Thursday, 9 August 2012

Thoughts on Scottish Independence

Arguments Against

- Scotland is reliant on Britain for defence since the dismantling of the Scottish regiments.
- Scotland could not manage by itself financially, the numbers just don’t add up. Scottish taxes bring in less revenue than is spent by the Scottish government.
- Scotland would be unable to compete on a global scale. There is strength in numbers, especially in this increasingly globalised economic market. Globalisation means that small countries with little economies of scale will suffer compared to BRIC countries.
- A United Kingdom has more sway in global and international politics.

Arguments For

- Patriotism – Scotland have always been able to manage themselves well.
- Scotland were a forerunner of the Enlightenment with many great thinkers coming from Scotland.
- The country prides itself on entrepreneur-ship in times of adversity.
- Scotland’s oil revenues have been wasted in the south-east of England and haven’t benefitted Scotland.
- Public favour. More people voted for the SNP than ever before. This could be a demonstration of dissatisfaction with the way things are down in Westminster with the coalition.
- Originally, Scotland’s ruling aristocrats were bribed into giving up power. There has always been negative feeling towards the common parliament and monarchy.
- Having a Scottish parliament in Scotland would help Scottish taxes be distributed fairly in places where it is needed.
- Imperialist propaganda affects government adversely.
I am in favour of Scotland remaining a part of the UK.

While I can see why many Scottish citizens are feeling that they would prefer an independent Scotland from past measures, I believe that having this discussion and having the pressure of potential independence will cause the UK government to rethink their priorities regarding Scotland. They will be forced to think about the remaining oil reserves in Scotland and invest money from this into Scotland for a less unequal spread of wealth to work on public government satisfaction.

There are problems, but they would not be outweighed by the costs of Scotland leaving the Union so I would be in favour of Scotland staying. This is due to the problems that would be faced should Scotland leave the Union including less weight given to the individual countries on international affairs and lack of authority in international trade.

I think that in response to concerns voiced by Scottish citizens, that the national government should remain in Westminster but that more money should be allocated to be spent on a local level and more power given to the local governments as Scotland is so far away from London that social effects cannot be fully appreciated by those enforcing the policies.

My personal verdict on the issue is that there are strong arguments on both sides, but in the end an independent Scotland would cause more problems than benefits in the long term.


To responses of readers:

1. "International trade is not currently the main priority for the UK." Yes, but my response to this is that we cannot ignore what the situation may be like in the long term.

2. "Surely even if Scotland were to leave the UK, they would still be able to enjoy some kind of alliance." Perhaps, but none of these alliances would be as strong as the bond we previously enjoyed as a United Kingdom, so in both international and domestic affairs, there would be rivalry between the nations causing mutual problems for both countries.

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