We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Why I want Scotland to vote YES

I have many Scottish friends, both north and south of the border. My views have nothing to do with ethnicity, it is entirely about political culture. And if other Samizdatistas want to say why they want a NO vote, by all means do so.

I am of the view that English political culture has become steadily more toxic, hollowed out by multiculturalism and moral relativism, resulting in shocking incidents like the Rotherham scandal. Indeed the Tory party is hardly a conservative party at all, and is increasingly interchangeable with Labour and the LibDems. The mere fact the Tories chose David Cameron as leader tells you something about the state of the Stupid Party, a man unable to win an outright majority against probably the most inept, least charismatic and most spectacularly unsuccessful Labour Prime Minster since Harold Wilson. Yet the best Cameron could manage was a coalition.

But there are quite a few counter currents. The classical liberal tradition is not dead and buried, and it is by no means impossible to posit plausible scenarios in which the values of Cobden, Acton, Burke, Mandeville and… Adam Smith… and other followers of what Hayek called the “British Tradition” such as Montesquieu and de Tocqueville, once again informed a mainstream political movement. Those traditions of thought are not dead, they are just… waiting. At least in England.

But it has long seemed clear to me that as toxic as the political culture had become in England, it is even worse in Scotland.

And so my support for an independent Scotland is not because I do not think there are many fine classical liberals and other friends of genuine liberty north of the border, but rather there are just not enough of them. It is an exercise in ‘political triage’ on my part. Much as I would love to see Scotland once again embrace Adam Smith and Hume, I cannot see that happening any time soon. I may admire those willing to stay and fight for a better Scotland than the one they will get under the likes of Salmond, but I think it is a fight they cannot win.

And that is why I support Scottish independence. I see it as a gangrenous limb in need of political amputation, or we risk loosing everything it is attached to.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

63 comments to Why I want Scotland to vote YES

  • svs

    Perry, that does make sense. My view is that if they really want to go, then good luck to them. However, for such a major change I’m not sure a simple majority is a good idea.

    On the other hand, it will be fascinating seeing what will happen to them (and us to a much lesser extent) if they do vote yes. And, indeed, across all those other regions in the EU with similar ambitions. I’m really tempted to buy popcorn in bulk…

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    I also would vote yes, if I had a vote. Sadly, if the latest polls are anything to go by, it looks like being a narrow No.

    But if the Scots do oblige us by voting Yes, I am more optimistic about their chances of shaking themselves out of their current malaise than Perry is. At present, they behave like a classic welfare claimant. Independence might, provided only that we English don’t continue to subsidise them, face Scotland with the obligation to balance its own books. Deprived of the chance to blame England for everything, they just might concoct their own version of economic realism, and snap out of it, and resume making the same kind of creative contribution to the world that they once used to, or at least trying to. It might take a while, and they will probably have to endure a somewhat Venezuelan interim. But I actually think that the pro-economic-sanity argument in Scotland might become more winnable after independence happens, more winnable than it is now.

  • RogerC

    I have also heard the counter argument that a few years of failed socialism might be exactly the wake up call Scotland needs to revitalise its own political culture. I have no idea of the likelihood of this happening, I merely mention it as an alternate possibility. I suspect the odds are not good, but you never know.

    That said, without UKIP or another credible competitor to keep the Tory party on its toes (I was going to say “keep the Tory party honest”, but then I caught myself…), I suspect that Scottish independence wouldn’t do much for the rUK either. Any party which can assume a comfortable majority in most years will have little incentive to trim the state and every incentive to buy votes through largesse. Even with UKIP around I think it’s going to be a struggle, long and bitter at best, losing at worst.

  • I am more optimistic about their chances of shaking themselves out of their current malaise than Perry is.

    I would be delighted if that proved to be the case. I am always happy to be wrong when bad things I expect do not in fact happen.

  • Alex

    I was a unionist but the contempt the ruling class has for England is despicable. Even now the English are not getting a vote on this important issue. I wish there were 2 referendums going on (or perhaps 4) so that the issue could be settled once and for all. The English, seemingly despised by so many of their countrymen in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are just as much stuck in this union but without a choice.

  • Paul Marks

    There is a lot of truth in what Perry says (and in what Brian says) – but I still hope the Scots vote “no”.

    People who vote to reject Britain are voting for a socialist future – they know that (they say so).

    And, if it fails, they have already decided on scape goats.

    For example the Scottish Landowners – who are not “really” Scottish (according to the demented Class War ideology).

    As for England – it is not just the Conservative party that is Unionist, it is UKIP also (the clue is in the name).

    England (and Wales – and Ulster?) would be left with the choice of either socialism or ethnic nationalism (full disclosure – I am not “racially” English, so I am a little wary of ethnic nationalism).

    The British tradition (and the Whig and Tory ideas that go with it) would be hit hard – if not destroyed.

    I do not want a choice between Ethnic(shading into racism) Nationalism (the person in Kent and his Black Flag friends) and Red Flag socialism.

    I want the British tradition – I want the United Kingdom.

    “Well you can not have what you want Paul”.

    Perhaps not.

    As for the next election – if the United Kingdom stays together Labour will probably win (I admit that).

    But that would discredit socialism – both south and north of the border.

    Ed Miliband is no totalitarian – in fact he is already a joke figure. His (inevitable) failure would make socialism a joke in the United Kingdom (as it deserves to be a joke).

    An “independent” Scotland might well ally ethnic nationalism to socialism – the “Red-Brown” ideas.

    And England (as pointed out above) might well retreat into a competition between ethnic nationalism (including trade Protectionism) and socialism (of a really nasty sort).

  • John B

    Quite. We hung on to that other gangrenous limb Norther Ireland and look what that did to us, when we should have cut it off and given it to the Irish Republic who so desperately wanted it.

    Missed our chance there.

    The Celts and Anglo-Saxons have never got on: culturally, ideologically apart with different value systems. Celts like fighting each other over just about anything, Anglo-Saxons just want to work for a better life.

  • Kevin B

    So how do we think the post independance negotions between the new Scotland and the coalition will go?

    Do we think that Westminster will go for a clean break or will they perhaps want a transition period?

    Do we think that the Labour party, for instance, will aquiesce to the loss of any chance of a majority in parliament for the forseeable future or will they force a radical readjustment of the electoral boundaries in order to ‘ensure fairness in elections’? And will the lily-livered coalition submit?

    In short, given their past record, do we think that the political establishment will embrace Perry’s gangrene analogy and go for a clean amputation, or will they seek to ensure that the infection is allowed to continue to drag us all down?

  • The Celts and Anglo-Saxons have never got on

    Who are you calling an Anglo-Saxon? My lot arrived in 1066 as you might guess from the name 😛

    But less flippantly, no. After several centuries and having built and then lost an Empire together, I think we can safely say that whatever the current situation, it really really is not an Anglo-Saxons vs. Celts thing.

  • […] see this as a golden opportunity … for England. Here’s Perry de Havilland explaining why he wants the Scots to vote […]

  • bloke in spain

    ” it is UKIP also (the clue is in the name).”
    Where do you get that idea from, Paul?
    The name’s UKIP because that’s currently the label of the State they’d like to see withdraw from the EU. What other name would you propose?
    Far as I can see, the UKIP leadership has been expressing a fairly lukewarm No-ness. Sound judgement. A Yes endorsement or expression of neutrality would provide ammunition to the usual suspects. Politicians lie. It’s what they’re for.
    My reading is a UK, shorn of its northern extremity, would be a better prospect for EU withdrawal. This seems to chime with a lot of UKIP supporters.
    What’s not to like?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Perry,

    Remember the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail who Arthur fights for the right to cross the bridge?

    Off goes one arm. “‘Tis but a scratch.”

    Off goes the other.

    “Look, you stupid bastard you’ve got no arms left.”
    “It’s only a flesh wound!”

    Off goes one leg. Off goes the other.

    With all due respect to a valiant knight – what’s left of is still gamely shouting “I’ll bite your legs off” as Arthur passes him by – but that’s you, that is.

    Well, except that you are actually celebrating losing the arm! What are you going to say when they come across the Albert Bridge, “Hah, without my limbs I can bleed on you all the better!”

    *

    Contrary to popular belief the political culture of Scotland is not that much more gangrenous to the political culture of England.

    To quote the Nuffield Foundation report: Is Scotland more left wing than England,

    – People in Scotland are a little more concerned than people in England about income
    inequality. They are also more willing to support income redistribution.
    „ – But concern about income inequality and support for redistribution has fallen in both
    Scotland and England during the last decade.
    „ – Although support for ‘tax and spend’ is a little higher in Scotland than in England, it
    has fallen heavily in both countries since 1999.
    „ – Only one in five (20 per cent) of people in Scotland believe that no students should
    have to pay tuition fees – little different from the figure in England (18 per cent).
    „ – Opposition to students paying any tuition fees has almost halved in both countries
    since 2000.
    „ – Although Scotland is more social democratic in outlook than England, the differences
    are modest at best.
    „ – Like England, Scotland has become less – not more – social democratic since the
    start of devolution.

  • I have seen that study too Natalie, but I do not think it survives contact with a glance at the results of an electoral map of Scotland.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    But the electoral map of Scotland records seats, not votes cast. It is possible for a party with geographically evenly distributed votes to gain very few seats relative to their numbers while parties with concentrated support gain more seats than their numbers would suggest.

    In the 2010 general election there were 412k Conservative* votes cast and 465k votes for the Lib Dems. So contrary to Scots Nats rhetoric, 877k Scots DID get the government they voted for. The Tory figure of 412k isn’t actually that much less than the 491k gained by the SNP. It is true that Labour got 1035k votes – but when you remember that the SNP used to be known as “Tartan Tories” and their actual announced policies include a 3% reduction in corporation tax, the dominance of left wing parties looks much less absolute.

    *Since we are interested in comparing England to Scotland, we can leave aside the manifest deficiency of the Conservatives as standard bearers for liberty, since this factor is the same in both countries.

  • Since we are interested in comparing England to Scotland, we can leave aside the manifest deficiency of the Conservatives as standard bearers for liberty, since this factor is the same in both countries.

    Oh yes, which is why a change at the margins matters. I see it exactly the way Bloke in Spain does re. EU exit, which is also desirable, plus having the fight less evenly balanced after Scotland goes means catering to “people like us crazed pro-liberty types” actually starts to make political sense again.

    Sadly I expect a narrow NO vote.

  • Surellin

    The Scots might want to consider that nobody who could build the abomination that is the Scottish Parliament Building should ever be trusted with anything ever again.

  • TomJ

    @Surellin: But they’ve learnt their lesson surely: look at the shining success of the Edinburgh tram project…

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    This is what I think will happen if Scotland votes for independence.

    The case for independence as made by the Yes campaign is very much wrapped up with defining Scotland as a more “socially just” polity than EWANI (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). (As it happens I think they may well be making a mistake there, and that there will be quite a few “shy No” voters who have been driven away from a Yes vote by being repeatedly told that an independent Scotland will be defined by the absence of people like them. But I could be wrong, and I’m talking about what happens if I am wrong.)

    Once a decision is made, it is human nature to want never to admit that you have made a mistake. That tendency is strong even for ordinary elections; how much stronger for a constitutional decision like this. Furthermore the referendum has been exhausting. Scotland will not come back repentant in five years time even if it has gone belly up economically.

    It probably won’t go belly up economically that fast. Salmond is a demagogue, not a left-winger of principle. Things will get worse but they will always be able to blame that on the English. They will be ably helped in that task by legions of articulate and highly-placed English fans as much invested in the visible success of Socialist Scotland as Mr Salmond is himself. This is not East versus West Germany or North versus South Korea where direct comparisons can be made. It will be two state-capitalist economies, one slightly worse than the other but with much better publicity.

    By the time that Scottish socialism starts to really smell of decay the stink will be all over the British isles. No one will notice it anymore.

  • The Czechoslovak experience seems to support Brian’s thesis, if the result is a Yes. A big ‘if’ though.

  • SC

    I would look forward, if Scotland becomes a socialist basket-case, to being able to say to lefties, ‘Well, if you think that then why don’t you go and live in bloody Scotland’, in the same way that people in the 70’s would say to lefties, ‘Well, if you think that why don’t you go and live in bloody Russia’.

    But as with any big governmental change the real winners would be the lawyers and civil servants who get paid lots of money to sort out the mess.

    BTW It’s ‘losing’ not ‘loosing’.

  • Allen Farrington

    I am not anywhere near as confident as any of you. I was born here. I live here. I study here. I run a business here. And all of that will change as soon as it possibly can if the National Socialists win. And so will feel and think most if not all bright and ambitious young people, not to mention those who have already made something for themselves and whose assets are reasonably liquid. The only good thing that can possibly come from this is the sudden and dramatic influx of such Scots and their wealth into England.

    Invest in property, folks. I will be posting here when I can’t find anywhere to live.

  • Laird

    It does seem likely that “No” will be a narrow winner, if only because Cameron has promised a veritable (if undefined) cornucopia of greater functional autonomy to the Scottish Parliament if they stay in the union. The mere fact of holding the election may have gotten Salmond and his followers much of what they want, without all the risks and headaches of actual independence. It would seem that a “No” vote could result in Scotland having its cake and eating it, too. So from Salmond’s perspective he has already won, whatever the outcome.

    As I understand it the voting age (whether in general or just for this election I don’t know) has been lowered to 16. Is that correct? If that’s the case it could be the real wild card in this election. The young have a more romantic view of what independence means, and I suspect would tend to favor it by a fairly wide margin. If they turn out in large numbers it could sway the result to “Yes”.

    The mere fact that this election is occurring could be an important event for the rest of the world. It demonstrates that a legitimate case can be made for self-determination and independence. A lot of other independence movements will be looking at this for inspiration and support. Which I think is a very good thing; in general, I prefer smaller political units to larger ones.

  • hellosnackbar

    There is nothing more democratic than a referendum!
    The next one should be on the poison of PC!

  • Niall Kilmartin

    Perry, there is a possibility of your getting the best of both worlds, as BetterTogether keep saying. This has been a wake-up call to the English to stop tolerating Labour’s gerrymandering of Scotland so that I get two votes while you south of the border only get one. I can vote on, for example, how education is to run in England but you can’t vote on how education is run where I am. The long-suffering English have endured this uncomplainingly for 17 years, but no longer I think. (They are also hurt in general, and if Tories and UKIP cannot focus the blame on Labour, they are not doing their job. It was Labour’s Jack McConnell who said at the start of the Scottish parliament “I want to keep the anger alive”, only to discover that a party that was nationalist as well as socialist could both fan and feed off anger even better than Labour.)

    We all see that inflicting two parliaments and two lots of MPs on England as well as the rest of the UK will only strengthen the political class. But is there not a hope that this concept will be so disgusting down south that the May 2015 election will insist on a saner solution: a single set of English MPs who spends half his or her time voting on scheduled local issues in Westminster, while their counterparts here vote on the same subject (and so cannot gerrymander because they cannot be in Westminster and in Holyrood at the same time), while in other weeks all the MPs will be in Westminster (or maybe for a week’s holiday once a year, in Holyrood) and will vote on what the UK will do about ISIS and suchlike subjects.

    Under this plan, the gangrenous Scottish limb is cut off as far as English internal affairs go. Meanwhile Natalie’s (very rational in my opinion) concern that by the time Scotland goes unarguably rotten it will be too late will be less likely. Both capital flight and personal vote-wth-your-feet relocation to England will be easier when everyone in Scotland still has a UK passport, so the effects of nutty left-wing policies voted in the Scottish part of the single distributed parliament will become obvious quicker.

  • Under this plan, the gangrenous Scottish limb is cut off as far as English internal affairs go. Meanwhile Natalie’s (very rational in my opinion) concern that by the time Scotland goes unarguably rotten it will be too late will be less likely. Both capital flight and personal vote-wth-your-feet relocation to England will be easier when everyone in Scotland still has a UK passport, so the effects of nutty left-wing policies voted in the Scottish part of the single distributed parliament will become obvious quicker.

    Yes that is all quite plausible!

  • Snorri Godhi

    While there is much to commend in this post, i still think that Perry does not fully appreciate that people respond to incentives.
    Independence would change the incentive structure for Scots, hence to expect them to keep voting the way they do under the present incentive structure is very naive.
    (Similar points have been made in other comments.)

    Another thing is that there are other gangrenous limbs which might as well be cut off, including the city where Perry lives, the home of the BBC and the Guardian, and most of the British ruling class — but of course those other gangrenous limbs did not ask for independence: one must take whatever opportunities are offered.

    BTW Rotherham is not in Scotland, and neither is Stafford Hospital, which i feel has been forgotten too soon.

    Disclaimer: familiarity breeds contempt. I have lived+worked in England for most of a decade, and have had English bosses for more than a decade. I never lived in Scotland or had Scottish bosses. That — along with whisky, fiddling+dancing, tartans, Hume, A. Conan Doyle, and Charles MacKay — makes me favorably disposed to Scotland.

  • Runcie Balspune

    It would be nice if Scotland went alone and rediscovered its entrepreneurial spirit, but with the current mob at the helm it is more likely to end up as a mini-Venezuela complete with oil surplus and toilet roll shortage.

  • CaptDMO

    Of the U.S.
    No dog in THIS fight. (other than… well…history of independence from “English” conquest, and stuff)
    Stunning amount of speculation!
    Either way, I’ll be more interested in about five (or so) years, after “If you build it, they will come”
    which I often attribute to rent seekers, “carpet baggers”, and other parasites, does, or does not, come to fruition.

  • bradley13

    “a few years of failed socialism might be exactly the wake up call Scotland needs to revitalize its own political culture”

    That is certainly what I hope. Certainly the current crop of politicians is idiotic; the recent comments about possible nationalization of major companies was jaw-droppingly stupid.

    That said, calling Scotland “a gangrenous limb in need of political amputation” is just offensive.

    As someone viewing the UK from outside, I am not so sure that England is less gangrenous than Scotland. The multiculturalism (Rotherham) is a prime example. The increasing tendency towards a police state. The lapdog faithfully trotting after the USA into the next idiotic intervention.

    The English arrogance evidenced by certain posters is grating, and hardly seems justified by what I see of England today.

  • lucklucky

    “Ed Miliband is no totalitarian – in fact he is already a joke figure. His (inevitable) failure would make socialism a joke in the United Kingdom (as it deserves to be a joke).”

    There is not needed a Totalitarian PM to have Totalitarianism.
    The bureaucracy, the state just needs a dumb or willing “Democrat” on top to have legitimacy to act as it wishes.

    Like others have said the gangrene of England is in England not in Scotland.

  • I so wonder when…

    …says bradley13…

    The multiculturalism (Rotherham) is a prime example…

    …says Snorri Godhi…

    BTW Rotherham is not in Scotland, and neither is Stafford Hospital, which i feel has been forgotten too soon.

    …says Perry de Havilland…

    Did you guys not read my article? Namely the bit where I use Rotherham as an example of what is wrong with English political culture?

    Ah well.

    It is precisely because of the state of English political culture that I want to amputate Scotland, to change the odds of a successful operation in England. Political triage.

    Frankly the same logic would not go amiss in the USA to be honest.

  • Russ in TX

    I wouldn’t mind losing Greater New England, at that.

    But unfortunately, along with the left and the right and the nabobs and the dunloppers, theocrats really *do* exist in Texas, and in significant numbers — while we could likely achieve a nice solid currency with some wholesome secular deflation, I’m entirely leery about hordes of aggressive Baptists saying “DC is gone we can make God’s Kingdom happen now!” and rushing off to Austin.

    ((wish I was exaggerating, c.f. “Texas Schoolbook Controversy”))

  • Yes Russ, which is why the USA might be better off as maybe five different nations 😉

  • Tedd

    The article Alisa linked to says, “Sooner or later, Scotland will need to introduce reforms that it would never accept from a Westminster government.” In my experience, “us versus them” sentiments trump almost anything else in politics. So it doesn’t seem implausible to me that Scotland could vote for independence on the basis that they want more social-justice-y policies and then turn around a few years later and introduce market-oriented reforms “that we could have done years ago if we didn’t have the English yoke around our neck.”

    It will depend on one or more key politicians arriving on the scene who know what to do and also not to say that’s what they’re doing. (Not unlike the Liberal party in Canada winning a comfortable majority by campaigning vociferously against balancing the budget and then balancing the budget.) That way, voters don’t actually have to learn from their mistakes — which is something I’m deeply doubtful of.

  • Russ in TX

    Perry: you’re on, so long as whichever chunk *I* live in never has to be the so-called “reserve currency.”

  • Laird

    “Frankly the same logic would not go amiss in the USA to be honest.”

    “the USA might be better off as maybe five different nations.”

    I agree with both sentiments.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Is there any country that has ever regretted independence?

  • Tedd, I was going to add to that comment (but forgot to), that the key difference between the Czechoslovak and British case, is that Czech part was at the time headed by people who were clearly in favor of both greater economic freedom and of separation from Slovakia (or at least they did not mind the latter all that much). That does not at all seem to be the case in England: Cameron is no Klaus, and I get the feeling that even if the referendum results in a Yes vote, politicians on both sides of the border (including Cameron) will do their darnest for the separation to be nothing more than cosmetic. I could be very wrong, of course.

  • Mr Ed

    Should the vote be ‘Yes’, Mr Cameron will become an Englishman with an about-to-be-foreign name, which would be one funny side of the outcome.

  • John Mann

    I am inclined to agree with Perry.

    Which is why I, about an hour ago, voted “No”.

    I have long felt (since the 1980s) that Scottish political culture is more toxic than that of England. Let me give two unrelated examples. 1) The ban on the selling of unpasteurized milk in Scotland is absolute; in the rest of the UK there are exceptions. 2) The Scottish government’s plans for state appointed guardians of children, a most horribly statist bit of legislation, have not yet been matched by anything in Westminster.

    Given the opportunity, Westminster will get 90% of things wrong, but Holyrood will get 99% of things wrong. So, in order to make my life and the life of my neighbours a little more comfortable, I voted “No.”

    Of course, had I really wanted to show kindness and consideration to the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, I should have voted “Yes”, but somehow my selfish nature got the better of me, and I didn’t do it.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Alisa, if Scotland became independent it is difficult to see how the Faslane nuclear submarine base could survive. It’s one of the key demands of the separatists that it be removed. At that point separation would become much more than cosmetic.

  • Patrick, by ‘cosmetic’ I mostly meant money (government spending). You may well be correct on the military issues – I have not the slightest idea. Are these two issues inseparable?

  • Patrick Crozier

    I was going to say that the idea of the English subsidising the Scots after independence was absurd. Then I remembered how a few years ago we helped to bail out Ireland’s banks…

    Even so, I don’t see how it could continue for very long.

  • Sam Duncan

    Niall Kilmartin and John Mann: excellent comments, and my feelings exactly. I understand Perry’s argument, and in his position I’d probably agree. But I’m not in his position.

  • I’d be voting NO as well if I lived in Scotland and could not realistically move south.

  • Nico

    It is incredibly difficult to break the slide towards the left once it becomes entrenched in the institutions and culture. Every step in that direction must be resisted. Scotland will be stuck with its socialism if it goes there. Not even Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism will save it (after all, they aren’t aanglo-saxons, are they? but also, look at England: where’s the anglo-saxon exceptionalism there?).

    No. Until you learn to leave the left behind, vote no.

  • Nico

    Russ, the country with the reserve currency gets free stuff from the mercantilist nations. It sucks, to be sure, but it sucks more to be on the other side of that coin.

  • Nico

    Theocrats are a minute minority in Texas. Texas votes GOP because voting Dem is much, much worse for liberty — Texans don’t want you fucking with their taxes nor their guns. Elsewhere people vote Dem for similar (from their point of view) reasons, such as thinking that voting GOP means voting for another gay holocaust, like Bush’s (oh, wait…). More seriously, the GOP gets the loud, obnoxious religious nuts because there’s nowhere else for them to go, but the same is true of the far left and the Dems, and the rest of us get to hold our noses and get fucked. But I do think that on the whole the risks to liberty are much worse on the Dem side.

    Perhaps after gay marriage is a done deal nationwide (note to Justice Kennedy: hurry the fuck up!) the Middle that votes Dem for fear of homophobia will relax.

  • Nico

    but you, devolve powers as much as possible. Let Scotland have a taste of little-i independence, let it live within its own means, with England furnishing just the reserves. And the home to run back to when the brown stuff hits the rotating blades.

  • Chip

    Well, it looks like No and I suspect the separatists have long had a plan B titled ‘Quebec.’

    Expect many years of emotional threats and simmering resentment, to be assuaged by massive transfers of wealth and political influence.

    In effect, the rUK will increasingly placate the crying baby in the crib.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    In effect, the rUK will increasingly placate the crying baby in the crib.

    Doubt it. More likely is they’ll get way more devolved power and *less* money from England, *and* lose the ability to vote on English laws (which will fuck the left more than most people realise). In other words, independence in all but name. Ain’t much appetite in England for giving Scotland even what they’re getting now, let alone more.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    All I know about contemporary Britain comes from The Guardian, The Telegraph, and you guys. So I’ll just wish for the best, whatever the best may be.

  • Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    Perry, shouldn’t that ‘YES’ be an ‘AYE’?
    What a co-incidence- the result comes out on ‘Talk like a Pirate’ Day! There’ll be plenty of blue language, whatever the outcome!
    And a close vote will leave everyone worse off. Maybe David can survive, but will the Tories? And how will this affect the General Election? And when will there be new ‘Taggart’ episodes? The world wants to know!

  • Alisa: In Czechoslovakia, Slovaks were way more lefty than Czechs in 1992. Still, after more than two decades, Slovaks have a leaner state, lower tax burden and freer economy.
    Here’s more:
    http://www.devilsdictionaries.com/blog/when-slovakia-chose-independence

  • Chip

    And yet the first instinct of rUK was to give Scotland more money.

    When have UK politicians ever solved a problem by giving it less money?

  • Jamess

    It’s looking like a no. In the process of the debate the English have lost the will to keep subsidising Scotland. The best we could hope for now will be that Scotland will be given much more powers (everything but immigration and defence?) with a lot less money – you need to raise it yourself.

    That probably gives the best of both worlds. No huge suffering for individuals as the change takes place, but two (and then more, if Wales, Northern Ireland, regions within England) regions competing with each other on taxes etc trying to live within their means.

    One can only hope…. and watch the guys in Westminster muck things up.

  • Deft

    5am. Looking like a ‘No’. Ominous thunderstorm in South-East has woken me up to let me know it is time to start work early to help continue funding our celebrated Union.

  • jimmy dublin

    before independence some years after Parliament signed the amendment, its interesting to reflect upon the extent to which nationalists would help those who wanted measures taken on behalf of the newer, more liberal party regarding self governance/ fiscal self-determination. As a former Scot, I’m on the fence as to what to think of the current unfolding of recent events

  • Indeed Patrick, that was more or less my point.

  • You could be right, Jamess. I certainly hope you are.

  • Snorri Godhi

    …says Perry de Havilland…

    Did you guys not read my article? Namely the bit where I use Rotherham as an example of what is wrong with English political culture?

    I might have forgotten the context in which Rotherham was mentioned, by the time i read the comments before mine; but in any case, if i gave the impression that i think the rot is mostly in England, then my comment was poorly worded.

  • Richard

    There isn’t going to be any “independence” for Scotland, or for England, or for Wales; it simply isn’t possible because of the tight geographic constraint under which we all live. We will all be mutually independent this side of a geological upheaval which will kill most of us anyway. There may be greater or lesser degrees of administrative separatism, but that’s it. The word “Independence” was chosen by the Nats simply because of the antonyms it implies in the minds of the more gullible among their potential supporters. After all, if Salmond wanted ‘independence’ why would he want a currency union? Even more ludicrously why, a couple of elections ago, was he set on a separate Scotland joining the Euro?

    Separatism is, by its very nature, regressive and creating a plurality of nation-states on this postage-stamp sized archipelago is about as sensible as cyanide in toothpaste. (Yes, I do include the Irish Free State in that assessment; they’ve never been truly independent either, it’s just that most people are too polite to point it out).

  • Separatism is, by its very nature regressive

    No, not really. I am all for an independent Kensington and Chelsea in fact. There is nothing particularly wonderful about large states.