Great Britain will decentralize its government

In response to the near secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, the British government is promising to decentralize, giving more power to regional and local governments.  (Not just Scotland but Wales and Northern Ireland already have their own parliaments.  England hasn’t, being content to rule all of the others, but now England itself may become more like a state in the larger United Kingdom.)

The desire for weaker central governments seems to be a world-wide phenomenon and is exactly what American conservatives have been calling for.  But the British have always put on the best Tea Parties. [Read more...]

Scotland votes to stay in Great Britain

The United Kingdom remains united, as Scotland voted not to secede.  The final vote was pretty decisive, with 55% of Scots voting “no” and 45% voting “yes.” [Read more...]

Scotland might secede next Thursday

The people of Scotland will vote on Thursday, September 18, on whether or not to secede from Great Britain.  When we blogged about it before in 2012, the chances for a “yes” majority seemed remote, but one poll last weekend showed the secessionists winning.  Though other polls suggest that the United Kingdom will remain united, the English–including political leaders of all parties–are in something of a panic as they realize that Scotland could very well leave.

Usually, nationalists are on the right, but the pro-Independence movement in Scotland seems dominated by the left.  And yet, as a Washington Post analysis suggests, a major consequence would be removing 41 Labour Party members from the English parliament, possibly endangering the UK’s membership in the European Union.  And no one knows what the economic repercussions would be for either country. [Read more...]

Secession movements

What with the European Union, globalization, the United Nations, and being a “citizen of the world,” the trend was supposed to be for the elimination of narrow nationalisms in favor of cosmopolitanism and ever-larger unions.  But now nationalism is back, and little countries are trying to break away from big countries.  After the jump, links to those efforts, including the upcoming vote in Scotland to secede from Great Britain.  How do you account for this phenomenon? [Read more...]

Independence for Scotland?

Scotland is gearing up for a referendum, to be held in the Fall of 2014, that could lead to secession from Great Britain.  The prospects for voters approving independence are, according to polls, quite good.  The British Prime Minister David Cameron is no Lincoln.  Cameron has said the United Kingdom would abide by the vote (though only England and Wales would be left in the union that was once the “United Kingdom”).   If Scotland leaves, the new nation would take with them the priceless North Sea oil fields, though Scotland still wants to use the British pound for its currency, rather than join the Eurozone.

See the op-ed piece by Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland:  Why an independent Scotland deserves U.S. support – The Washington Post.

I thought we were in the age of globalism, of national unions, of world government!

William Wallace and Robert the Bruce would be glad.


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