Scottish Independence?

Christene and I recently returned from a trip to Italy.  While there I was able to grab an "International Edition" of the USA TODAY (a rather flimsy paper that could have used a few more pages, considering the cost) to keep up with the news.  The paper had 4 different stories about "separatists" in various countries: a group in Spain that wants independence for their region, the Pro-Russian Separatists in Ukraine (who seem to me likely to accomplish their goal of independence), an Islamist movement in the Philippines that was seeking greater autonomy for their region of that country in order to govern themselves by Islamic Law, and finally the coming vote by the people of Scotland on Thursday on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

I've got some Scottish as well as English roots myself (descended from both McLains and Hixons) and as someone who has visited both places (and hopes to do so again) I hope that they exercise their freedom to choose to remain part of the United Kingdom.  Though I'm just an interested observer.

Flags of the countries making up the UK and the Union Flag
While polls have shown the "stay with the UK" side leading, HERE is an NPR audio story discussing the recent surge in the numbers supporting succession so that the vote now looks (as they say) "too close to call."  Interestingly, the leaders of the US and Australia - both of which have gained independence from Great Britain - have expressed hopes that Scotland will remain with the UK.

When I visited Scotland on a mission trip back in 2010, I had some interesting conversations with some elderly men (though we were primarily there to help with a Christian youth-center).  I remember sitting up one evening talking with a fellow who spoke of being a child during World War II, when the German Blitzkrieg was a horrifically real danger for him and his family.  He also lamented that many of the younger generation saw themselves not so much as "British" like his generation, but more as "Scottish" or "English" and so on.  He seemed a bit baffled (or at least annoyed) by that, after all the trials that the UK had faced and surmounted as a unified, British, people.

I told someone a couple of years ago that in an age of globalization, I expect we will see a trend towards greater global unity on an economic level, but (because a one-size fits all approach to law-making will not be acceptable to many people in an increasingly diverse society) a corresponding trend towards more local-ism and regionalism - even tribalism - on the political level.  All of the movements mentioned above are, I believe, good examples.  I would also not be surprised to find more electoral victories here in the US by Libertarian or - perhaps in conservative areas of the country - old fashioned "states' rights" Republicans in our own country; but we shall see.

Though I'm firmly opposed to the break-up of the US (growing up in the South, I think I've known a few secessionists - though they are apparently far more numerous in Scotland), I certainly would like to see greater autonomy for the states - especially on "culture war" issues - and greater allowance for diversity of laws, government structures, and regulations within the broader unity of country (which is exactly what the framers of our Constitution had in mind to begin with).

Thinking on all of this while travelling caused me to notice that, while in Italy, whenever people asked where we came from, the answer that came most readily to my lips was "Louisiana" - and if they looked confused I would add "in the United States."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christianity today has a nice update here:

6:21 PM, September 21, 2014  

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