Friday, September 19, 2014 at 5:48 AM

Scotland Votes Resounding “No” to Independence

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 5.39.14 AM

Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout…

Unionists won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent with 31 of 32 constituencies declared.

(Reuters, September 19, 2014)


afp-celebrities-pick-sides-in-scottish-referendumWell, with due respect to all of the pundits spouting hind-sight wisdom today, Harry Potter author JK Rowling provided the best answer earlier this week, when she restated her abiding support for the “No” with this tweet:

My head says no and my heart shouts it – but whatever happens, I hope we’re all friends by Saturday.

(4:31 AM – 17 Sep 2014)

For – in addition to conveying disarming charm with this expelliarmus tweet, which probably caused many saying “Yes” to end up voting “No” – Rowling personified my prediction that:

… cooler heads will prevail [over wayward hearts], and Scots will vote to preserve [the union].

As for being “friends by Saturday,” however, I doubt even the best teacher at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry can cast a spell to make that happen … even between Scots. So just imagine the challenge of reconciling Scots – for whom independence was so devoutly to be wished, with Englishmen – who probably think of them now the way a husband might of a wife who files for divorce, but changes her mind because she’s afraid she can’t make it on her own.

Still, I am convinced that, in due course, old friendships will be renewed and national allegiances to an enduring United Kingdom affirmed.

In the meantime, though, I feel obliged to comment on the ignorant and cowardly way Wimbledon champion Andy Murray jumped on the independence bandwagon with this last-minute tweet:

Huge day for Scotland today! no campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. excited to see the outcome. lets do this! (sic)

(1:08 AM 18 Sep 2014)

oly-scotland-day12Murray, of course, is probably the most famous Scotsman in the world today, Sean Connery, Sir Chris Hoy, and other notables notwithstanding. Moreover, I actually hinted at his Scottish nationalism over a year ago as follows:

It’s only a matter of time before the English attempt to co-opt this Scotsman’s national pride by offering him a knighthood.

But, if Andy wants to make his fellow Scots truly proud, he would make a public show of rejecting it.

(“Wimbledon: Murray Ends Britain’s 77-Year Drought,” The iPINIONS Journal, July 8, 2013)

Yet, while hundreds of other celebrities declared their informed intent long before voting day, duly hoping to influence voters for their cause, he remained conspicuously silent. (For example, on August 7, 200 celebrities signed an open letter urging Scots to vote “No”.)

Then he comes out with this tweet, like a Nicodemus in the night (just hours before voting began), claiming that he was “totally swayed” by “no campaign negativity”?! What an idiot! After all, this makes about as much sense as a Black American claiming, just before voting began for the 2008 presidential election, that Barack Obama’s campaign negativity has swayed him to vote for John McCain….

Never mind the obvious suspicion that what really swayed Murray were polls showing that the wind was at the back of the “Yes” campaign, and he just wanted to jump on what he thought was the winning bandwagon at the last possible moment.

Frankly, if I were a “Yes” voter, I would have so resented his tweet that I would’ve tweeted back: thanks, but no thanks, Andy. And, if I were a “No” voter, I’d be damn if anyone even thinks of nominating him for a knighthood.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 5.55.13 AMAnyway, now comes the hard part: deciding how “independent” Scotland (and presumably Wales, Northern Ireland, and other territories) will/can be within the United Kingdom. After all, I reiterate:

Nothing indicates how desperate England is to preserve the union quite like the fact that it has already conceded (and promised) so many devolutionary powers that Scotland is already, for all intents and purposes, independent.

This is why, if they’re smart, the Scots would vote “No” – to have their cake and eat it too … as it were.

Rule, Britannia…?

(“Should Scotland Become an Independent Country? ‘No Thanks,’” The iPINIONS Journal, September 16, 2014)

Still, it’s worth noting that Spain probably breathed a sigh of relief as big as England’s. Because Spain clearly hopes that a “No” result will set an instructive precedent for its Catalonia, as well as all other pro-independence regions throughout Europe, to follow.

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