(via Brian Kane)
Sir Sean Connery has dreamed of Scottish independence since he was delivering milk to Edinburgh’s Georgian terraces. He has supported the cause all of his politically-aware life. He has donated millions to the cause and spoken at SNP conferences. And his celebrity status is stratospheric: he is an A-lister.
In recent history, we’ve seen the Soviet Union dissolve into component parts. We’ve seen Czechoslovakia survive their “Velvet Divorce” and emerge on the other side as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In our own country, we’ve seen Texans threatening to secede from the Union (Don’t let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out, ‘kay??). We’ve seen Belgium’s continued survival threatened over disagreements between Flemings and Walloons. I could continue, but you get the point, right? With the end of the Cold War, the artificial forces that held many countries together have predictably loosened, giving birth to all manner of countries aspiring to carve their own path.
With all that as prelude, it would be understandable that the United Kingdom might not be so…united. Indeed, Scotland has had a nascent independence movement for quite some time. Sean Connery, in fact, is a member of the Scottish National Party and has been an ardent advocate for Scottish independence since he was a wee lad in Edinburgh.
Now the Scottish National Party is in the majority in the Scottish Parliament, and the idea of a referendum on independence from the UK is being floated with increasing seriousness. The British government has stated that it would not stand in the way of such a referendum. Realistically, the British government has no desire to see Scotland leave the UK, but they’re grounded enough in Realpolitik to understand that the decision isn’t theirs to make.
The idea of Scottish independence isn’t a given, and there are significant issues- primarily financial and economic- that Scots will need to come to grips with prior to taking that leap. In the end, though, it will likely come down to one question: Is it more important to stick with the UK, where they’d be better off economically, or to take the leap and make a go of it as an independent Scotland? Time will tell, of course, but it does make for some interesting conjecture.
Oh, and guess what? Scotland has oil…and you know what that means, right??