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Is an Independent Scotland at hand?

Is an Independent Scotland at hand?

Will the pro-independence movement get the divorce they want in September 18 elections?

Could Scotland once again be an independent nation? They will if the Scottish National Party has their way. Just a few years ago, Scottish independence was a long shot, now, the argument appears to be in a dead heat.

According to The Guardian:

Last October, the yes/no split was 37% to 63%, suggesting that the traditional two-to-one balance against independence was holding in the referendum context. But then the nationalists began to narrow the gap. In February, Westminster’s three unionist parties made a heavy-handed intervention on the question of the currency, warning that an independent Scotland could not count on keeping the pound.

This backfired, and by April, the poll of polls was running at 45%-55%. The race was looking increasingly competitive, before opinion congealed and then froze. Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games and the first debate, which a Guardian/ICM poll established Alistair Darling had won for the no camp, came and went without materially affecting the picture.

The last debate between the Scottish National Party and the British Labour Party produced a strong win for the SNP. A Guardian/ICM poll taken immediately after the debate showed 71% of respondents handing victory to Alex Salmond, the SNP’s pro-independence spokesman. Whether a debate win translates to actual votes is another issue though.

Reuters summarizes:

“The eyes of the world are indeed focused on Scotland,” Salmond told the audience in an emotional opening statement, urging Scots to vote for full independence. “This is our time, our moment. Let us do it now.”

Scotland’s health service would be better off under independence, he argued, questioning whether the British government would give Scotland more devolved powers in the event that Scots reject independence.

Scotland already has its own parliament with control over policy areas such as education and health.

The debate (an interesting watch if you have the time to spare):

The pro-independence movement has outlined an entire proposal on what Scottish independence would look like, complete with snazzy infographics. In their proposal, they cite three reasons to pursue independence:

1)  To create a more democratic Scotland

2) To build a more prosperous country

3) To become a fairer society

But don’t worry, Scotland would still be a constitutional monarchy with the Queen being the head of state.

An independent Scotland might have implications beyond the UK though. As the Washington Post points out, Scotland is home to Britain’s Trident Nuclear program. Who would get custody of that program in the event of a divorce is not entirely clear:

But if Scotland votes “yes” in an independence referendum next month, the submarines could ­become nuclear-armed nomads, without a port to call home. Washington’s closest and most important ally could, in turn, be left without the ultimate deterrent, even as Europe’s borders are being rattled anew by a resurgent Russia.

Former NATO secretary general George Robertson, a Scotsman, said in a speech in Washington earlier this year that a vote for independence would be “cataclysmic” for Western security, and that ejecting the nuclear submarines from Scotland would amount to “disarming the remainder of the United Kingdom.”

The pro-independence campaign promptly accused Robertson of hyperbolic scaremongering. But the possibility that Britain could become the only permanent member of the U.N. Security Council without a nuclear deterrent underscores just how much is at stake far beyond these silent bays and verdant ridgelines when Scotland’s 5 million residents go to the polls Sept. 18.

As mentioned above, Scots will head to the polls September 18th to decide whether or not to terminate the over 300 year old marriage with England.

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The decision may come down to non-Scots who now live in Scotland. It may be so close that Brits in Glasgow may be the deciding factor.

I despair for my (dominant) ancestral home (generally, all Americans are mongrels…which is actually good).

They have become indolent, dependent, and thuggish, as well as anti-Semitic.

Directly the result of decades of Collectivist living.

Henry Hawkins | August 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm

My father was born in Motherwell, Scotland, immigrated to the US in 1934. Were he alive, he’d be all up for Scottish independence.

My mother was born in Ireland, but we don’t talk about that.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    My first wife was the granddotter of a Swede and Norwegian. Just a hundred years or so ago, that would have been an impermissible mixed marriage. The folks warmly hated each other. History is funny…

I could be wrong since I don’t follow euro politics all that carefully, but isn’t this a referendum over how much farther to the left the Scots wish to be? In essence the British Labor party is on the right and the nationalists are to their left?
So perhaps England would be better off having those votes removed from their own elections?

As to the results of the debate between the Scottish and the Labour parties and the winner being the Scottish party it doesn’t mean that much. I just read that after Romney destroyed obama in their second debate that only .05% of voters changed their vote because of that outcome. I suspect that there will be many who will do the same in Scotland.

    heimdall in reply to inspectorudy. | August 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    As I understand it, the Scots leaving the union would leave England in conservative control for the foreseeable future as Scotland and Wales are big suppliers of Labour members to Parliament. It would be the equivalent of taking New York and California out of our country in terms of political impact.

Subotai Bahadur | August 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

My heart wants an independent Scotland. My head says it may be a cluster.

Keeping in mind that UK politics is such that the Conservative Party [Tories] is about where the US Democrats are on policy; which says much about where the Liberal Democrats and Labour are, independence will affect both countries politically.

Scotland is a Labour stronghold in the UK. Independence means that Scotland will be a Leftist nation beyond doubt. And it means that in what remains of the UK, that bloc of Labour seats will not be there. Which will shift the balance of power somewhat to the Right [remembering where the Tories stand]. It also may loosen things up a bit to give the UKIP a shot at forming a Parliamentary bloc. Britain leaving the EU would be to our and Britain’s benefit from my point of view. It shuffles the deck down south.

    SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | August 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    That’s what I was thinking as well. My mom’s family is from Scotland. Mom married an American submariner (my dad) and left to travel the world. Most of our family that remains in Scotland is on benefits, welfare, the dole, call it what you will. It chapped my grandmother’s hide until the day she died that friends and family with a good relationship with their GP could get just about anything they needed or wanted, and claim it was part of their medical care. If that didn’t work, they made friends with someone who worked for the local council and got everything else they wanted. I have relatives that haven’t worked a day in their lives, but own homes and cars, and go on “holiday” a couple times each year.

    I’m not too concerned with Scottish independence. It will be another example of a failed leftist state soon enough. Close to 90% of households in Scotland take in more in benefits than they pay in taxes, the system will collapse under its own weight sooner rather than later.

    Scotland would be in for a bit of a rude awakening, which may well result in a lurch to the right politically.

    About 75% of the population is on the dole, and most of the money for it comes from England.

    “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” – The Scots may be about to find out what happens when you deliberately cut yourself off, as a nation, from the “other people’s money” that you’ve been living on.

Humphrey's Executor | August 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm

The most important question: How will independence affect the scotch supply?

just what the world needs: another third world country looking for international handouts.

I hope that this occurs and that those of us in the South can have our independence and freedom as well.

Let them go, and Labor will hardly ever win an English election.

A country isn’t really independent unless they can defend their borders independent of anyone else. They might make all kinds of puffy chested noises about being independent but as long as you depend on someone else to save your ass if some other country decides it wants a piece of you, you are not truly independent.

Henry Hawkins | August 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I would like to commend the LI community for not posting any Star Trek ‘Scotty’ jokes.