Scottish independence: sleepwalking to the end of Britain?

Scotland decides

Scotland decides

Could this be the summer that sees the end of Britain? Scots could choose independence on 18 September. Yet the Great British Break Up is getting less attention than the Great British Bake Off, at least outside Scotland. Amazingly, the first TV debate between SNP leader Alex Salmond and Better Together’s Alistair Darling wasn’t even shown on TV south of the border. 

It’s time for us all to wake up. Scotland will decide, rightly – self determination must be just that. And I can imagine many Scots find the idea of going alone intoxicating. The dominance of the United Kingdom by the unacceptable face of capitalism is deeply unattractive to many in Scotland, not to mention the rest of Great Britain. The post 2007 crisis of capitalism ironically has entrenched right leaning politics in England, Britain’s most populous country. 

Yet the idea of Britain remains amazingly powerful. The 300 year old union of Scotland, England and Wales remains one of the greatest partnerships the world has ever known. This island remains a benchmark for how people from different paths can live together in harmony. Yes, that harmony will most likely remain if Scots choose to go their own way this September. (In much the same way that the British and Irish live together in perfect harmony on both sides of the Celtic Sea.) But the fact that Alex Salmond is desperately trying to retain the pound, the Queen and Doctor Who suggests that even the greatest advocate of independence views a yes vote like a 20 year old leaving home but returning to get his dirty clothes washed and ironed every weekend.

I hope that Scotland decides that Britain is worth keeping. But I also hope the referendum prompts a total rethink of how we run this small island. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have run their own countries for 15 years. Devolution hasn’t been perfect, but it has shown that Britain is no longer a centralised state. It’s time to truly return power to the people, to the nations, to the regions, to the cities. That’s not a new departure: it’s simply a return to the 19th century power of the cities of Britain, when Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow became global powerhouses. The 20th century reduced the British city to servant status, with disastrous consequences. Similarly, the state has glorified robber barons such as disgraced Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin. That must change.

3 thoughts on “Scottish independence: sleepwalking to the end of Britain?

  1. Hi Rob,
    i found your blog after googling about 4G networks and Broadband.
    The reason i was googling – next friday My family and i move to Amersham,
    leaving behind Muswell Hill and the joy of Superbroadband Infinity2, i understand
    Hyde Heath BB runs at a lot slower speed I’ve been told (with Excitement ) i could expect 3mb!
    so stumbled on your Blog about 4G Wifi etc etc
    What am i meant to do? trying to sort out do i go Talk Talk BB and landline or BT or a 4G mobile wifi?
    i want to get it sorted before we move in, welcome your thoughts. Our Postcode is: HP6 5RH

    with kind regards
    Charles Wilson

    • Hi Charles – good luck with the move! We have Infinity in this area although not sure if that applies to Hyde Heath yet. We are very happy with it, especially compared with our old Virgin BB (ADSL not cable) which was awful. 4G is very patchy here, as is 3G especially indoors. Suggest you wait till you arrive and ask around for the best solution. On mobile, in my experience no network is good for both data and voice.

  2. Pingback: Final thoughts on Scotland’s independence vote | Ertblog

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