I do not have a terribly high opinion of nationalism. German nationalism did not work out very well for the Germans or for their neighbors. Ukrainian nationalism doesn’t look very appealing to me. Jewish nationalism doesn’t seem to be very good for the Jews these days.
Here’s a nice family photograph from about 1904. These three are Scottish siblings; their names are Janet, Lovie and Juke Allan. Lovie is my paternal grandmother. History fails to record the name of the dog. These three likely would have supported Better Together, the ‘No’ campaign. They were proud to be British. George Galloway, the Respect MP from Bradford West, one of the few British politicians I admire, strongly opposes Scottish independence.
I spent some time in England with Lovie, Janet and other family members when I was a boy, and I was raised in the British expat community of southern California, a dual-citizen of the USA and UK. I also studied law in England in 1982. Many friends tell me I’m more Brit than American, and maybe it’s so, yet I can’t say I ever bought into the myths of Great Britain. For one thing, my dad the natural-born Englishman never had a kind word to say about the British Empire. For another, I actually took the time to read quite a few of Winston Churchill’s books and a number of Churchill biographies – and was properly horrified.
Since the Thatcher years, both Labour and Conservative UK governments have sold out Britain to corporate interests. The British people and British democracy have paid a high price over the last 35 years. The UK has offered unwavering support to the United States and to Israel, no matter how egregious their criminality and no matter how many innocent lives are claimed. It is hopeless. Democracy is broken in the UK. The policies of London are so wrong, so obviously illegal, that the most imaginative thing the Scots could do is break up the United Kingdom from within.
Disunion – the end of the United Kingdom – should be the real legacy of Thatcher, Major, Blair and Cameron. These hopelessly amoral, wretched governments in London have wrecked the country, and on the 18th, the people of Scotland have a chance to pull the plug. Mr. Major argues Scottish independence would be have the “disastrous” consequences of ending the British nuclear deterrent and costing Britain her permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Really? Thanks John, those are two more good reasons to vote Yes!
Europe Fears Scottish Independence Contagion. If by “Europe” we mean the authority figures within the EU and their corporate backers, one can certainly understand why. Independence movements threaten to disrupt neoliberal control over Europe.
Throughout my life I have thought of myself as an internationalist as opposed to a provincial “my-country-right-or-wrong” type. If we’re going to have a prayer of doing anything about global climate change it’s going to be necessary to cooperate internationally. And yet, today it is apparent that the western world is dominated by corporate interests that rule by force and fiat for their own benefit. Anything that challenges their power is worth trying.
Postscript: The No vote prevailed. Fair enough. Careful readers will notice I did not list Gordon Brown with Thatcher, Major, Blair and Cameron as those who deserve blame for the breakup of the UK. As the vote neared, Mr. Brown gave a magnificent speech. It’s possible that this speech saved the country – literally. It’s a pity old Gordon couldn’t make some speeches like this one when he was Prime Minister. Well done, sir. Let’s have a look at an important, literate, idealistic speech.