A lot of American writers more-or-less on the right seem to be oddly offended by the notion that Scotland might vote to separate itself from the UK. Take Tom Gallagher, who has written an informative, lengthy, and incredibly vehement piece on the perils of Scottish independence. It’s hard to recommend the piece, because, though it has a lot of meat to chew on, it’s so clearly written with a ground axe that I can’t bring myself to trust it.
Why? What does it matter to everyone who’s not part of the UK whether Scotland detaches?
People on the right note, I suppose, that the Scotland independence movement is a repudiation of their politics — but it’s a repudiation of their politics in Europe, which, as a whole, repudiates their politics. The UK, the state being seceded from, after all, is way to the left of the US on everything except, possibly war/national security. If Scotland does secede, even if it moves significantly leftward, it will still hardly be the greatest European example of a much more left-wing body politic around. Indeed, if rightists enjoy the courage of their convictions, they should be broadly interested in a natural experiment which will, presumably, demonstrate the economic consequences of a sharp move to the left.
From a worldwide viewpoint, it’s hard to imagine anything terribly less consequential than Scottish independence. Scotland is a small (potential) nation, and one which aspires to be economically part of the larger European Union. From the outside, it seems unlikely that anything will be economically different before and after independence. And, pretty clearly, Scotland is not a security threat to anyone.
So what’s left? Why do the rest of us care what the outcome of independence is? Tyler Cowen, at least, seems to be relatively up-front about the idea that he’s emotionally committed to the preservation of the UK as is for, um, basically nostalgic reasons? It seems like an odd thing to get nostalgic about, to me.
For my part, based on my readings, I think that independence would probably not be to the good of Scotland’s citizens, but hey, maybe I’m wrong. In any case, I wish them luck in their endeavors.