When the news came in that Scotland wanted to separate from us sasanachs, my gut instinct was a kind of “meh”. I mean, if they really are desperate to leave why not let them? It’s not like England is a communist state and needs their titanium and gold to keep the gulags running.
Then I thought about the issue a little bit longer and started to worry that the price of haggis might soar. At that point I decided I needed to have a bit of a deeper look at what’s actually going on.
So here’s some quick points for you to peruse to see if you care or not…
1) Why Did We Join In The First Place?
So a little bit of history first. Scotland and England have been official bed fellows since 1716 when the Parliament of Great Britain was formed and set up HQ in the Palace of Westminster. So that’s the when, the why was all about the monarchy, as things often were back then. The English didn’t want the Scots to take a different monarch to theirs. That would have caused beefs. And from the Scots point of view, they’d emptied their bank accounts trying to become a trading super power by taking over the Isthmus of Panama. They unsuccessfully attempted to set up a colony called Caledonia in the 1690s and really needed a bail out.
2) Why Now?
After so many years why have the Scots decided to make a run for it now? In Gladstone’s era in the 1880’s Scotland started making noises that they wanted their own parliament. They had a few attempts (and fails), most notably in 1913 and 1979. In 1999 they finally got their way and Scottish parliament opened for business. That seemed like it was enough for a while.
In May 2011, Salmond and the Scottish National Part (SNP) surprised everyone, and themselves, by wining a landslide victory. This meant that a nationalist party was in power and they had the right to demand a referendum. So they did.