A Celtic Fantasy Plays Out In Scotland

Hadrian's Wall Didn't Work Last Time ...

Hadrian’s Wall Didn’t Work Last Time …

Fantasy sells we suppose, because among other reasons, reality kind of sucks; it’s not famously a lot of fun. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” is a bit short of the appeal in: “Vote for me and I’ll take care of you.” And today, we even have Pope Francis reminding that our governors owe us care. He hasn’t yet troubled himself over where the governments will find the wherewithal to fulfill his orders, though. That must be the government’s problem, not the Pope’s.

Similarly, we see Scotland voting upon its own independence from Great Britain. Well, Liechtenstein and Singapore are managing — so far — so why not Scotland? The Romans beat the Scots (then called Picts, etc.) in 84, but being Scots, losing didn’t stop the fighting. The Romans had to keep beating them until they gave up and just walled them off from Britain in 122 under Emperor Hadrian. The Scots naturally, refused to stay behind the wall.

The fighting went on and in a bad year, England had to formally recognize Scottish independence, in 1328. By 1654, Oliver Cromwell claimed dominion over Scotland, Ireland and England but true union only arrived in 1707 with the Scottish and English Parliaments accepting it. And now the Scots are restive once more. They’re not raiding England this time, though … yet, anyway. We note that they have produced a lot of British military, as have the southern states in the U.S.

In a world of power politics, tiny and modestly blessed with resources does not seem an attractive position on the international scene. Scotland’s voting seems to contain a romantic rather than realistic element, not that such ever restrained a Celt. We see from our perch in the American southwest, a degree of fantasy in this voting. Looking to the North, we see in Ukraine, writhing under a mildly disguised Russian invasion, a reality. That Tibet is part of China is another such reality. We can understand those, whether or not we approve of them. We are bemused by the Scots.

If the Scots depart, they will light fires elsewhere: The Basques, Catalans and others in Spain, Quebec in Canada and numerous other places will be tempted. Should we suppose that Northern Ireland will lay passive? A California movement to split into six states will take heart and Texas was once independent and has not forgotten. Pandora has moved her box to Scotland?

These fantasies are all weakening democratic countries; no one seriously expects Hong Kong to separate, much as its inhabitants might prefer that. And the Ukrainians had already separated for all the good it has done them. The world of reality is the world of power politics. Scotland seems to us, to be indulging a fantasy and likely a destructive one at that.

 

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About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
This entry was posted in Fiscal/Financial Responsibility, Politics, Ukraine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Celtic Fantasy Plays Out In Scotland

  1. I suspect the vote will fail and Scotland will reject independence. Change is scary. It’s probably for the best or else we’d have to call it the SK, Separated Kingdom. There may be some wisdom behind staying entwined. I’m a bit sad about it however, I tend to have romantic notions about independence in general. Let freedom ring!

    • Jack Curtis says:

      And I have, besides some Scots ancestry, a a high, approaching unrealistic regard for subsidiarity, the political principle claiming that all governing should be done as locally as possible. Which these days, is saddening enough.

  2. A few years back I was on holiday in Malta and was talking to a local. He said Malta had won independence from Britain but was now a colony of the EU. Scottish independence is a lie. They obviously will not be an independent country, just a region of Europe. EU playing divide and rule. My guess is if they vote for independence, the EU will have them by the short and curlies the place will go downhill so fast there will be a mass migration into the North of England, screwing us up (jobs, housing). As I live here I am not sanguine watching the EU puppet show.

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