I’m neither a Scot, nor a Brit of any description. I’m an Australian of Greek heritage. So I don’t have a directly vested interest in the outcome of the Scottish referendum on the question of independence from the United Kingdom. And nor do I have the benefit of an insider’s view of the issue.
However, in my admittedly distant opinion, Scottish ‘independence’ is a brave move—too brave, actually.
Scotland already is independent! It is a constituent member of a united kingdom of countries and territories—a free society. The referendum is not so much about independence as secession: going it alone. Very much alone!
The pluses of remaining in the Union seem far greater than the negatives. Nationalism shouldn’t outweigh the heavy benefits of momentous cooperation.
I fear that if Scots choose to pick up their ball and go home with it, they will be the ones to suffer. It will be largely game over! Scotland will become exactly what their name translates to in Greek: Σκοτία—darkness.
This will not be a Braveheart moment, but more likely a foolhardy faux pas, from which it will be difficult to recover.
I think of Lady Macbeth’s words, when it dawns on her that finally getting what she always wanted isn’t really be all it’s cut out to be:
Nought’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content;
‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
(Macbeth, Act III, Scene 2, l.4–7)
I don’t think secession will ultimately make Scots content. I could be wrong on this—after all, I’m not a Scot and have never dwelt in Scotland. But the view from here certainly looks doubtful and dim.
So, Scotland, from a friendly neighbour Downunder: Don’t do it! Yes, England has bullied you in the past, but let bygones be bygones. You’ve got it good now. Why do you want to start all over again? The concept of the nation-state is dying a slow death in this global community, so don’t opt for a sickly existence in quarantine. Stick with the healthy. You already have your own football league and (theoretically anyway) you can still win the World Cup! So please stick with the premier league of nations.
Don’t do it, Scotland! Don’t do it!