As Nicholas James Pell observes, whenever you see the word “people’s” used to describe a political movement, it’s usually clarifying to strike it out and insert “Stalinist”.
Not living in in the British Isles, I’m mostly ambivalent about the Scottish referendum. The ‘Yes’ campaign – premised on the idea that Westminster is the only thing preventing Scotland from being a gloriously wealthy socialist paradise with state sponsored benefits for all – seems completely ludicrous. But separatism seems to be all the rage these days, much to the annoyance of the centralizing bureaucrats, so it can’t be entirely bad.
Moreover, the referendum has however provided an occasion for some wonderful writing mocking the Scots.
Ah, there’s nothing like a primitive, quarrel-torn, disastrous Third World country. And Scotland has everything it needs to be what old-school foreign correspondents fondly call a “shit-hole.”
This is the Scottish mentality in a nutshell. It is fierce nationalism mixed with an obsession with the underdog that borders on psychosis. … Scots aren’t rational human beings. They’re drunk. They don’t want to separate because it’s a smart economic decision. They want to separate because they fucking hate England. They don’t hate England because of history. They hate them for the same reason they hate America. They hate the winners. This has made them profoundly socialist and if they leave England, they will become a cold, wet, Cuba at best—McIslamabad at worst.
And from David Warren, some more general observations about the undesirability of self-government:
The independent and enterprising spirit once associated with Scotsmen had nothing to do with politics; unless it had something to do with freedom from politics in the Scottish national order, since decision-making migrated from Edinburgh to Westminster, more than three centuries ago. Scotsmen were left with better things to think about, than how to appropriate each other’s incomes. In general I would recommend government by foreigners, who will almost invariably interfere less in local affairs, customs and traditions. Foreigners, especially those with imperial experience, can provide a more chaste and disinterested approach to the problems of governance that are unavoidable; and will be less apt to champion the envies of one group or class against another. The ideal, to my mind, is an hereditary monarchy far, far away — as indifferent as possible to the fate of “the people,” and answerable only to God. But even government by a distant republic is preferable to the settled mendacities of home rule, and the nauseating poison of nationalism.
Do read them all.
We try to avoid being overly partisan here, but this is just too good to pass up.
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