Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, September 16, 2014
I almost always support separation. I believe the Kurds, the Chechens, the Tibetans, and the Uyghurs deserve independent countries. The Czechs and the Slovaks are happier apart, and so are all the remnants of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, but on September 18, I hope the Scots vote to stay in the United Kingdom. Why?
It seems to me that Scots want independence for economic rather than national reasons and, even worse, that they have no idea what a Scot is. I predict that an independent Scotland would have bad economic policies and a disastrous immigration policy, and that independence would be a terrible mistake.
The issue is mostly money. Ever since the discovery of North Sea oil, the Scots have been loath to share the wealth, and leaders of the independence movement are promising a goldmine. However, Scotland already gets more than its share of oil money and in any case, production peaked in 1999 and has steadily declined since then. Even if it got every penny of oil income, it would cover only 10 to 15 percent of current Scottish public outlays, which do not count what a new country would have to spend on armed services, border control, foreign embassies, etc.
The Scottish National Party, which is leading the independence movement, has always been socialist, and its campaign is a sharp rejection of the conservative Tory government in London. Only one of the 59 Scottish MPs at Westminster is a Tory, and many Scots think free-marketers in London wants to dismantle their beloved welfare state. A vote for independence is being sold as a vote for more welfare–even though Scotland already gets more money back from Britain than it pays in taxes. Scots want more handouts, and think they’ll get them from an independent Scotland.
This kind of money grubbing is a bad reason for independence. People should seek independence because they believe passionately in a national destiny that can be fulfilled only when a distinct people, committed to that destiny, shakes off foreigners. This passion has nothing to do with welfare or oil reserves; true nationalists want to take their destiny in their own hands even if it makes them poorer. Without that passion–and I see little evidence they have it–when Scots find they are no better off than they were, there will be nothing to sustain them.
The Battle of Bannockburn was in 1314. The Acts of Union were more than 300 years ago. Today’s Scots are ten generations removed from independence. They speak the same language as the English and worship the same God. There are differences, and long may they be cherished, but they are nothing like the differences that separate real nations or that separate Americans of different races.
Perhaps most baffling, the Scottish Nationalists can’t define a Scot. Anyone living in Scotland can vote in the referendum, so long as he is a registered voter and a citizen of Britain, an EU country, or the Commonwealth. This means Lithuanians and Nigerians and Malaysians living in Scotland can vote alongside real Scots, and will presumably become citizens of Scotland. A Lithuanian would make an unlikely Scot; a Nigerian or a Bangladeshi would make an unthinkable Scot.
Along with generous welfare, socialist Scotland would pride itself on “anti-racism.” As the Scottish Nationalist party website explains, “An independent Scotland will have an inclusive approach to citizenship and a humane approach to asylum seekers and refugees.” That means welcoming swarms of Syrian refugees and Senegalese street Arabs in the fatal delusion that their arrival was somehow an affirmation of Scottish genius.
Quebec has never managed to vote itself free from Canada, but since 1978, it has had its own immigration policy. It foolishly decided that the essence of Quebec was the French language, and the province let in thousands of Haitians and Moroccans. The Quebecois eventually discovered what a mistake that was, and immigration has slowed, but the damage cannot be undone.
Only an estimated 2 percent of Scotland is non-white, so it does not yet have the seething Third-World enclaves scattered through England–or Montreal. By the time the Scots realize their error, the country could be in a death spiral.
Independence for Scotland might be a stirring example for Catalans or Basques who may have the real fire for freedom that the Scots seem to lack. Staying in the Union is no guarantee that Scotland will stay Scottish, but independence for the wrong reasons would be a disaster.