Yesterday the Scots had a national vote to determine whether or not they wanted to remain as part of the United Kingdom or become a truly independent nation. As a body politic they decided to maintain their ties to England although a large number of citizens desired the change. Most notable of the independence desire was the Glasgow area, the most populous geographic region in the land. This indicates the great number who are not satisfied with the results will continue to push for more autonomy for Scotland, a push that has been been ongoing since the days of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.
David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, promised during the campaign that he would grant more autonomy to the Scots, a move which has alienated him from many of his Tories who seem to want to punish the Scots for their action rather than work to appease their fervor. Cameron has consistently stated that he will live up to his word but only time will tell. I think it would be wise for him to honor his commitments since Scotland is a proud land with citizens who are not afraid to stand for what they believe. And, in addition to their high spirited nature and pride, their politics are decidedly socialist, a factor that grew from the great union movements that were built by their days as a major shipbuilding center which, when its heyday ended in the late 1800s, left the Glasgow area with huge unemployment. This was the reason why my family came to America.
So what does this story mean to the rest of us? After all, Scotland is not a large country with a massive population, so how does it impact the rest of the world? Well, I think it's indicative of the blow back by citizens of many countries against the overreach of centralized governments and their desire for more autonomy at the local level or at least closer to where they live. This applies today in many countries, even in England where Nigel Farage and the UKIP party is fighting against the ties to Europe.
Even in Europe, notably in France, a similar movement to UKIP has taken hold with Marine LaPen offering a potential challenge to the EU centralized establishment while the Basques in Spain are talking about breaking away as a separate state from Spanish governance as well and these movements are growing.
And finally, here in the United States, noise is beginning to be heard as well. In addition to the six state movement in California, Texas has long been thought to have a strong group which would consider secession if federal overreach continues unabated. How many others, particularly in Southern states, might catch on to that fever is anybody's guess but the push for a Constitutional Convention gaining ground is indicative of the desire for more independence.
So this story about Scotland which only received our nation's attention on election day is indicative of a sentiment and a desire to start a snowball of new ideas regarding where power should be centered. I don't think it is going to go away any time soon and if it results in power being relegated to a level where people can better participate and be involved. I see that as a positive action, much better than a continuation of large groups of uninformed voters voting for things that they don't even understand.
So to my friends and relatives in Scotland I say, stay active and involved for those things that you think are right. Be orderly and polite as you have shown yourselves to be but never give up on your hopes and dreams. It's what makes many of us cheer you on for whatever you want to be. And the spirit and spark is something that all people need everywhere; it's what will force government to be accountable to you.
God bless Scotland and good luck in your future. Your initiative and determination are admirable and we salute you. I only hope that we here in the United States can learn from it.