I have been reading some article on the movement for Scottish independence and the referendum that will take place this September. The latest polls show an increase in the yes side but it is still too early to say which side has the lead. It seems a lot of Scots folk haven’t made up their mind on the subject.
I also am a member of a Forum called Celtic Radio (out of Boston Mass,) and reading what our American cousins are clamouring about you would almost think that it was them that were for independence. The people of Scotland and not those like me who were born there or are descendants of Scots will make the choice. I ‘might have been born there and I am proud of my heritage but I am no more Scottish than an Inuit living on Baffin Island. I left Scotland 65 years ago at the age of 5 and have lived in Canada ever since. My education, up bring, and my culture is Canadian. In the 65 years I have been back to Scotland twice, 1963, and 2007. The last trip made me finally realize that I’m not a Scot but a Canadian through and through. Hell I have trouble understanding them when they speak and it is English but not the English I was raised to speak. It was not just the minor differences in language it was the difference in attitude and culture. As much as I hate to admit it a lot of American culture comes across the border and mingles with ours. Maybe that is why it is difficult to define a Canadian from a Yank at times. I guess our biggest thing is “We are not Americans”. Even in Scotland as soon as I opened my mouth to speak people thought I was a Yank. Sort of pissed me off but mostly I realized that to them I must sound like our southern cousins.
Anyway to get back to the subject of Scottish Independence. I guess I sort of like the idea of an independent Scotland but I am not 100% convinced that it is the right road for the country to take. Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for 307 years, that is longer than Canada or the U.S. have been countries. Granted the union was somewhat forced upon the Scots and made its way in through the back door with just the moneyed wanting it. Also there was the threat of invasion as the English had marshalled an army in the event that the implementation of the Union failed. The Union has been a fairly good deal but the advantage has definitely been on the side of England having the bigger population and the wherewithal to assert its’ preferences. In his History of Scotland “The Lion in the North” John Pebbles states “that the British Empire was built by the Blood of its’ Scottish Troops”. In many cases this was true as Highland Regiments were usually the shock troops of the British Army. “The thin Red Line” and all that. Even here in my adopted country it was the Fraser Highlanders that made the final charge at Quebec defeating the French under Montcalm.
As it now stands Scotland has some pretty good reasons for being independent. The North Sea yields oil and a large portion of the undersea fields are in Scottish Territorial waters. From some of the things I have read Scotland has a pretty fair economy and a lot of potential. There are also report out that say Scotland will suffer dire economic consequences if it becomes independent. The gist I am getting is no one really knows what will happen. I am completely at sea when it comes to economics and leave the majority of my big financial actions to my oldest to help figure out. In simple terms I am a lousy money manager. For me to get into a discussion about any economic or financial thing would be like holding a physics debate with a chimpanzee.
When all is said and done it will be the Scottish people who will decide their fate. In the grand scheme of things it must be remembered that whatever the decision is it is and always will be “SCOTLAND”