I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will
September 18, 2014
So Scotland votes on independence today, which is interesting. Scotland has been a part of the United Kingdom for some 307 years, but a lot of people don’t even know that. A lot of people think Scotland is its own country, most likely thanks to Braveheart. Thanks to Mel Gibson’s rather inaccurate portrayal of William Wallace, I believe many Americans assume that even though the battle was lost, the war must have been won. Scotland gained independence eventually, right? Wrong. Well, partly wrong. Scotland did have some measure of independence after William Wallace’s death. Between 1328 and 1603 Scotland was independent, but there was a lot of tension. And in 1707 Scotland was formally inaugurated into the United Kingdom via the Acts of Union.
69 years later, America would have its go at England. Except we lost all the battles but somehow won the war. And now, in 2014, England is our closest friend and ally. So President Barack Obama makes some veiled tweets (sidenote: are we really reporting via tweet nowadays? Am I the only one who finds that disgraceful?) about a “united” ally but stays out of the fray. Because hey, we would kind of be hypocritical by saying, “Oh no Scotland, don’t do it.” Because we did it, and we’re forcing it down the throats of some many other middle eastern countries as well. Independence. Ah.
The UK is an extraordinary partner for America and a force for good in an unstable world. I hope it remains strong, robust and united. -bo
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 17, 2014
My favorite thing about this whole situation though is David Cameron’s (Prime Minister of the UK) statement that if Scotland votes “yes” it will be a “painful divorce” between it and the rest of the quickly diminishing United Kingdom.
Mr. Cameron, I must respectfully disagree.
“A painful divorce” is 750,000 people dead during the American Civil War. A “painful divorce” is 140,000 people dead during the Yugoslav Wars. This sir, will be a bump in the road compared to all that.
Because Britain is better. Britain has learned a more civilized and novel way of letting people decide their own fates. They’re letting people decide their own fates. It’s a really brilliant concept. And I applaud them for it. Does David Cameron want Scotland to leave? No, of course he doesn’t, and there are lots of economic and political and military reasons why. But he’s not going to pick up a gun to force them to stay.
And that’s why Britain is just better.