Scotland has been tied politically to England for some 300 years, but that might change after a September 18 vote on independence. How the vote will turn out is anyone’s guess, but the possibility that Scotland will break away is quite real. A recent YouGov poll put the pro-independence vote up narrowly, by 51 to 49 percent.
Scotland seems to want to end the union largely because the socialist Scots think that England, particularly London, a hub of world finance, is too capitalist. The Scots apparently want to build the proverbial Socialism in One Country, which of course, has failed everywhere it’s been tried.
In the long run, a break up would probably be good for both countries. English taxpayers pay a lot of welfare subsidies to Scotland, and they would welcome relief from the burden. Scotland needs England a lot more than England needs Scotland. Moreover, removing leftist Scottish voters from national elections might permit the rest of the UK to move in a less socialist direction. John Fund speculates that once Scottish voters are gone, the UK might even be able to extricate itself from the clutches of the European Union.
As for the Scots, if they pursue socialism, they will fail, and as a result, they will learn a valuable lesson. Forced to finally take responsibility for themselves, they’ll have no choice but to put their house in order. No longer will they be able to rely on subsidies from London. Nor will they be able to blame London for their problems. According to John Fund, a similar dynamic ensued back in the 1990s when the Slovaks separated from the Czechs.
I was in the Slovak capital of Bratislava in early 1993 when Czechoslovakia peacefully broke up. The two halves of the country had struggled for three years after the fall of Communism to stay together, but the Slovaks thought the state was too centered on the Czech capital of Prague, and the Czechs resented subsidies and over-representation of Slovaks in key bodies….
Back then, Czechs viewed the Slovaks as more statist and slower to seize economic opportunities than they were. But today, both countries have shown remarkable improvement in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom; and last year, Slovakia’s economy grew by 2.1 percent…
“We are doing very well,” Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia’s deputy prime minister, told the BBC last year. “The Czech republic is doing well, and our friendship is better than ever,” he said.
Slovakia’s population of 5.4 million is almost precisely that of Scotland, and its success shows how small countries can do well on their own.
And finally, as if any further confirmation were needed that the UK is a nation off its collective rocker, 16-year-olds will be allowed to vote on the referendum.
Even though 16- and 17-year-olds account for only 2.5 percent of eligible voters, they could make the difference in a close vote. Polls show that they are the most eager for independence.
Because video-game-playing 16-year-olds are known for carefully thinking through difficult questions of national sovereignty and political constitutions.
For hundreds of years, Scotland’s warrior class battled in vain to make their country independent of England. How remarkable that what legendary Scots such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Bonnie Prince Charlie all failed to achieve through blood and iron might now be accomplished by 16-year-olds with ballots.