Thursday, September 18, 2014

The best-laid schemes

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley.
--Robert Burns

If there is one great disappointment of trivial consequence in my life, it is that the love of my life doesn't speak with a Scottish accent.  There is something about that accent that brings a smile to my face.

The polls have now closed in Scotland, where the people have voted on whether or not to separate from the United Kingdom, dissolving a union that has lasted since 1707 and the time of Queen Anne.  I don't know the outcome yet, and polling has indicated that it's a close question.  I have to question the wisdom of letting such a momentous decision be placed in the hands of a bare majority, but that is what the proponents of independence requested and that is what the government of the United Kingdom agreed to when the vote was set.

But I really don't have an opinion on Scottish independence.  Or, rather, I'm of two minds on the question. 

I worry that Scottish independence will have a detrimental effect on what's left of the United Kingdom after it leaves.  I'm also not a big fan of the sort of nationalism that this represents.  I don't like the idea of our own union being broken up; those bonds ought not be lightly put aside.

But I'm not exactly opposed to a thumb in the eyes of the Tories who are presently running the UK into the ground, either.  And a "yes" vote would definitely be that.

More concretely, however, this is perhaps best viewed as the next step in a process that has seen Scotland gain more autonomy.

I don't plan to stay up late to watch the results come in--and maybe I won't have to, since they're six hours ahead--but I am interested in what happens, not because I necessarily care which side wins, but maybe because I don't care.  As long as I get to keep hearing that accent, I'll be happy.

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