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Would Scotland Vote to Join the Union?

I came across a very interesting blog today, posted by Blair Jenkins of the Yes Scotland campaign for Scottish Independence.

I want to quote a few lines here, but then I will direct you over to the site for the remainder of his thought-provoking post.

Earlier this week, I caught up over a beer with a friend and former colleague from BBC and STV days, Ron Abercrombie. Ron is an enthusiastic Yes supporter who raised the interesting question of what the anti-independence campaign would look like if Scotland had remained independent and the vote in 2014 was on whether we should now join the union.

Please read the rest of this article by Blair Jenkins here. (The remainder of this post is my own commentary. I am unaffiliated with the Yes Scotland campaign or Mr. Jenkins himself. My words and my views are my own. The above quote was written by Blair Jenkins on the Yes Scotland blog.)

So much of the focus of this debate has been directed at Scotland to prove why she should have autonomy. To prove that she could handle independence, and that her people are capable of governing and supporting themselves.

I personally find the subtext of that focus to be more than a little insulting.

It insinuates that Scotland’s people cannot be capable enough to run their own country, and that they ought to leave the governing of vital issues to Mumsy in London. Scotland is not a child, and her people are far from incompetent.

Jenkins brings up a very good point — what independent, sovereign nation would vote to:

  • have their government hundreds of miles away
  • have their people represented only as a tiny minority
  • allow a massive nuclear arsenal to be located a stone’s throw from their largest metropolis (when the majority of voters oppose nuclear weapons)
  • relinquish all control over immigration
  • hand over their citizens to fight in illegal wars the voters oppose
  • provide huge amounts of energy, oil, and natural gas from which they will see little profit or gain and render said profit and gain to another country
  • remand control of healthcare and education to a nation seeking privatisation
  • live under a government 85% of voters are diametrically opposed to

It sounds absurd.

It sounds like America in 2000 getting stuck with George W. Bush when the bumbling Electoral College plunked him in the Oval Office — if he’d lost by a margin of 85%-15% instead of the slimmer margin of popular votes he received.

It sounds like a joke.

It’s not a joke.

Most Scots oppose nuclear warfare and weaponry. Most Scots are much farther left on the political spectrum than their English counterparts. Scotland’s people deserve a government that reflects their values, their hopes for the future, and the dignity of their unique history. They deserve to be an equal partner on the world’s stage instead of having their interests brushed off as a fringe minority.

If there is a clearer example of why any nation on earth should be independent, point me toward it. The Kurds and the Palestinians are stuck in a much more violent version of this tale.

Scotland deserves the right to chart her own course.

As a voter, would you choose to live under a government so drastically differing from your own views and so oblivious and dismissive of your needs? Would you vote to have projects you find abhorrent sheltered on your doorstep? Would you vote your countrypeople into a war you find immoral and illegal? Would you sacrifice the social values you hold for someone else’s prerogative? Would you allow politicians to cut off programs that entice bright, educated people to migrate to your land when your cities are undergoing a brain drain?

If you answered yes to any of those questions at all, I would sincerely like to know why.

From immigration to nuclear development, energy to education, Scotland differs from its southern neighbour in many distinct ways. If Scotland were still an independent nation today and the question raised was whether she ought to join England, Wales, and Northern Ireland — would her people find that the best route? Or would they give a respectful shake of the head and raise the saltire to fly with pride?



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