Let the people decide.
After all, isn’t that how democracy is supposed to work?
On such an historic day, I am reminded of the Scottish National hero, William Wallace, who was hanged, drawn and quartered by England’s Edward I after leading one of many rebellions for freedom and independence from the ruling classes of England.
Wallace was immortalised in modern times by Mel Gibson in his award-winning film, Braveheart.
I wondered, how would William Wallace have voted tonight? That much is surely obvious.
The European Union has shown in the past that it does not always represent the interests of its citizens. So, too, the United Kingdom. The UK remains at the centre (right, or left) of it all. Hegemonic, political and economic interests of the Liberal, Labour and Conservative Parties are prioritised over and above those who voted them into power in the first instance. Perhaps the Scottish National Party (of which former MI6 agent, James Bond, was once a member – or was he, or is he still?) remains the solitary exception?
Inasmuch as I think the British Prime Minister has performed poorly as the leader of the House of Commons, he can be credited for no longer holding up what has been inevitable for so many years in Her Majesty’s United Kingdom. Scottish national pride, in spite of hundreds of years of persecution at the hands of England’s filthy monarchies, remains intact. Tonight, the people of Scotland, not their supposed leaders, decide for themselves their destiny.
Ultimately, Great Britain, as the presiding nation of the Queen’s Commonwealth, of which Jacob Zuma’s South Africa is proudly a member, while Robert Mugabe’s ruined (by the UK, as he alleges) Zimbabwe is not, does not truly represent the interests of all of its subjects. India and Bangladesh remain divided nations. Most African nations’ governments roll over from one to another after bloody, or bloodless coups. In other areas such as Hong Kong, citizens accede to hand-overs of power from one oppressive regime to the next.
Yes, subjects, not really citizens, after all, with the Queen as the figurative head, commanding a budget of billions (at the expense of those who need the pound, or euro more) to run her royal house.
The people of Scotland decide tonight. Not their governments, nor their local MP. My (not so brave) heart hopes they vote Yes.
But, my mind does say otherwise. The union, it has to be said, has been mostly a peaceful and prosperous one, for the last three hundred or so years at least. Or has it? Nationalism on a cultural level remains secure if the Scots vote no. There is Edinburgh. And there is Glasgow.
But, the thorn of the English rose continues to threaten the delicate thistle. If the Scots vote No, it remains to be seen how things are dictated to them from London, whether Left, Right, or Centre. Never mind the promises made. That’s all they are, promises. Historically, promises were made, but not always kept. Who is to say that Cameron, or his successor does not renege on promises made in favour of greater autonomy and economic freedom to Scotland?
Double standards abound as well. After all, it seems that the British government is trumpeting the cause of the Ukrainians, but discouraging the Scots from taking a brave step towards the unknown.
There will be pain in the early days of independence, certainly, but after all the political wrangling and paper shuffling has been completed in Brussels, Scotland can work well as a valuable (prosperous, peaceful and liberal) member of the EU and a co-operative and friendly neighbour to Her Majesty’s Little Britain. But then there’s still Gibraltar and Catalonia?
And the Irish.
The people will decide.