Scottish Independence Part 2

It is so cold outside that I am working from home today. We just returned from running the cars up and down the black top to make sure they could still do their thing. Success, but man! You don’t want to be out there. It looks deceptively sunny and pleasant, but that wind is killer.

My psychic abilities are in tact. I had predicted 2 hours late Friday and no school Monday for Bryon, and indeed, this has been the case. I predict 2 hours late tomorrow, although I need to be at Kirkwood at 9:30 for a meeting about planning interviews for next week. It’s cold, but tomorrow we’ll be seeing above zero temps, so that’ll be good, even if the high will be 1F.

The bad weather is playing havoc with the eyes, nose, ears complex. Like last year, I’m a little dizzy occasionally. Yes, I have meclazine. And the eyes get dry. Yes, I have drops. And I get sinus ache. Just bought a humidifier, and that helps. Poo. Moving to Florida can’t come soon enough. (And as soon as it can come is 2020. If I’m lucky.)

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You might remember that I started an article on Scottish Independence. I had laid out some history and background, and pointed out the Scottish tendency toward nationalism. Today, I’d like to talk about some of the pros and cons I’m hearing about why the vote should be yes or no.

1. North Sea Oil. Many pro-independence Scottish will tell you that Scotland deserves all of the money made from North Sea oil. The idea is that the revenues from the oil would put about 500 pounds of extra money in the average Scottish pocket, and that the English and Welsh don’t deserve this clearly Scottish revenue. Unification Scots suggest that the price of oil is volatile and nothing can be guaranteed regarding this revenue.

2. Economics. Scots for independence are convinced that the average Scot would be better off without the additional tax burdens of Great Britain. Scots for continued unification don’t see the benefits here.

3. Scottish input into world politics. The arguments in this case seem to support the unification Scots. Britain could lose its seat on the UN council if the countries divide up. Scotland is a tiny country and would have less influence than it does even with the auspices of Britain.

4. How do you divide up the pie? Regardless of which way the country goes, certain issues regarding infrastructure, national debt, banks, and government agencies would have to be resolved. A debt free Scotland is not in the cards, given the amount of national debt Great Britain has.

5. Who gets to make the decision? These days it’s hard to define who’s a Scot and who’s not. My own family are from the South, and depending on the revolution, they could have been English or Scottish on a given day. I know my granddad’s roots are English and my grandmother’s are Irish, but their families were Scots longer than my mother’s family has been an American. There are guidelines for who can vote and who can’t, but the integration is solid.

6. Culture issues. When I was last in Scotland, I was proud to see a mobile unit for teaching children Scots Gaelic, the original language of my people. BUT very few people use Scots Gaelic in the world, so a return to it, which no one is advocating, would be difficult. However, the Scots have always been pretty free to preserve aspects of their culture. I wonder what would happen with an increased climate of nationalism.

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The movement for Scottish independence currently has more support than it ever has, but polls seem to indicate that the majority of the country supports the idea of the United Kingdom. I think the farther north you go, the more likely anti-English sentiment grows, and that makes sense, given the history of the Highlands.

If I were to vote, I would vote no. I am proud of my Scottish roots, but I would worry about the economic impact and infrastructure of a newly independent Scotland. And my suspicious Scottish side wonders if this is a jettison maneuver from the English to help them economically. Color me paranoid, but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve used my people’s resources to help them get along. (Let’s talk about chasing peasants off land so you could have more sheep for your estates, yes?).

For me, the issue is this: until Scotland has a sound infrastructure that is less reliant on a unified UK, I would suggest no. If Scotland is to be independent, let us move slowly and deliberately in a gradual fashion, getting her the support she best needs for her people. Perhaps this is already being done, but I worry that it has not yet been done sufficiently.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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