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article imageOp-Ed: Scotland the (more or less) Brave faces independence

By Paul Wallis     Aug 24, 2014 in World
Edinburgh - Scotland is a strange mix of characteristics. There are two Scottish characters. You’ll have Robert the Bruce and some whining git who’ll bitch at you for hours about burning the scones hundreds of years ago.
Scotland is socially somewhere between Billy Connolly and an ad for Campbell’s Soup. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Scottish independence vote. After centuries of a national identity built on an independent tradition, the question of independence is now “Oooh..Aye…Dooon’t rilly nooo…”
The Land of the Deep Fried Mars Bar isn’t really the Scotland of the wild and frozen-arsed past, in so many ways. This is modern Scotland, where the world class Scottish heroes and the descendants of the hideously poor have carved out a sort of shopping mall of a society. There’s real poverty and real genius, chronic visionaries and serial drunks.
If your family tree happens to include the name Mackenzie, you can take or leave modern Scotland. You can also see a latter day Neil Oliver walking the glens talking about the Scottish Independence vote, and its significance. …And you can shudder at the possibilities.
History hasn’t been all that kind to Scotland as a society. The granite-like, blindingly brutal generational poverty has left a hideous scar on the Scottish psyche. As in England, poverty-created standards of social mediocrity have gnawed a place in Scottish society as some sort of obscene norm.
These grim industrial-era social seagulls aren’t the ideals of wild highlanders, fighting for freedom. They’re the result of a culture of doormats which has spread its bog-like lower middle class values across the English and Scottish mentality. For them, the big issues are the little issues.
Nowhere are these values more obvious than in the “debate” over independence. The Scottish independence vote discussion has defaulted to a housekeeping exercise, with money a major consideration. If that consideration has to be given its due respect as an actual issue, the idea of independence has also meanwhile become an exercise in big issue evasion. You can hear the accountants bleating.
The English are against Scottish independence. They’ve portrayed it as a fatal economic mistake for Scotland. The Scots are saying they’ll simply ignore their part of the UK national debt. A genuine penny-pinching bitching session has arisen, in the noblest traditions of everything which has degenerated both England and Scotland into a weird mix of greatness and unspeakable superficiality.
Meanwhile, the English haven’t even dared make plans for a Yes result, and the Scots aren’t prepared for a No vote.
According to Herald Scotland:
Former cabinet secretary Lord O'Donnell said heads were "stuck firmly in the sand" and called for more debate on the consequences of a Yes vote in next month's referendum.
Lord O'Donnell said the rest of the UK would be faced with "serious policy issues" in the event of independence, including the relocation of Trident, where to build military ships and how to distribute the UK's assets.
He said: "We all face not just a constitutional mess but a protracted period of uncertainty as various issues are thrashed out.
"The UK Government is as worried about being seen to prepare for a Yes vote as the Scottish Government is about making plans for a No vote.
These four potentially chaotic lines indicate the depth of uncertainty. They also indicate a strangely silent vision of nothing happening.
The propaganda rolls on, including apparently endless revelations of the Unity vote leading in the polls. The Scottish independence movement, in fact, has been around for a long time. They’ve had the numbers to force a vote, a fact which only a facile, well-lubricated media could ignore.
Not all media, though. The Guardian, unlike some, has been keeping track of the other, independent Scottish mindset:
More than 1 million voters have signed a declaration in favour of Scottish independence, according to the pro-independence campaign Yes Scotland.
When the yes declaration was launched along with the official yes campaign in May 2012, the first minister, Alex Salmond, said that if the target of 1m signatures was reached by the referendum then Scotland would become an independent country.
Well, sort of. The total electoral roll is 4.2 million people, of which 80% are expected to participate. That million people is a confirmed representation for independence.
The Battle between the Brilliant and the Boring will be decided in September.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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