Saturday, September 06, 2014

Struggling to comprehend Scottish Independence

It would be nice if they would simply come up with a short, to the point, declaration of independence like they had done previously (1320AD):

"As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.  It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself".

The current explanation runs to 670 pages, which certainly is impressive but well short of the amount of paperwork needed to become an EU member.

So here are a list of their grievances:

1. The capital of the UK is in London, which isn't in Scotland.  Apparently I have grown complacent in my acceptance of most of the world being governed by out-of-touch political centers that are located somewhere else.  Enough is enough.  I will bring this up at the next California Devolution committee meeting.

2. The Royal Mail was privatised.  It seems a bit quaint to me, but apparently people still mail letters in Scotland rather than using e-mail.  Furthermore, it is some sort of ancient sacrilege for non-governmental fingers to handle letters.

3. Whereas formerly their aims in gaining independence had nothing to do with riches, the new one boldly declares:  "With independence, Scotland will have the tools we need to turn our rich country into a rich society."  Lest there be any doubt of the value placed on this, they continue: "This will require hard work and effort, but the prize is worth it: we can create a more prosperous, sustainable and successful future for our families, our nation and for ourselves."  At least we don't need to put up with those bloody, hypocritical altruistic explanations.  The strategy for achieving this is to increase the national growth rate, which is easily achieved once they have an independent Bureau of National Statistics.

4. There will be no need to support the UK's Defense Budget.  (This currently runs at about 2.3% of GDP.)  I don't know much about Scotland's current aspirations, but it seems to me that the Picts and Scots primarily had an Offense Budget to support raids into Roman territory, so maybe that is the issue.

5. A big issue is the need to reduce "income inequality".  In the US, we usually translate that slogan into expanding the welfare rolls, and paying for it with deficit spending.  Or to put it another way, it sounds to my American ears that the goal of government independence is to increase government dependence.  But perhaps the Scottish phraseology has a different meaning.

6. Scotland has world class universities, corporations etc., etc., therefore it should be independent.  It is a bit arrogant, but it sort-of works.  Now I am wondering how Putin should view the adjacent small countries which don't have world class universities and corporations that share a border with Russia.  Come to think of it, we could solve the never ending problem with Greece's economic failure by just merging it with Germany.

7. The last cry of defiance is this:  "The most important point, however, in considering what an independent Scotland will look like is this: it will look like the kind of Scotland we as a people choose to build."  This apparently tribal rant must be considered in the context of the definition of who the New Scottish people are to be.  Basically anyone who has been hanging out in Scotland and has a mind to be Scottish would qualify.  At the same time, a key part of the independence goal is to insure that the culture and heritage of Scotland is preserved due to its inherent worth, and not merely as a profit making enterprise as is done in the rest of England.  At the same time, we have this: "For example, VisitScotland developed a unique partnership with the Walt Disney Company to make the most of the opportunity of the animated feature Brave to boost tourism in Scotland".  So we loosen  the ties with the culturally careless English and improve ties with the cultural connoisseurs of Walt Disney.  But a New Scotland and a New Scot probably require a New Scottish Culture and Heritage which could be best created by California media entrepreneurs, so I shouldn't be too narrow minded.

So that is my initial attempt to understand the situation.  Since I am remote and ill informed on these items, I will be happy to any commentator who can set me straight where I have gone wrong or misunderstood the intent of these proceedings.


Rummuser said...

No, you are not wrong anywhere. It is a straightforward scrap between a predominantly left leaning electorate and a right leaning one South of the border.

Looney said...

OK. I was, um, trying to give them the "benefit of the doubt", even though there isn't any doubt!