Thursday 18 September 2014
Working in Ottawa today --Self determination
Good morning folks,
I will be working in Ottawa today.
After a few weeks away from traveling, I am back in the regular schedule. I had a two week Staycation and the last week was otherwise engaged. So here we are, first day back on a plane and..
Scots are heading to the polls...
You've likely heard that today is Scotland's vote of Yes/No for an independent Scotland.
Perhaps you heard it from The Simpson's Groundskeeper Willy, Hey fellow Scots, on September 18th our people will take to the polls to decide once and for all if Scotland should declare its independence. Now both sides of this argument have valid points, the freedom loving heirs of the Highland tradition, and those who enjoy crawling like worms beneath British boots! Our most recent polls show that we are split 50/50 on the matter and I am hesitant to throw my support for either side, be it the right one or the obviously wrong one!
The current union between Scotland and England dates back to the 1707 Act of Union and I might add that a mere 40 years after the signing, new laws were enacted that were aimed at eradicating the Highland culture, the Gaelic language, Tartan, and a prohibiting of owning weapons. Not unlike the Japanese attempt at eradicating the Korean language and culture in the late 16th century and again in the mid 20th century (previous pulp). the Koreans are still kind of ticked over that, btw.
But let's let that previous transgression slide a bit. So what is the current independence push all about?
Well.. Sure, each election the left leaning Scots get a right leaning gov't imposed on them because of the more right leaning and higher populated England. An independent Scotland would in theory be free from the Conservatives for good and their austerity measures. Since 2008 the UK gov't has been married to a series of cost cutting measures that have seen a budget cut of 6 billion £ and a loss of 50,000 jobs.
But the strongest is the desire for self determination. Scotland formed its own Parliament in 1999 and that just increased the appetite for more self governance and determination of destiny. Many also believe that a self governed Scotland would prosper with locally managed oil reserves and a Scotland only tax regime.
What is the right answer? Would an independent Scotland become a member of the EU? Would Spain and Italy block its entry -- each have their own internal independence movements, The EU president José Manuel Barraso has already stated that Scotland entering the EU would be difficult if not impossible.
London is not agreeable to an independent Scotland to continue using the £ although it could just carry on using it without permission but that would mean without input to monetary policies of the £ which could be extremely risky to the new Scot economy.
But enough of plane cabin political analysis.
If my Scot friends and relatives decide now is the time to move out and go it alone, they are tough enough to succeed; it would not be easy, but life isn't ever. If they decide to stay, then let's hope that London will keep its promises for reform and new powers for the Scottish Parliament.