Thursday, September 18, 2014

No to the United Kingdom!

I went to university in the North West of England. I traveled to Scotland for most of my holidays. I hiked and hitchhiked through most parts of Scotland. I stayed at numerous youth hostels in Scotland from the top of Stirling Castle to Aberdeen to Inverness to Ayr and Isle of Arran. I loved Scotland, loved the colorful houses compared to the Northern English depressing towns of the late 1970's, I loved the people too. I loved Robert Burns and his powerful poems. My heart will forever be in the Highlands and will always have fond memories of my days of very low budget travel in Scotland.

I first came across Scottish Nationalism when I was just 17 years old; this was my first encounter in the west with a people struggling with issues of identity. Why was Queen Elizabeth "The Second" not "The First"? ,for she's the First Elizabeth for Scotland, whereas James The Sixth of Scotland became James The First when he became King of England too! Why are the revenues from The Shetlands oil going to London? Why is the BBC English the proper one? How can we preserve the Galic language or at least what remains of it?

I watch with interest today the referendum, but I fear it's no longer about Scottish identity; I see it more about tired old political rivalry and control. I no longer like the SNP and I really do hope the majority of the Scots today make the No a convincing winner. 

The "nation" state as a concept is finishing before our very eyes, a new breed of European has emerged, but also a new breed of a global citizen has emerged. Not just in the positive sense of people intermarrying and living in different places but also in the ugly sense of something like ISIS and its global breed of terrorists from Scotland, England, Qatar and Australia etc.

I often think that the Israel / Palestine conflict will eventually have a Three State Solution, the main state where the majority of the Israelis and the Palestinians want to live together as equal citizens in a progressive country, a Jewishstan in West Jerusalem and an Hamastan in Gaza. Perhaps Great Britain as a whole really needs a new vote, a tiny EDLstan, Kiltstan, ISISstan and the main country which becomes irrevocably part of Europe and eventually part of the global citizen movement. 

The vote today is a throwback to the nation state, something whose time is coming to an end. My vote is NO! But not just no to Scottish independence, it's really no to the UK as well, let's move on to the next phase please,

September 18, 2014