Doing things differently since 1984
In less than one week, Scotland will have the opportunity to decide if it wants to be completely independent from the UK.
I’ve been following the news rather closely, and several articles have mentioned how this would be a “landmark” event if Scotland votes Yes, and a defining moment in both Scottish and English history – which, certainly, is true. But everyone seems to be missing the truly huge thing here: A portion of a country is deciding whether it wants to be independent of its ruling government.
Not to be a bitter Betty or anything, but does anyone remember what happened when the American colonies decided they wanted to be independent of their ruling government? A war (or two) comes to mind. Even India had to stage protests and rebellions for nearly a century to get their independence. But Scotland… just kind of asked nicely?
I have read up on how this all happened, but I’m no expert. However, my impression is that it went something like this:
SCOTLAND: We want to be independent!
UK: Are you sure?
SCOTLAND: …yes. Well, maybe. We’ll get back to you on that.
UK: OK. Whatever. But we’re keeping the house and the dog.
Now, I know that the British Empire committed its share of evils in its conquest to rule the world, but this exchange is shockingly agreeable. I won’t say it’s unprecedented, because I don’t feel like doing that much research, but I don’t know of any examples of this level of Democracy happening anywhere else. It’s not like it’s the first time a distinct group of people have wanted their own country – it’s just that such desires tend to be stated with violence and then received with violence.
There has been much talk about how this could set a precedence for other regions that want to break away to form their own independent countries. I’m no fan of political upheaval or anything, but I just want to say that if regions are going to seek independence, do it like Scotland and the UK. With a civil discussion, a handshake, and wave good-bye (or not).
Regardless of anyone’s opinions about whether it’s actually a good idea that Scotland break from the UK or not, we should all be able to agree that the very fact that such a discussion can take place so peacefully, and that no one thinks it’s strange that such a discussion can take place peacefully, is cause for celebration. Chin up, UK – you’ve got something to be proud of.