I hope I’m not mangling the French in my title, “Vive l'Écosse Libre!” It’s a gloss on de Gaulle’s shout at Montreal City Hall on July 24, 1967, “Vive le Québec libre!”
Canadians sure would have been better off if Quebec had separated in 1967. Then the odious socialist and politically correct Pierre Trudeau never would have become PM of Canada the next year, only perhaps of Quebec. So he never would have wrecked the Great White North, which until him actually was more conservative in almost every way than the United States.
Scotland also would be better off voting Thursday to separate from today’s Orwellian, Blairite Cool Britannia tyranny. In fact, it’s chillingly Orwellian that Blair himself is a Scot who sought revenge on the English; and that Orwell’s real name was Eric Blair. And since his departure from office, Sir Phony Tony, who resembles O’Brien in “1984,” has become an oligarch worth at least $35 million, paid off by the special interests he advanced while in power.
The Scots are far more left-wing than the English. But that could change should they disconnect from the more lucrative UK welfare state. The Scots remain notorious for frugality. A couple of years ago some friends of and I were reading some medieval philosophy – it might have been St. Thomas Aquinas, or a biography of Duns Scotus. We chuckled when someone back around 750 years ago joked that Scots were cheapskates. And that was long before Calvinism.
The Scots also would free themselves from the UK’s defense burden, currently 2.3 percent of GDP. What is the UK afraid of, another invasion by the Armada? Of course, the UK still has pretensions of global empire, and of being America’s poodle. By comparison. America’s “defense” spending is 3.8 percent of GDP and Canada’s is 1 percent. The Canucks, at least 15 percent of whom are Scots (more before recent non-European immigration), know that should Vladimir Putin ski across the Arctic Circle, America would repulse him.
Likewise, the Scots could have no military at all, like Costa Rica, and not be the worse for it. Scots who wished to keep up their clannish warlike traditions, which have added so much to UK and US valor, could join those countries’ militaries.
Of course, independence is no bowl of haggis. Every Latin American country botched its independence. The United States’ “free and independent states” of the Declaration have turned into satrapies of the oligarchical autocracy at the misnamed Washington, D.C.
An Independent Scotland would become part of the EU, whose bureaucracy is even worse than that of the UK. But the EU itself is starting to fragment, as the part-Scot Pat Buchanan noted, as nationalist movements across the continent rebel against Brussels’ bureaucratic tyrannies and the influx of unassimilable immigrants.
Worst of all, the Scottish independence movement for now seems to be even more in favor of allowing in non-British Isles immigrants than London already is. YesScotland.net writes: “As a member of the EU, Scotland would continue to welcome EU nationals exercising their treaty rights as workers, or in other categories, just as people from Scotland are free to move elsewhere.
“On asylum, the Scottish Government suggests a new Scottish Asylum Agency would oversee a robust and humane application process for those seeking refuge from persecution….”
So in a couple decades, a Free Scotland could become non-Scottish. Then what’s the point, Jock?
Despite all that, I’m still hoisting a glass or two this evening of choice Single Malt to the independence of Scotland, especially to the greatest Scot I knew, Russell Kirk, with this toast of their people:
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be!