Wow. Just, wow.
I am amazed, truly amazed, that this movement for Scotland to gain independence may actually succeed after all. The referendum is set to take place this Thursday.
And it is an extremely complicated issue, one that I would imagine the overwhelming majority of Americans (including myself) understand very little, outside of having seen the superb (but historically inaccurate) movie Braveheart.
Yes, I know that England and Scotland have a very long and frequently contentious relationship. Yes, I know that contemporary Scotland tends to be quite liberal in its political outlook and as a result many Scots loathe the current Conservative government, and especially David Cameron. I am not a fan of the conservative government’s economics in any way, and so I bet it is worse for anyone having to live directly affected by those policies. And yet I still find it hard to believe that Scots would prefer to have their own country. Perhaps I am naive.
To be sure, Scottish independence would create a host of problems for both the Scots and the rest of the UK. The Scots do not have their own currency, for one thing, and are apparently thinking they will just adopt the pound. I can’t blame them for not wanting to have anything to do with the Euro, but in my limited understanding of economics and current events the sort of issues that have created problems with the Euro (such as having vastly different economies with vastly different economic policies using the same currency) would NOT be solved by adopting the pound. And by becoming independent, the limited voice Scots have with policy that affects the pound would seem to become even more limited, if not nonexistent. And the Scots would have to go through the process of joining various international groups all over again, I would think, whether it’s the EU or NATO or whatever. So new treaties and such too.
Would the British flag change? Would travel to the UK suddenly be very, very different? Would there suddenly be a border with fences and such where there had been none? Would the departure of such a strong bloc of liberal politicians make the remainder of the UK even more conservative?
I don’t know.
I don’t know whether all this is something to view with excitement or fear, honestly, because I feel like I don’t even know enough to have a truly informed opinion. That alone worries me. I hope that everyone over there is making good decisions, one way or another. But I do like John Oliver’s take on this.