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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Opinion: Scottish independence

I have no opinion on Scottish independence as such. That is for the Scottish people. However, I'm very disappointed by the standard of public debate. The main technique - mainly from south of the border - seems to be Fear, Uncertainty and
Doubt (FUD)

Just today, we heard from a military chap that independence couldn't happen because everyone in the British forces swears allegiance to "Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors". Yes, he gave did us the detail I've italicised in strong, resonant tones, the pompous ass dear man!

A few days ago, commentators were expressing concern about whether the Scots would cope without the Pound.

Anyone would think that no country had ever seceded from another but of course, it happens all the time. For an example close to home, take the Irish Republic. They used to be part of the UK until 1922. It was a fairly acrimonious affair but it was made to work. Yes, there was an Irish Pound and they decided to keep parity with the English pound. Decimalisation happened in both countries in 1971 and it was only in 1978 they broke with Sterling.

The Irish also sorted out their defence arrangements - a detail worthy of note in the current debate is that they agreed to allow the British to continue to use bases at Spike Island, Berehaven and Lough Swilly until 1938

Another quite successful "divorce" was in 1993 when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. More recently, Sudan split into two and you know, they're just getting on with it. See the South Sudan Government site for fairly boring details.

So, if Scotland wants independence, they can have it. Sure, there will be swings and roundabouts on the way. That's life.

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