The Cost of Nationalism

The Cost of Nationalism
Image: English Passport

Scotland Votes
The result of the Scottish Parliamentary Election was nothing short of staggering. While the Liberal Democrats were being punished for their performance at the Westminster, and the Tories were bumbling on as insignificantly as ever, Labour lost big and the SNP swept the board with the remains.

The situation we were left with is bad news for Scotland, as it appears that the Scottish habit of short term parochialism and dreaming from the heart, is what won the day. The SNP now have a majority government and will undoubtedly push for a referendum on Scottish Independence—they would be foolish not to—and based on these election results, Scotland is doomed.

Questions of Nationalism
For years I thought that Scottish nationalism was a cause worth fighting for. In my youth, I mistook the fact that because I was Scottish it meant I had to be a compulsory English hater, too. Therefore, if I hate Englan,d I should also be a nationalist and vote SNP. It was a dream, a romantic dream, and it was so full of ideals it was foolproof.

And then I woke up. And when I woke up, I asked myself some fundamental questions:

Where will Scotland get its revenue from?
Everyone says oil but this is a country that moans daily about the price of the petrol, a price that has become inflated because of dwindling natural stocks. So what happens when it runs out? What happens when there is no more oil to sell or burn for heat? Well, there’s whisky I suppose…

And if we are as green a country as Salmond keeps telling us, then shouldn’t we be forgetting about oil as a solution anyway? Or is money to survive now the only issue?

What would happen is that the SNP would push up the cost of living through taxes and any other means at its disposal. It would become very expensive to live here, which would lead to a stop in foreign investment. Jobs would become scarcer and we would become a nation with a high poverty problem and no means to bring down the cost of living.

Being part of the Union means pooling our resources and sharing what we have. Through this, we can continue to punch above our weight economically.

Who will defend us?
Independence from the Crown will also mean independence from the Crown’s defence bodies. We are a nation of limited resource; do we really have enough people to start an army? Would we have enough money to support it? Being part of the Union ensures our domestic security both through the Armed Serviced and the Secret Intelligence Services.

Who will create our constitution?
The Republic of Scotland? Don’t make me laugh. This country is as vital to the Union and the Crown as it is for us. We would be foolish in the extreme to walk away from centuries of tradition and security that the Crown affords.

This country has a tradition of comical cock-ups going right back through the centuries. Let’s not add another monumental one like this to the list. Allowing a right wing government to draw up a constitution will lead to a depleted population, because people won’t want to hang around to be a part of it. We will grow poor economically, artistically and educationally, and the last thing we ever want to do is to let Salmond and his cronies shape a nation in their limited vision.

What would happen if regional nationalism came next?
This is perhaps the most telling question. Alex Salmond always said that “he would never deny the people of Scotland the right to determine their own future.”

Very noble, but what happens Alex, if the people of Grampian, on seeing the money that they could earn in the time the oil remains in the north sea, decide they want to keep it all or themselves? The oil is all based in their fishing grounds, so what if Grampian says, “we want to be Independent from Scotland.”

Alex Salmond was asked that very question on live television a number of years ago. His answer was: “But that would never happen. We wouldn’t allow it.” The questioner pushed the point: “But you said you would never deny Scottish people the right to decide their own future. Therefore, how can you stop them?”

He never answered the question.

What Salmond has admitted to in recent years is that yes, he still badly wants independence for Scotland but would never want to relinquish the Crown. In other words, he recognises the power and the need for Scotland to remain under the Monarch, but so long as he gets to take us as far away from it first.

That’s the reality. Don’t ruin this nation for our children by making it a terrible place to live. We are a special country and have a lot going – we have our problems too – but let us be realistic in what we actually want. Let’s start using our heads.

Weekend
I met up with my bro last night and took in a few pubs around the Grassmarket. We had a lot of catching up to do but later on my wife joined us after a family function. We had a blast.

As it’s now Saturday lunchtime, I’d better get a move on. My daughter is away for the weekend so I afforded myself a rare lie in. I feel great!

Have a great Saturday y’all!

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About Colin Galbraith

Author, poet, music lover, rabbit tamer, fake faller.
This entry was posted in Edinburgh, Editorial Comment, Food, Drink and Bevvy, Politics, Scotland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Cost of Nationalism

  1. @rupertbu says:

    I didn’t realise the drum of independence was being beaten yet again, and, by the sounds of your post, most definitely!

    A poor comparison, possibly, but if you look at UK vis a vis UAE, there are comparisons, but in reverse, with Abu Dhabi having the oil wealth and subsidising the other six Emirates.

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