Scotland: Giving the Finger or Wagging It

Today, libertyPell calls upon Easton B. F. Bull, host of Cocktails With WASPs, to guide us through tomorrow’s vote in Scotland.

Cocktails With WASPs

On Thursday September 18, the voters among Scotland’s five plus million inhabitants will decide whether to become a separate country after more than 300 years of being united with England. With an economy larger than Alabama’s but smaller than Oregon’s the voters will decide whether to follow Alex Salmond, who would presumably become Prime Minister, or to stay “better together” with the rest of Great Britain (or the United Kingdom – there have been branding issues).

For most Americans, the pros and cons of Scotland as a separate country are irrelevant, but we look on with interest. For those closer at hand, the consequences are more significant.

Alex Salmond could ascend from First Minister to Prime Minister, a move to the top table of world leaders.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of whatever is left, risks sufficient embarrassment from a loss that he might have to resign.

Apart from the shame of being rejected by a good chunk of their country, the Tories stand to gain politically because most Scottish MPs are Labour and their votes would disappear.

The Royal Family might need visas to visit Balmoral in late summer.

Political consultants and pollsters have enjoyed an additional payday.

Big government finger waggers throughout the world are terrified that the vote will spark an Ebola virus of other countries whose regions seek to give them the finger on the way to divorce. Spain vs. Catalonia. Spain vs. Basque. Italy vs. Veneto. Belgium vs. Flemings or Walloons. China vs. Xinjiang (home of its Muslim Uighurs). You get the picture.

Is there an answer and what should we root for when we turn on the television on Thursday night?

Despite overwhelming evidence that big government finger waggers never learn anything, I prefer an outcome that sticks a finger in their eye by sending a signal in support of devolution. Shift all possible authority to the lowest level of governance.

If a part of your country wants to divorce you, it is sort of like a report card on your performance.

If about 52% voted no (Better Together) and 48% voted yes (Independence) with a near 100% turnout, the cleverest finger waggers might get the message.

Odds of hearing it? Low.

If the yes voters prevail, the odds of finger waggers throughout the world hearing them increase substantially.

3 Responses to “Scotland: Giving the Finger or Wagging It”

Nick Gardiner, September 17, 2014 at 5:39 pm said:

Paris, France
This commentary is very instructive, even if, the reference to Alabama’s economy seems to diminish the importance of an independent Scotland. It is fairly obvious that the nation state hasn’t worked out in a lot of places and that the world has begun to divide itself along ethnic, religious, and linguistic lines rather than geographically.
It’s not only Europe. Just look at Iraq and Syria various regions of Africa. and Xinjiang Province in China. Even Bretons have donned red bonnets in protest to the French government.
Scotland isn’t the first country to “opt out” of England. The Thirteen Colonies got the ball rolling and rightfully so, but today our own report card doesn’t look so hot either.
Do I here Dixie? I guess that would get our attention.


Haven Pell, September 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm said:

It is hard to get your arms around the size of another country but Scotland is not large.

Affiliations of regions or groups on an opt-in basis might be better models.


James Walton, September 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm said:

A rare chance to disagree with our Pundificator! Devolution means that I underwrite their debts. I dont go with that, its a poor structure. Its even worse when the devolved country is a socialist bureaucracy like Scotland. Think France 500 miles north, where the reality of daily life is far from the glamour of whisky adverts and pictures of the R&A. If they want divorce, off they go, and take their share of the debt with them, find a new [central] bank, and a new currency.
By the way, I gather [golf being a foreign language to me] that on Thursday the R&A are also voting about women membership. I wouldn’t use the sidewalk below 370 Park Ave on Friday if they say yes…


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