I wish I could believe in the promise of an independent Scotland: a land that will be free, green and wealthy. I have listened to passionate nationalists who tell me that Scotland has been exploited for centuries, that we pay more tax than we get, that we have vast reserves of North Sea Oil, that it doesn’t matter if big business moves out and that a currency union with England (and EU membership) is guaranteed.
When I say that I don’t trust the promises of politicians they tell me that the SNP are just a vehicle for escaping from the yoke of Westminster. As soon as we are independent the SNP will fade away, a host of new political parties will appear and Scotland will enter a new age of equality, ecology and wealth. It seems that everyone who believes in radical socialism and environmentalism has jumped on the bandwagon and can’t wait for independence.
Above all they believe that the Scots are so ingenious, inventive and entrepreneurial that nothing could possibly go wrong – and if it did we would sort it out in a jiffy.
I despise the UK political parties, globalism and our over-centralised government as much as the most fervent Yes campaigners – but I can’t accept that the SNP’s proposal for an independent Scotland is anything but a catastrophe for all involved. I believe that Scotland is contemplating economic, political and social suicide.
As soon as Scotland declares independence it will be faced with an insurmountable challenge: joining the EU. Without EU membership Scottish businesses will be faced with immediate import and export taxes, and this would be a death sentence for exporters. The oil, whisky and tourism industries could survive but what else? What would be left of our fragile economy? Who would invest?
The UK is a member of the EU but Scotland will be a new nation state and it will have to negotiate its entry. The SNP say that they would be welcomed with open arms and all that is required is that a treaty be changed and they be added as a new member state. They make it sound as easy as changing a contract between two companies – but when 28 different countries are involved it is anything but easy. If just one country refuses the whole process fails.
Most EU member states probably would welcome Scotland but some of the East Europeans might not. The new member states had to rewrite their legislation to comply with the Acquis Communitaire, the EU’s “body of laws” – a hugely complex and time consuming process – and they may well cry foul. Why should Scotland jump the queue for EU membership?
And how could Spain agree to Scotland becoming an EU member? It would set a precedent for their restive Catalonia region and could result in the breakup of Spain.
The SNP’s economic case for independence rests of the claim that Scotland is an incredibly rich country that is exploited and kept down by Westminster. What they don’t say is that the biggest employer in Scotland is actually the state sector and paying all those salaries, as well as pensions and unemployment benefits, will present an independent Scotland with an immediate, and huge, bill. How will they fund their bloated public sector every month? Easy, the nationalists say: North Sea Oil.
There are several problems here. BP and Royal Dutch Shell agreed with the leading oil industry expert, Sir Ian Wood, who said that Alex Salmond’s projections of oil reserves are wrong. The consensus in the oil industry is that oil is running out and will be totally gone by 2050.
Regardless of the amount of oil reserves found under the North Sea (and the Firth of Clyde, according to former SNP leader Jim Sillars) if Scotland relies on oil it would place their financial fate in the hands of a powerful and secretive cartel of petro-states – who raise and lower the price of oil according to their own economic needs. If oil became Scotland’s main source of tax income it would become hostage to an organisation (OPEC) whose policies (and prices) are beyond its control. Any sudden drop in the price of oil would devastate public sector budgets.
Abdalla Salem el-Badri, the head of OPEC, dismissed the idea of Scotland being allowed to join OPEC – the cartel of major oil producing nations. He also said: “I don’t see how England will stay without Scotland and Scotland stay without England. This is how we all grew up, with the UK, not with Scotland and England.”
None of these economic concerns seem to bother the Scottish nationalists in the slightest. Each devastating fact that emerges about the risks involved are dismissed as “scaremongering” and lies. The unique brilliance of the Scottish character will prevail, we are told, and we are sitting on mountains of wealth. To me this sounds like arrogance (we’re better than everyone else) delusion and fantasy.
The SNP have done a brilliant job of presenting a utopian future but the fact is that we would have to compete in the nasty, corrupt world that we all live in – where multinationals and offshore investment funds rule. We can’t create the green socialist paradise that Alex Salmond suggests as we’ll be struggling to pay the bills and get investors from day one. Perhaps he will ask the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans to come and save us.
South Sudan manages to exist … Nice to see you have less faith in Scotland.
And what makes you think – if not irrational prejudice – some eastern country would object to Scotland’s joining the EU?
If South Sudan is the standard to which you hold the future of Scotland, that only proves the author’s point.
Fiecare etnie/popor are dreptul la un stat national, suveran, propriu. In Europa, cateva etnii/popoare nu au asa ceva, ele fac parte din structuri etatice de tip federalist, adesea fara sa fi fost consultate: scotienii, galezii, bascii, catalanii, bretonii sunt exemplele mai cunoscute.
Corsicanii, flamanzii, valonii, precum secuii, „moldovenii” sau vlahii/aromanii sunt intr-o alta situatie, pentru ca etno-lingvistic sunt italofoni, neerlandofoni, francofoni, maghiarofoni, romanofoni, exista deja state nationale ale acestor popoare, doar ca juridic-administrativ nu fac parte din natiunea lor de origine (chestiune partial rezolvata prin acordarea de cetatenii si integrarea teritoriala in UE).
Ce crede totusi despre acest referendum scotian un istoric de meserie, David Engels, unul aflat in Belgia, tara federala confruntata demult cu separatisme, profesor universitar la Universitatea Libera din Bruxelles. Il citez in original:
„[…] le fait déjà que ce référendum ait lieu est un signe fort que l’Europe est rentrée dans une nouvelle phase de son histoire et que des structures nationales considérées comme immuables depuis au moins un siècle seront de plus en plus violemment remises en question.[…]”.
„Dès lors, aussi longtemps que l’Union européenne n’aura pas trouvé le courage de construire un véritable État à la fois proche du citoyen et soucieux de l’identité culturelle spécifiquement européenne, le morcellement potentiel d’États comme le Royaume Uni, l’Espagne, la Belgique ou même la France (pensez aux Bretons) ne se résumera pas à une simple question d’arithmétique du nombre des États membres de l’UE, mais représentera un danger vital pour tout son équilibre interne.”
„[…] ces régionalismes sont aussi le témoignage que l’esprit régional avec tout l’attachement au terroir et au passé qu’il implique n’a pas encore entièrement disparu, alors que les États-nations et ses politiciens se sont totalement discrédités en trahissant la solidarité sociale au profit d’un capitalisme outrancier, la spécificité de la culture européenne au profit d’un mondialisme à l’américaine, et les intérêts de leurs populations au profit d’une immigration qui échappe désormais à tout contrôle. Peut-être que le retour à une politique plus régionaliste constituerait à la fois un bain de jouvence déontologique et culturel pour notre caste politique et un renouveau pour la construction identitaire européenne ?”.
„Certes, ne nous faisons pas d’illusions sur la triste réalité : les anciennes valeurs traditionnelles de l’Europe perdent pied face aux diktats „politiquement corrects” d’une élite politique composée essentiellement de managers opportunistes favorisant, sous couverture d’idéaux universalistes, l’atomisation des individus et la création d’un énorme marché mondial entièrement dominé par un capitalisme financier rapace.”
„J’ose espérer que ce réveil identitaire puisse, à la longue, gagner tout le continent et s’opérer dans un esprit de fraternité européenne, fraternité basée non seulement sur le partage d’une riche histoire culturelle, religieuse et politique millénaire, mais aussi, hélas, sur le partage actuel des mêmes problèmes économiques, ethniques et identitaires.”
Aveti dreptate ,aparitia Ucrainei de Est si a Ucrainei de Vest vor confirma spusele d-voastra.Nu poti amesteca in aceiasi oala taratea si malaiul ,sa dea apoi si ceva bun la gust,pur si simplu unele popoare au adn diferit,rezistenta la alcool sau instinctul de conservare nu depind de acelasi nr de gene,ci de calitatea lor.
Dacă în povestea cu ”exploatarea nerușinată a coloniei Scoția” nu s-ar vedea (fără ochelari cu multe dioptrii) STRĂVECHEA LOZINCĂ LENINISTĂ despre ”oribilul” Imperiu Britanic, ”jefuitorul planetei”, poate că nu m-aș simți foarte atins de referendumul în discuție.
Dar eu nu port ochelari… DE CAL (ecologic – adică verde pe dinafară și FOARTE roșu la interior).
Partea tristă o reprezintă extraordinarul succes al demagogiei ordinare- și aici Regatul Unit (intact) are o imensă vină istorică. Nu este loc pentru a intra în amănunte, dar voi atrage atenția Domnului Rupert Wolfe Murray, cu ocazia împlinirii unui secol de la izbucnirea Primului Război Mondial, asupra unor ”detalii” deja ”mucegăite”:
„Iată un personaj exemplar: Alfred Charles William Harmsworth ― baronet în 1904, Primul Viconte Northcliffe în 1918. Pentru CE a fost ridicat în rang de multiple ori ? Păi fiindcă era un intrepid magnat al presei britanice: The Daily Mail, The Times și multe altele… Dar ce l-o fi recomandat pentru funcția de ”șef al propagandei” britanice în timpul Primului Război Mondial ? O spune tot o publicație din Albion (The Star): După Kaiser, Lord Northcliffe a lucrat pentru izbucnirea războiului mai mult decît oricare alt om în viață. Prin ce ? Prin faptul că Daily Mail a întreținut „un virulent sentiment anti-german”. ȘI N-A FOST SINGUR !
The rest is silence !
Ce legătură are ”virulentul sentiment anti-german” întreținut de Daily Mail cu ultimatumul adresat Serbiei de către Austro-Ungaria?
În cel mai rău caz, se dovedește că Daily Mail avea dreptate. În 1914 nu s-a dus Marea Britanie să invadeze Germania.
Ce legatura are Marea Britanie cu ultimatumul adresat Serbiei de catre Austro-Ungaria?
PS: Inainte de a-mi raspunde efectuati o mica cercetare (pentru a evita penibilul). Va dau un indiciu: Belgia :)
Desigur ”că nu s-a dus Marea Britanie să invadeze Germania”. Dar nici Germania nu a invadat Marea Britanie (și nu a avut vreodată de gînd așa ceva).
Chestia cu Belgia cade, deoarece „Niciodată, sub nici un motiv ― îl avertiza Lordul Esher pe maiorul Huguet în 1911 ― să nu-i lăsaţi pe comandanţii francezi să se lase antrenaţi şi să treacă primii frontiera belgiană.” Dacă o fac, Anglia nu va mai putea fi niciodată de partea lor ; dacă o vor face însă nemţii, Anglia va fi împotiva acestora. (Barbara W. Tuchman, Tunurile din August, Editura Politică, 1970). Ați sesizat asimetria ? Și nu-i singurul argument, dar…
…orice alte relații (abundente), în format pdf, la [email protected]
Well, Mr.Murray, the over-centralised government is a real problem in the UK. Not only for Scotland, but for East Midlands or Yorkshire as well. Maybe Westminster will learn the hard way that something needs to be changed.
Just Scottish stubborness! Such an independence might lead to economic death…let the commit their suicide, secui in Transylvania style!
‘It doesn’t matter if big business moves out.
Define move out. Are banks going out of a profitable market? Or are they simply reregistering in a different country; which, by the way, wouldn’t have an impact on Scotland because (throughout the world, not only in Europe or US) businesses are taxed according to their main economic activty not place of registry (it would be absurd otherwise; the Caymans would be the richest country in the world).
The word yoke was often used in communist language and creates a negative perception upon its user (not target) when used in countries like Romania. But I sincerely doubt its use by the nationalists.
‘It seems that everyone who believes in radical socialism and environmentalism has jumped on the bandwagon.’
It seems a bit comic to associate middle class Scots who were the main victims of Thatcherite deindustrialization and who are nostaligc of the shipyards and factories with those who want a cleaner environment.
‘Without EU membership Scottish businesses will be faced with immediate import and export taxes, and this would be a death sentence for exporters.’
You are confusing EU with the EEA; Scotland could negotiate immediately membership for the EEA or just a free trade agreement without being part of the EEA (like Switzerland). As for the EU, I agree Scotland would have to reapply for membership (screening process included).
‘The new member states had to rewrite their legislation to comply with the Acquis Communitaire.’
A new member state like Ukraine yes, but Scotland’s law is (95%) already compatible because British legislation is already compatible (Scotland would ‘inherit’ British legislation in the fields which weren’t previously devolved). The only areas which wouldn’t be compatible are the ones which covered UK opt-outs (Schengen, EMU, AFSJ and Fundamental Rights Charter).
It’s true Scotland would have to join the Schengen Area and the Euro: what’s wrong with that? You didn’t cover this topic.
‘And how could Spain agree to Scotland becoming an EU member? It would set a precedent for their restive Catalonia region and could result in the breakup of Spain.’
You are mixing apples with pears (a Romanian aphorism). Romania, Spain and USA are indivisible countries (defined as such in their constitutions). The UK is not. It’s like saying South Sudan creates a precedent for Catalonia (or Scotland).
‘If oil became Scotland’s main source of tax income it would become hostage to […] OPEC.’
I agree here but I don’t think that Scotland won’t diversify its economy (it’s like suggesting that an independent Scotland would be Angola or Nigeria).
‘We can’t create the green socialist paradise that Alex Salmond suggests as we’ll be struggling to pay the bills and get investors from day one.’
If this isn’t scaremongering than I don’t know what is.
You’re suggesting that Scotland is the most extremely underdeveloped (probably by Westminster) region of the UK and Europe.
I don’t think Estonia or Slovenia experienced your predicted apocalypse when they became independent. And they were certainly 1000 times worse than Scotland is now.
Rupert, of course I don’t question one bit your understanding of Scotland’s situation. Moreover, I’m opposed to the breaking up of countries in ever smaller polities, in pursuit of often delusional and short-term advantages. Especially since in my view the future is rather bleak and being a small fish in a big global pond may not be precisely the brightest idea.
So you may be perfectly right that independence would be a disaster, but then you have to build your case better and find better arguments; many of those you used simply don’t hold water.
To me, your main argument is about the EU membership, particularly about the fate of the Scottish economy without the said membership.
First of all, given the growing anti-EU sentiment in UK, there is a sizable chance that Scotland could get out of the EU pretty soon as part of the UK. What then? Would Scots have a veto right in such case, so the entire UK stays in the EU because the Scots disagree with the exit?
Secondly, it’s a pity if the condition of the Scottish economy is as you describe it – fragile, with very few competitive industries apart from oil, bloated public sector etc. But then, isn’t this dire condition at least partially the result of 41 years of EU membership and London macro-management? How would help more of the same drug that was, at best, ineffective?
‘But then, isn’t this dire condition at least partially the result of 41 years of EU membership and London macro-management.’
Why EU an why 41 years? Was there an EU in 1973?
Before 1993 there was an Economic European Community which Nigel Farage and other loonies still contemplate.
And after 1993 (when the Maastricht Treaty came into effect) the UK obtained opt-outs and the rebate (unlike other EC, and after 2009 EU, countries). And the EEC was a bit opposed to M Thatcher.
Devolution was achieved in 1999 so if Scotland has been doing better/worse ever since it was in part their problem (with an emphasis on ‘in part’).
Fair enough. Only 21 years then – still almost a generation.
„My problem” with Rupert’s argument is this – you cannot complain about the sorrow state where the current system brought you (in 20, 40 or 100 years) and then claim that the best thing that can happen to you is that the said system remains unchanged forever.
And how could Spain agree to Scotland becoming an EU member? It would set a precedent for their restive Catalonia region and could result in the breakup of Spain.
Da. Si nu doar a Spaniei… Daca Scotia devine stat independent, asta s-ar putea sa provoace o reactie in lant in Europa. Foarte, foarte important momentul si votul scotienilor.
Tocmai citisem Scottish Independence Is Crap by Gavin McInnes. Foarte asemanatoare opinii cu ale autorului articolului de mai sus. Citeva idei:
It would be somehow rude to express an opinion about what is good or bad for Scotland. Is up to its citizens to decide how they shape their future- either as an independent state or as a part of UK.
Still, I dare to stress that corruption is the main destructive force, and not the slow economic pace. These two are obviously related, but focusing on one or another makes a difference.
Whatever purely independent or part of an over-State structure (whatever structure would be), a nation shall pay attention to fight against corruption to succeed.
Can be Scotland more effective in corruption fighting (or avoiding, as the case may be) as part of the UK, or outside? This is the question :-)
Scotts, or at least a large part of the country, have profited from the British Empire no less than other parts of UK. In this respect, the situation is no different from Belgium, where both the Flemish and the French speaking side partook of the colonial empire equally. One may add, remaining on the Belgian subject that the demise of the African possessions coincided with the first separatist outbursts in the country.
Some commentators have attributed the latest developments in Scotland not only to nationalism but also to left-wing-ism, in the sense that an important part of the Scottish public is dissatisfied with Westminster’s social policies, the rather conservative approach of both Blair and Brown ( who by the way are both Scottish) and therefore, this rift may have started under Thatcher’s tenure.
One can hardly see any present government in Europe being in a financial position to be more ‘social’ than they already are. My understanding is that pro-independence Scotts see their future as similar to Norway, where natural resources provide a large revenue divided to a relatively small population. In order for the promise of these social policies to be fulfilled by the separatists, a ‘fair’ division of the aforesaid resources would be required. Given the amount of investment from the central government, that by itself would be one of the innumerable conundrums to be solved post referendum.
With or without a majority yes vote, would the devo-max option not remain as a permanence ?
If so, would Westminster’s best strategy in order to avoid fracture, not be one of addressing this head on ?
The Americans too were foolish to seek independence from the British Empire. It was a minority that started the uprising and they were to be at a loss after separation, and the Empire was at its high.
If only the economical reasons are the strong arguments for the Union, then maybe the problem is very serious – because from outside it seems that a majority or a very large minority wants the separation and the reasons cannot be only frivolous.
The Americans too were foolish to seek independence from the British Empire.
Says who? So taxation without representation seems to be a fair deal to you… hmmm… I am grateful the colonists did not think that way. Too late, amigo!
Just to set the record straight…all revolutions have been made by a minority that will encompass up to 10% of the population. That including American, French, Russian, Iranian…
Seems quite obvious, to me at least, that Razvan’s statement was tongue-in-cheek.
What do I think?
Conscience should not be sold.Maybe it is more than just about money,in the independence of Scotland.
This article does not say anything about the moral gains that Scotland will get if they leave UK,is just focusing to tell that Scotland will have less prosperity.
What about dignity?
Does not that counts?
I further think that UK should renounce the nuclear weapons and join Nordish Council.
And modify the laws to be more like Norway laws,to focus on re-integrate people in society (people who broke the law) ,instead of punishing them.
Also,all Nordish council countries (which now are including Wales,Ireland,England,Scotland ) should exit EU and stop promoting an aggressive emigration policy,that is now promoted in England,especially.
Norway is already out of UE.
If they have too many jobs,no problem,let UK people who are jobeless to have the first option to apply to those.
Republic of Ireland,UK countries natural place is in Nordish council,having a Nordish policy.
But since England ,Wales and North Ireland do not think at this,neither Republic of Ireland,is very well that at least Scots are having the courage to do this,getting independent and trying joining Nordic Council.
Know your history,Vikings from Scandinavia had a lot of influence in forming the English,Welsh,Scottish and Irish nations.
Also,1/3 of Norway women are of UK origins,so this means,UK women had also a big role in forming of Norwegian nation.
Scotland is 40 years late in becoming independent. It should have done it in the late 70s, when the oil production in the N Sea just started. Giant oil fields came in stream in late 70s and this has helped Margaret Thatcher governments to beat the recession (there was no magic economic policies, just pure luck). Unfortunately all the revenues from oil were wasted by the central administration from London on wars and tax reductions, with little or no impact on Scottish economy. The devolution came too late to change this.
The author is wrong about Scotland being too small to be viable country. Norway has a comparable population and its wealth relies solely on the oil industry. The difference between the British oil industry and the Norway one is the level of state control. Norway has a state owned company, Statoil, whose profits are invested in sovereign funds. UK has only private companies (some like BP, Shell and BG are huge). Norway has built a strong oil service sector, superior to the one developed in Aberdeen.
Norway has also the Petroleum Directorate, a very professional state agency for the administration of natural resources. The standard of the management of the oil resources is much higher in Norway that in UK. The Petroleum Directorate is probably the best agency of natural resource management in the world. Essentially the UK oil industry was managed using the rape and run approach (similar to the US and Australia).
Some of the contributors will probably ask themselves why the laissez faire policies from UK did not produce superior results to a moderately state controlled economy as in Norway.
I leave them to answer.
Sure enough your final question will get a tough answer soon ;-)
Still waiting for it.
I don’t recall nationalists usually carrying much about ‘after’, their main goal and fight are rooted in ‘let’s do it first, we’ll deal with the rest later’ rather than in carefully planning a smooth transition. Perhaps we are dealing with a treat which is intrinsic to the human nature, result of the passions and light-headed sensations which accompany this usually very emotionally-charged process.
„And how could Spain agree to Scotland becoming an EU member? It would set a precedent for their restive Catalonia region and could result in the breakup of Spain.” – I am not sure that Spain would react like that. If England recognizes the split, and all signs indicate that the people’s will is to be respected, I don’t see Spain having any say regarding the appearance of Scotland as the newest independent country in Europe. I agree that if England opposed the split, Spain would be holding the tip of the spear ready to be plunged in any of Scotland’s fights to be reckoned as an independent country, but that’s not the case.
My prediction is that Scotland is going to try it on its own, since if there is anything I learnt over the years about the Scots, is that it’s most of the time better not to tell them that something is going to be very wrong in what they are doing currently; they charge up emotionally and you can’t talk about reason anymore, stubbornness and hot-headedness is the mind state they usually go into (mind that I’m not talking about solving a math problem or a transportation issue).
I hope you’re wrong about Scotland eventually trying it on its own. While I’m not convinced by Rupert’s arguments, I do agree with his conclusion.
Guess we’ll see in a matter of days which way it goes.
It would be a mess should Scotland become an independent nation. They have no means to sustain a competitive economy on their own… politically, they lean far-left and inevitabily the bankruptcy will be reality in a matter of years (or less). What about the currency they would adopt? What about all active mortgages set in British Pounds? They do not know what they are doing.
Bravo scotienilor! Ati dovedit ieri ca la voi cei cu scaun la cap sunt majoritari.