Frank L. Baum declared in The Marvellous Land of Oz that “Everything must to come to an end, sometime.” On that note, isn’t it about we time emerged from our stasis and stopped supporting the fossilised concept of The United Kingdom? Theresa May can claim: “we have pulled together as one and succeeded together. We are four nations, but at heart, we are one people” repeatedly, but her rhetoric couldn’t be further from the reality of the current state of the union. In the real world, this little island remains more divided than ever.
While Treacherous Theresa and her predecessor Dodgy Dave have been breaking promises, stripping away the state, and laughing like lunatics in the commons; support for Scottish independence has been quietly growing. The figure for those backing independence is now 46%, while 49% of Scots believe their government should make all policy decisions including those on defence and immigration. Increasingly, Scots are rejecting that they need to be ruled by an unaccountable Conservative party in Westminster. Should the referendum produce a late pro-independence jump like Indy Ref One, the United Kingdom would become the Disunited Kingdom. While easy to look at Brexit as the reason for the spike in nationalism, the deep-rooted democratic deficit present in the UK has been more influential.
Those raising legitimate arguments about the undemocratic aspects of the EU last June have been curiously quiet on the democratic deficit within our own democracy. Perhaps Nigel Farage isn’t the only one being so harassed by the Remain campaign’s army of bendy banana brandishing ninjas that he cannot leave the house. Whatever the reason for the silence, the democratic flaws in British politics remain as clear as Farage’s bigotry. Seventy-one percent of the seats in Holyrood are held by left-wing parties. The SNP holds fifty out of Scotland’s fifty sixty Westminster seats. The Conservatives hold a meagre one. On mere numbers alone, it is insulting to suggest the Conservative government is accountable to the people of Scotland. How can a government be accountable when it sits 400 miles away, comfortably cocooned in its false reality, so contrasting to your own? It cannot.
Abolishing the union would give the Scottish government control over foreign policy, one of the powers currently still in the hands of Westminster. Control over foreign policy would likely prevent mistakes such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a decision strongly opposed by the Scottish population and the fallout from which fanned the flames of Scottish Labour’s decline. On a more topical note, the people of Scotland are rightfully less blasé than their English counterparts on possessing weapons with the potential to pulverise populations in an instant. Indeed, Scottish support for renewing Trident was as low as 31.6% in 2015. A fully sovereign Scottish parliament would have the freedom to run a referendum on Trident and subsequently scrap it. From a financial viewpoint, this would free up a tangible £163 million (unlike the mythical £350 million promised by bastard Brexiters) in Scottish tax revenues, to be either spent on the Scottish Health Service or invested in the economy. Sovereignty and representative democracy sure are appealing. Perhaps old Nigeypoos was onto a winner all along.
The potential economic insecurity thought to be an imminent consequence of a potential Scottish Independence was one the deciding factors in 2014’s No vote. The fact Scotland currently relies upon England for an enormous 63% of its trade surely hands victory to the pro-unionists? Well no. Unless you’re incredibly naïve, a Conservative or both, it isn’t. The idea Scotland would cease to trade with the rest of the – by this point – Disunited Kingdom at great determent to all four nations is as absurd. Then again, we’ve had our fair share of the absurd since 2010 (*cough* agreeing to the EU referendum *cough* thus, sending our country into certain political and possible economic turmoil *cough*), so perhaps I’ll end up with egg on my face. Furthermore, Scotland’s trade with the rest of world is steadily increasing, with £28.7 billion in exports in 2015, including £4.6 Billion to the US. Scotland could take another lesson from the ‘secession: what not to do’ handbook and set up trade deals before leaving. The Canadians offered more than just economic exchange this week and China seems intent on trading with the world. While the decline in oil revenues is an indisputable concern, Scotland’s economy isn’t so one dimensional; plus any revenue made from oil could be spent on Scotland, not split between our ‘one people.’
While Scottish Independence would have disastrous, if not fatal, consequences for the Labour Party, this is a sword I’m willing to fall on. After all, it was Labour’s arrogance and complacency that lost Scotland. Said complacency, coupled with complete incompetence from repeated Labour governments, has only strengthened the SNP’s stranglehold. To echo Baum’s sentiment: everything ends. But that’s an article, or perhaps thesis, for another day. If the Yes camp present a strong economic case when the next Independence Referendum takes place, I will passionately support it. If you value the right to self-determination of nations and parliamentary sovereignty over a scrap of paper from 1707, you will too.