May 11, 2011

ONCE THE AMERICANS LEFT, NO ONE SUB-ENGLISH WAS GOING TO STAY IN GREAT BRITAIN:

How the beat of Scottish nationalism is becoming the nation's music (Gerry Hassan, 10 May 2011, Open Democracy)

The appeal of Scottish nationalism, just like Labour Scotland before it, is wide, but also has significant limits. These need to be understood at the moment of the SNP’s great victory, so it does not engage in over-reach and become guilty of hubris. Scottish nationalism as a political force is still seen negatively by parts of Scottish society: namely parts of establishment and institutional Scotland, parts of the extended Labour state, and older voters. Many of these groups may be declining in number and influence, but we need to understand their reservations.

One of the most significant factors in the SNP victory has been the slow decline of Scottish unionism to the sad state it is in today. The short answer given for its state by most commentators and public opinion is one word, Thatcher. This is completely and utterly wrong.

The long-term decline of Scottish unionism was evident long before Thatcher. It is a product of deep-seated changes in post-war Scottish society, the economy, the decline of traditional manufacturing, and the shift to a more service driven economy, along with the decline of Empire. British economic decline and the numerous post-war crises, and in particular the 1967 devaluation and 1976 IMF crisis, played their part as Scots saw the British social contract and citizenship, which they believed in, threatened and diluted.

A referendum on Scottish independence is now inevitable, an epoch making moment in the history of Scotland and the UK. It could foreseeably be won; it could be won because although there is no pro-independence majority in Scotland at the moment or in last week’s election, one could emerge. This would be because the story of Britain is over, and at the same time the Ukanian state still exercises a major hold over large aspects of our life. Those two factors create major possibilities for an independence majority.

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Posted by at May 11, 2011 5:41 AM
  

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