September 11, 2014

On Scottish Independence

I’ve been wanting to get my thoughts on Scottish Independence down in a coherent fashion for a while now, so here goes.

First let me say I’m all for devolution. Scotland having as much power as possible to make it’s own decisions is a good thing, and while I understand the attraction of becoming an independent nation I will be voting “no” next week. Let me explain why.

Risk. Becoming independent puts us in a position of undertaking huge risk. For example if we were independent we would not get a fiscal union with the UK, Westminster has told us that much. That means, assuming we use the pound in an informal currency union, that a Scottish bank would hold our money with no security (i.e. there would be no backup / bailout). Some will argue that this will make banks more responsible when lending. I’m just not sure it’s worth the risk.

Currency is just one example of the risks we would need to take. Other risks include:

  • The financial debt we would inherit
  • Lack of a resonable defence force (supplying NATO?)
  • Possible increase in tuition fees
  • As a Christain what could the new constituion include?
  • If we lose the Queen as Head of State, would Salmond become king? ;)
  • And so on…

This is without doubt one of the most important decisions our generation will ever make. The SNP seem to have adopted the attitude of “let’s get independence and work the rest out later”. Given the magnitude of this decision, I feel it is the SNP’s responsibility to pre-negotiate a lot more than they have done on issues like currency, defense, EU etc. For me the “shoot first and ask question later” attitude just won’t fly.

So while I definelty would consider independence as a viable option for Scotland, in my opinion it just hasn’t been handled sufficiently. I have no confidence in the SNP so I’m going to “play it safe” and vote no. I’ve not mentioned my distaste to the aggressiveness of the Yes campaign, suffice to say this quote from T.H. White seems relevant:

“The Destiny of Man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.”

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