Friday, 16 October 2015

Asking Wrong Questions

As the chatter about Scottish "Independence" goes on, the blithe assumption that it is all about separating from England and the other parts.  It isn't because if that does happen then how and by what means Scotland relates to the rest of the world has to be sorted out and this asks other questions.

So the real issue for those who might be allowed to vote in Scotland in reality is which group or network or federation or confederation out there in the world it wishes to become a member of.  This is complicated for a number of reasons. One is that leaving the UK means that many of the existing ties will take on a new role.

Clearly some of these choices will be more desirable or needed than others, so if they can be reduced to a handful of the obvious ones, then the vote ought to be for which set of linkages Scotland will become a part of in the future.  This would be better than simply saying goodbye UK but where do we go from here?

Because then the decision as to what world or European grouping Scotland would then become a part of is likely to be determined by a small group of political chiefs who will relate to or be under the influence of entities whose interests may not be the same as those of ordinary Scots.

The diagram above, that has been around the net for a little time looks simple but it is very complicated and difficult.  Because in the globalised world of today and communications, corporations and international interests there is no such thing as independence for anybody anywhere.

If we were talking about mature democracies of well informed voters and responsible politicians (stop giggling at the back) there would be a document spelling out the several main choices with information about their central features.  It would have to be accepted that this could mean that none achieve a majority vote.

So there would not be just one vote with an abbreviated hit or miss question, there would be a series of votes.  They would be either by gradual elimination or then limited to those options with the larger following.  This might then end with a vote between the two largest left.

Even then, there is the problem that the vote might be very narrow which may not really solve anything.  The other part of this problem is how far one side or the other or any of the differing groups are honest about what they really want for the future.

One suggestion is that Scotland might consider becoming the 51st State of the USA.  This would give them two Senators in the Senate and perhaps six or seven in the House of Representatives.  They could ally themselves to those States who are keen on States Rights.  But Scotland might be given the status of an equivalent of Puerto Rico.

It might be one of the achievements of President Hillary Rodham Clinton's second term.


  1. "there is no such thing as independence for anybody anywhere."

    Spot on - that's the real problem. a lack of informed voters is another.

  2. Scotland would just become another poor dependent in Europe no one really wishes to know.