Scottish Independence: The “Yes” Argument

Every one should be careful not to jump to conclusions and to ascribe to a poem or a story the genesis of a popular movement. Least of all, a historically inaccurate Hollywood epic. The Scottish independence movement should be considered no differently.

For decades, Scottish politicians have bemoaned how North Sea oil revenues off the coast of Scotland have not filled the coffers of Scottish needs and Scottish development but that of less productive and less rich areas of the United Kingdom. Scottish politicians have also complained about the stationing of nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed ballistic submarines in Scotland by the British government. Scottish politicians have long complained about these issues and others for years amid one of the most advanced economics in the world, an economy that is dependent on British markets, British economics of scale, and British military defence, but with only moderate support within and beyond Scotland. Indeed, the governments of Canada and India, former British colonies, are opposed to Scottish independence for economic but also for symbolic reasons. However, it is also in Scotland, where a deep cynicism for calculating politicians, the landed elite, and an admiration for passionate, charismatic leaders of grit are woven into the land, that only 1995 a film like Braveheart could put into form hope of an independent Scotland, could return the idea of devolution from the political fringe back into the mainstream, could restart the devolution train, and could inspire hundreds of thousands of Scots for almost 20-years to strive towards an independent Scotland.

Economically, Scottish independence plan is illogical, if not also infeasible. The Scottish National Party proved as much when they campaigned over North Sea oil revenues in the mid-1970s but then collapsed in 1979 due to factionalism and a lack of support. However, after 1995, dreams of riches and avarice along with economic feasibility paled in comparison to aspirations and then demands by Scots for choice, freedom, and a “country of our own.” The history of nationalism a highly illogical tale punctuated with violence and heightened passions. Nationalism is deeply emotional, deeply political, and profoundly human.