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Scots Wha Hae?!

  • September 12th, 2014
  • Posted by EU Australia

scots flagReality has dogged the inspirational campaign for Scottish independence in the form of persistent negative opinion polls; the latest, a week out from the independence referendum gives the ‘no’ vote a 52-48% winning margin.

Scottish ParliamentPressure for a decision built up after the Scottish Nationalist party won elections to the Scots regional parliament in 2007, resulting in last year’s agreement with Westminster to put the matter to a vote.

The Nationalist government achieved a major concession in getting the vote held within Scotland only. Other states insist that secession can only be done by agreement of the whole country, not just the part that might break away, and will go to war over it, e.g. the United States in the 1860s, Nigeria in the 1960s, most recently Ukraine this year.

(The design of its parliamentary complex in the old city of Edinburgh, picture, emphasises the new, looking to a bright future).

This Thursday, 18.9.14, some 4- million people living in Scotland aged 16 and over will be asked: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Leaders of the three main British political parties – Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat – this week campaigned for the ‘no’ vote in Scotland, arguing for strength in unity; the Scottish nationalists said it was a ‘day trip’ by outsiders.

The ‘yes’ vote has come from behind in surveys, one poll last week giving it a slight lead, but the overall trend has been negative.

Possibly too much water has passed beneath the bridge since the union of England and Scotland under one Crown, and one government in 1707.

Stark differences remain: Cultural background of peoples; resentment over the Thatcherite ‘restructures’ of the 1980s that hastened Scottish de-industrialisation, (and banished the Tory Party from all but a very few constituencies North of the border); the issue of who should get the royalties from North Sea oil, and how much remains to be got.

The Scottish regional government has also preserved a stronger social security sector than England. It wants to keep Queen Elizabeth as the head of state, and keep its sterling currency, shared with England. Adopting the Euro might not appeal, if the budget requirements for doing that closed off the option for deficit spending when needed, in welfare-minded Edinburgh.

While Scottish regiments have fought with high distinction under the British flag, under independence the Royal Navy would be expected to withdraw its nuclear submarines from their base in Scotland.

Burns, robertRESIZE wikipediaThe Scots bard, Robert Burns (picture), wrote his patriortic song Scots Wha Hae in 1793, harkening back to battles with England over independence in medaieval times, and foreshadowing others to come.

Severin Carrell, Poll: support for Scottish independence cools as referendum draws near, The Guardian, Manchester, 12.9.14., (12.9.14).

Pictures wikipedia