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Politics and Current Events, Preparations, United Kingdom

The push for Scottish independence

In my zeal to understand my future semester-long home, I’ve been following the talk about Scottish independence.

So, what’s exactly happening? On Jan. 10, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party (SNP) called for a referendum on Scottish secession in 2014.

Of course, I’m not nearly acquainted enough with its nuances to feel comfortable commenting on it, but here’s some articles I’ve found!

Why are England and Scotland Weighing a Break-Up? — Heather Horn, The Atlantic 

The end of the union is coming sooner rather than later — Allan Massie, The Telegraph 

The New Braveheart? Scotland’s Salmond Eyes Independence from the U.K. — Catherine Mayer, Time 

Massie, in particular, is convinced that Scotland will soon secede:

Scotland is drifting away from England and consequently will someday sail out of the United Kingdom. As I have argued in the Telegraph before, this isn’t because Scots are now more different from the English than they used to be. On the contrary it’s because they are more alike, because there are fewer differences in the way people live either side of the old Border. It is precisely because of the greater uniformity that so many Scots feel the need to assert that we are distinct and different.

This should surprise nobody. After all, isn’t it because national distinctions are everywhere being elided or blurred that many elsewhere too feel a similar need to assert their own individuality? Opposition to the European Union has grown in England even as English life becomes more like life as it is lived in Continental Europe. The English have become a nation of wine-drinkers, and the result is the emergence of UKIP [UK Independence Party, who seek the end of British involvement in the European Union].

Horn, while somewhat agreeing with Massie’s analysis of the situation, points out the opposition’s arguments against secession:

Scotland’s a mess in other ways, it would have more international clout as a member of the UK, it’s not actually clear how the energy resources would be divided up or that Scotland would be all that financially successful on its own, and nothing seems to be going horribly wrong with the union, so if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

On a lighter note, the satirical website The Daily Mash came up with a third option — nothing will change if Scotland secedes. If Scotland leaves the UK:

It will still be damp, windy and miles from everywhere.

About Anna Cabe

I'm your average over-stressed Asian-American overachiever, your typical moderately talented wannabe writer, your everyday nerd with subpar social skills. I'm pretty boring really.


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My comments do not represent the views, positions, or opinions of the Fulbright Program, any of its partner institutions, or the United States Department of State.

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January 2012
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