Let’s see if this makes any sense…
Scottish Independence has been on my mind a lot lately, probably because of the recent election in Britain in which the Conservatives were declared the (eventual and debatable) victors but who were overwhelmingly not voted in in Scotland, accentuating the somewhat glaringly obvious political and ideological differences between the two countries (And yes, for those not from Scotland and not in the know about the region, despite not having Independence, Scotland is still it’s own country. It’s just also part of a bigger country as well. I think it’s the only instance of such a silly confusing set up that I know of… oh well!). The differences and rivalries between Scotland and England go back a long way, far too long to go over here. This isn’t a history lesson though, buck-o! This is a post about my recently changing opinion on the concept of Independence for Scotland and what it would, could and should mean.
Let me begin by first of all quoting the John Lennon song “Imagine“ as is traditional in these situations –
“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too”
No truer words have been spoken (or sang) in my opinion. A word without borders where we all accept the fact that we’re all people of the same race sharing one glorious spinning orb would indeed be ideal and for those “dreamers” among us who think about what the world should be like, it really isn’t difficult to imagine such a world.
In this respect I had up until recently believed that the push for Scottish Independence (And therefore the push for another more strengthened border) was in direct conflict of this ideal. Surely a better aim would be to make Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and all the ickle islands up and down the place part of a larger Europe, and from there move on to trying to form a unified world government of some kind? Yes, that seems like the most logical step to achieving any kind of unity. I always felt that the nationalism that comes from striving for independence from a governing state could easily lead to racism (As nationalism and over-patriotism often do) and simply divide us in an even greater way from the English (Some would say that wouldn’t be a bad thing but I disagree).
In a simple way it’s true.
In the moment, as people push for independence it does spur a kind of anti-English rhetoric, rather than just a pro-Scottish one, but I think this is a price we have to pay. For with independence would come a sense of self which Scotland (and many other regions and countries in similar situations) hasn’t really had the full brunt of experiencing in a very long time and it would seem to me that when a group of countries, states or whatever else have a sense of themselves, a pride in the individual parts, it’s far easier for them to look at their neighbors as neighbors and not the enemy next door.
Anyway, I’m sure I could ramble a little bit more and I actually intended to but I figure the few people who might be interested to read all this probably already agree somewhat. But if you don’t, comment away!