Independence Day

I vividly recall the last Quebec referendum that threatened to tear Canada apart. It was 1995, I was in high school, and all the history and geography I’d been studying was about to be thrown out of the window with the cast of the ballot.


Now, years later, living in the UK (London), I’m stuck by the tidal wave of emotion behind an independent Scotland.  I must admit, I feel Scottish and feel for the Scottish. My ancestry is Scottish. I went to a Scottish university (aye, we wore kilts), and the only football jersey I own is the Hearts.


Every people (and every person, frankly) wants to feel independent. Nobody I know wants to live under someone else’s rule.

But is statehood the answer?

The world seems to be getting more complex and more dangerous. Climate change is real and resource scarcity will soon be a fact of everyday life.  There’s a global power struggle emerging for the basics: food, water, energy. It’s gonna get ugly.  If you need a quick rough guide to the future, give Stephen Emmott’s 10 Billion a read.

While I deeply understand the motivation to want to break away from the powerful centre (I’m a kid who moved away from home!), it feels like the savvy choice in today’s uncertain and volatile world is unity not separation.  It seems like the smart play is to bond together, not break apart.

I can see why many Scottish folks hate the English. They seem stuck up and snotty and up themselves.  They are.  But they are also socially awkward and suffer from what anthropologist Kate Fox brilliantly describes as a social dis-ease.

I think Great Britain is greater with Scotland and that Scotland is stronger as being part of the UK.

So, for what it’s worth, I totally get why you want to break up, but let’s stick it out because there’s some tough times ahead and we’ll all get through it #bettertogether.

Oh, and go Hearts!

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