The subject of Scottish independence is in the news again, and once again I find myself torn in two. I suppose it’s a question of which is more noble: is it better for a fixed group of people to govern theirselves and decide their own fate, or for everyone to work together as one? If everyone united we risk becoming one big grey homogenous whole; divided we risk separating into smaller and smaller groups forever bickering over fewer and fewer resources. Unification would eventually lead to the erosion of diversity and probably democracy, as states become too big and unwieldy to properly represent all it’s citizens; yet separation would lead to nationalism, animosity and xenophobia.
Which, then, is the more noble aim? As a liberal socialist, which should I support? In the case of Scotland, should I see the independence movement as the understandable urge of the Scots to free theirselves from a UK sinking under a catastrophic Brexit; or read in the SNP’s calls for a second independence referendum the same petty, power-hungry nationalism that I see in the Outists I despise? I could dismiss Sturgeon’s call for a second Scottish referendum as childish pettiness provoked simply because she didn’t like the result of the first; but would that not render my own desire for a second Brexit referendum hypocritical?
Don’t both Scottish Nationalism and Brexit boil down to the same basic nationalist drive? If the scots have a right to free theirselves from the UK because the Tories do not represent them, could the same be said of London, which is more left leaning and pro-European, with an even bigger population. If Scotland wants to be it’s own state, shouldn’t London? Why is one idea absurd and not the other? At the end of the day, isn’t it better to remain as one? Then again, where would that leave democracy?
Oh what a mess.