You guys, this could be my last ever post this side of the Union! The next time I write, one quarter of my nationality (ethnic background? Family history?) might be foreign. Which would take my total amount of Britishness down to… like, a quarter. I’m not actually sure. Independence could cause a bit of confusion in England for people like my dad and his siblings, most of whom I think were born in England, but all of whom have lived in Glasgow and are Scottish on my grandfather’s side. Does this mean they can get another passport? Will we all need to get our passports out when we cross the boarder for Hogmanay or the Edinburgh Fringe? I dunno, because Scotland would probably have to apply to the UN to be a sovereign state (and join the queue behind Kosovo and Somaliland I think) and also apply to join the EU (behind Iceland, Albania and Turkey to name but a few).
It’s a bit complicated, innit, and the SNP should have clarified this. In fact, they may have clarified it in the last week or so but I’ve become so fed up with the sudden wave of campaigning that I’ve stopped paying attention and am just waiting for the result. Is it just me, or was nobody in the mainstream media particularly interested until about three weeks ago?
I’ve discussed my opinions about independence in a relatively calm state of mind – now the vote is actually upon us, I’m resisting the urge to post “DON’T DOOO IIITTTTTT SCOTLAND WE NEEED EACH OTHER PLEEEAAASSSEEE JUST CHOOSE DEVOLUTION PLEEAAASSEEE!!!” everywhere online. That might not fit into a Tweet, now I come to think of it, so I might just go and work on The Webways and choose which tartan skirt I want to wear tomorrow, grinding my teeth about the inherent shittiness of all politicians and wondering if the rest of the UK will get a vote if Scotland remains in the Union but is granted more governmental powers.
Oh, and I’ve decided to update the sidebar. Cleaner, huh. I’ll get one I’m happy with in the end.
The government’s gone and bought itself a massive effing boat, the unveiling of which is a massive effing attempt to convince the Scottish people to vote Union. Personally, I would then vote ‘no’ because will the Scottish government have a warship capable of carrying “40 jets and helicopters”? No. Because the Scottish government will not be able to afford a paper bag after independence, having spent everything on large tariffs and taxes it currently avoids as a member of the UK and EU. Or pro-independence celebrations. Or new flags. Or new currency. Or a new national broadcasting service.
This old-ish Guardian article explains the referendum pretty well and suggests that Scotland would, in fact keep the pound and the monarchy. But since when has a newly independent country kept the nice bits about its old state and just gained power? The last countries to join the UN as sovereign states were South Sudan in 2011 (result of civil war in Sudan. Now there is just inter-state war), Montenegro in 2006 (ex-Yugoslavia, ’nuff said) and Timor-Leste in 2002 (ex-Indonesia, massive guerilla war for ages). It’s pretty rare for peaceful states to suddenly declare independence, because usually a region wants sovereignty due to ethnic or religious differences with their neighbours. So, does Scotland have significant ethnic or religious differences from the rest of the UK?
Not really, no.
The UK is traditionally Christian, though secularism is increasing pretty much everywhere; most British people have family from elsewhere in the UK because we’re a small group of islands (most people aren’t hugely British going back a few generations but that’s a rant for another time). As far as I can tell, the biggest “national differences” are accent, traditional choice of alcohol and “national treasures”. Even then it’s dubious because let’s face it everyone loves Shakespeare and Robbie Burns and Lily Allen and Alexander Graham Bell. Okay I’m being facetious and I’ve done absolutely no statistical research for this whole paragraph… but it sounds like the SNP seriously expect to gain independence, keep all the things it likes about Britain, remove all those it doesn’t and magically fix all its problems.