As the result of the Scottish referendum reaches us this Friday, we will once more be reminded of how highly we value our national and cultural identities in this global world.
We cannot blame the Scots that they want independence – who doesn’t? Well, maybe Fiji. They after all applied to become a British colony in the 1870s to stop the civil war and cannibalism that was threatening to eradicate the population. At the time they had already eaten all the small people – hence if you go there today, they tend to be mostly huge – beautiful and huge – an undeniable survival of the fittest. Just look at their rugby team.
History has taught us that if your ethnic identity represents the majority of the population, but differs from that of the government’s, there will be an indefatigable cry for independence. And that cry will totally overwhelm the voice that asks: “Then what??”
In the European Community we have succeeded for over 40 years in submitting self-determination to the common institutions. Our actions are always followed with an outcry, but then resolved for good reasons.
Firstly security. We are currently marking the outbreak of the Great War 100 years ago, and next year it will be the 70-year anniversary of the end of second great war, just to remind us that the unthinkable actually happened. Since then we’ve had a Cold War, of which we have recently been having almost daily reminders. Today everybody in Europe is a member of a minority and trusts their fellow minority groups to all work for the common good.
We now know that security, progress and wealth do not come from more independence but from more integration. In Denmark, independence is a romantic feeling that allows the people in Jutland to congregate and sing
‘Jylland mellem tvende have’, a song written by a man from Fyn, in which they point fingers at the ‘Devil’s Island’ (Zealand) inhabitants where the majority part of the population are second or third generation Jutlanders.
Let Scotland be independent just to wake up and see that they were already as independent as you can possibly be these days. They can take the high road or the low road, but it will still be Scotland forever. The Scottish can interpret the crossed beams of the st Andrew’s cross as a skiing instruction, a blind spot or a cross on a ballot slip that is about to divide them more than bring them together – until they remember that, as a member of the EU, they are already just as independent as are the Danes, Swedes, Italians and Dutch, or as mutually interdependent as the same.
Which is all grand …