There has been much talk in the EU referendum that a vote for leave would trigger a second Scottish independence referendum. Why? The logic is that support for the EU is highest in Scotland (leave is currently polling at a mere 17%). Indeed, the idea of a second Scottish independence referendum makes sense; if the majority of the UK, and a majority of the other constituent nations, voted for leave, but a clear majority in Scotland voted remain, this would indeed legitimately raise the question of whether the UK still worked for Scotland (if indeed it ever did). Certainly, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, is fond of raising this point.
As a unionist, yet someone who is strongly for leave, this worries me.
However, two points are worth making.
- The SNP’s position is incoherent. On one hand, they persist in calling for independence from the UK (actually, methinks, from England; I reckon the SNP would be happy for Scotland to carry on alongside the other Celtic nations). They say Westminster is too far away and removed from the affairs of Scots, and that being an independent nation would enable politicians in Scotland to much better represent the people of Scotland. Their logic: how could a population of a mere five million make its voice heard in a larger nation of some 65 million? Yet at the same time, the SNP equally firmly persists in the notion that being integrated within the EU, a far larger polity with some 508 million people!, would lead to better representation for the Scottish people. I simply cannot get my head round this, and I have never heard a truly convincing argument for how this makes any sense.
- What if a majority of England votes for leave, but the UK as a whole votes remain? Does England then get an independence referendum to leave the UK? I suspect, from anecdotal evidence, that the percentage of Englishmen wanting to leave the UK is higher than the number of Scots who do!
© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry
featured image from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/14/brexit-golden-opportunity-nicola-sturgeon-nightmare
My official petition to make the British government officially recognise Somaliland’s independence has now closed. It didn’t quite get the 100,000 signatures required for an obligatory government response; it got 611.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. That 611 represents more than the combined signatories to all other Somaliland petitions put together.* So, when set against the 100,000 target, 611 is indeed a dismal failure; but when set against the past Somaliland petitions, 611 is an outstanding success — literally the best there has ever been. So I am both proud, and deeply disappointed.
So where from here? But first, why bother?
I do not have Somali family or any real interest in Somalia or Somaliland itself. I have no ulterior or selfish reasons for my campaigning on this. Rather, I am passionate about national liberal democracy: that a world organised according to a brotherhood of sovereign nations thoroughly exercising liberal democracy is the best and only way for a moral and free world to thrive and function. This view is grounded in the notion that all peoples have a right to exercise their freedom and join the brotherhood of soveriegn nations if they so choose. Somaliland to me represents a fairly non-controversial and unequivocal example of this principle. And our continued refusal to recognise Somaliland not only goes against the principles I just outlined, but it thoroughly jeopardises the democracy that Somaliland is building. Thus, the failure to support Somaliland by way of recognising its independence and all which that entails not only is morally wrong from a theoretical standpoint, but it is also an error given practical and pragmatic considerations.
But for more context and explanation, see here for my previous Doggerelizer article on the subject, and see here for the official government petition’s page.
So where from here?
Simple. I continue to campaign for national liberal democracy. Perhaps this time focusing on a different nation which may appeal to more people. And I will keep the fight for the recognition of Somaliland going. I will keep you all informed.
© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry
Scotland has decided to remain a part of the United Kingdom, and rather convincingly too: 28 councils ‘no’ vs. 4 councils ‘yes’, 55% ‘no’. Thank <<insert mythical being here>>! But, as the BBC keeps telling us over and over until the words have now lost all meaning, “a vote for ‘no’ is also a vote for change”. So here’s some serious pros and cons as I see it now that Scotland has voted ‘no’ to independence.
- The Union has been saved — for now!
- A record voter turnout of 86% has permanently re-invigorated the democratic process forever until tomorrow when it will be business as usual.
- I won’t need an EU passport that they won’t check anyway because it’s the EU should I travel to Scotland in my life which I never have done so far even though I am thirty years old because it’s so cold and dreary up there and it’s cheaper to go to and stay in Malta or Spain from London than to Scotland which is ridiculous really but there you go…
- The new Union Flag that I invented is no longer needed. I have been deprived of my latest and GREATEST accomplishment.
- We’ll probably end up having this whole referendum again within the next 15 years (think Quebec 1980 and 1995).
- Spain will carry on pretending to be democratic whilst actually overriding the will of the people at all times, and feel justified in doing so. To the point, Spain will now have greater cause to deny the Catalan people an independence referendum of their own. The cause of national democrats, like myself, has been dealt a blow.
- The UK is stuck with Alex Salmond forever, it would seem.
- We’ll probably end up re-awakening the Northern Irish question, possibily ending in a vote to see if Northern Ireland should stay as part of the UK or become a part of the Republic of Ireland (perhaps in some kind of concessionary Hong Kong-China style relationship). THEREBY resparking violence in Ireland.
- English nationalism and resentment will likely bubble up again, due to the bending-over-backwards to appease the Scots, with more demands for more powers for England… probably resulting in England leaving the United Kingdom, or else England itself breaking up as every city and town decides it wants more and more powers.
- The UK will likely now not leave the EU or get a better settlement for the UK (due to the influence of Labour and Scotland).
…wait. Why was I pro-union, again? Oh, shit!! Can we do this vote again please, and this time really irk the Scots so they vote ‘yes’…
© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry