November 1, 2011

THE END OF HISTORY IS DEMOCRATIC, NOT TRANSNATIONALIST:

The Twilight of the British State: Scottish Independence and the European Question (Gerry Hassan, 28 October 2011, openDemocracy)

This is a fascinating and fast moving period of politics, at a global, European, British and Scottish level, challenging many of the most deep-seated and unexamined assumptions held across the political spectrum.

In the last week we have seen the euphoric SNP conference at Inverness showing a party on the crest of a wave, which seems to think that the future is within its grasp.

Then, at Westminster we have the return of the popular bogeyman - Eurosceptism - and its capture of the mainstream of the Conservative Party with the biggest ever backbench Tory rebellion on Europe.

What is seldom explored is the interconnection between these two issues: Scottish independence and Euroscepticism. Both illustrate the multi-dimensional nature of the crisis of the British state, and tensions and faultlines in the existing order with its mantras and folktales of parliamentary sovereignty. And in both, the centre of gravity has shifted significantly in recent times; towards an environment favourable to Scottish self-government, and a Eurosceptic agenda. The Scottish debate is now between full fiscal autonomy and independence; the Tory mainstream debate is between repatriation of powers from Europe and complete withdrawal. These two dimensions could in the future influence each other in ways seldom stated or explored.



Posted by at November 1, 2011 5:27 AM
  

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