised archno-libertarians haven’t commented on this. Maybe they’re too embarrassed.)

  25. Texas Hater:Texas will be happy to pick up its toys (and the original property we won from Mexico in 1836 [like 3/4 of New Mexico, with a strip of Colorado thrown on top]), and stay home, out of the FEB’s empiranny any time you Yankers ask us to. Now, Utah well, if the Mormans and other tough hombres living there want to join us, be welcomed, if not, rule yourselves, not us!

  26. grumpy realist,
    Don’t forget a little thing called the Elightenment.

  27. Can the Scots be kicked out of the Union against their will?

    I would have thought so. But it’s highly unlikely considering the fact that the Norn Irish weren’t kicked out.

    Opinion polls, of course, don’t tell us much about what people would do when faced by a referendum…

  28. WTF does “the Enlightenment” have to do with anything? Look more into the collapse of the over-authorities in Europe–the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope.

  29. Devolving of authority down to the lower levels … Of course, the final lower limit is something like what Iraq is nowadays

    Well, sometimes it take a civil war to get there.

  30. Devolving of authority down to the lower levels–isn’t that what libertarians are supposed to be in favor of?

    Sovereignty blocs at the lower levels. Trade and migration blocs at the higher levels.

    You don’t see overwhelming enthusiasm for this from libertarians because ethnic nationalism is a crude tool for producing freedom, and one that usually fails.

  31. WTF does “the Enlightenment” have to do with anything?

    My guess is bill was offering another contribution to the world from Scottish culture.

  32. If Scotland can revive the Scottish Enlightenment, then I’ll fight for Scottish freedom. We could use another Smith and Hume or two.

    Scotland forever! 🙂

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