• Scotland’s recent failed independence attempt isn’t stopping intrepid European nationalists.
By Ronald L. Ray —
Scotland had an historic opportunity to throw off peacefully the yoke of centuries of English rule. But on September 18, 55% of the largest Scottish electorate in history, which included 16- and 17-year-olds, said “No” to independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. Even so, relationships between the UK’s England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may have changed forever. And pro-independence movements across Europe and the world have been emboldened to stand up to exploitative political establishments.
The vote to remain in the UK was carried by those 55 and older: 73% of the 65-plus group voted “No,” according to a post-election poll by Lord Michael Ashcroft. The majority of Scotland’s other voters favored independence. And for those who wished to separate, the largest motivating factor was longstanding frustration with the rulers in London. Nearly half of the union supporters were motivated by fear of uncertainties regarding “currency, EU [European Union] membership, the economy, jobs and prices.” Taking a page from Democrats in America, the Conservative Party’s “No” campaign effectively scared women and old people into fearing their healthcare and old-age pensions might be lost.
It is important to understand, however, that UK conservatives tend to be neo-liberal economically and interventionist in foreign policy—most akin, perhaps, to the Trotskyite neoconservatives in America’s Republican Party.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) and other independence supporters, by contrast, want decisions about Scotland to be made by Scots and an end to the economic exploitation of Scottish natural resources by the rest of the UK. Many sought independence in order to break the economic chains imposed on them by the plutocrats, who profit from the impoverishing “austerity” imposed on the working classes. In this sense, the pro-independence movement, which truly came from the “grassroots,” is fundamentally populist. It also embraces the continuation of certain social programs like the National Health Service and free university education, unlike the views of many English.
For the immediate future, British Prime Minister David Cameron and leaders of other political parties have promised more “devolution,” more local control for Scotland—the bribe offered for staying in the UK. While the final result is uncertain, as both the Conservative and Labour parties will seek a solution that guarantees them perpetual political control, it will likely mean that each of the four major UK countries will have a separate parliament for national issues, and that the parliament in London will be more of a federal body, regulating only those matters applying to the entire UK.
So, in a sense, Scotland still may have won independence. The present UK political climate makes a return to “business as usual” nearly impossible. But questions arise. Will an anti-EU England be able to pull the UK out of the European Union, when the other regions are pro-EU? Will England even cease to exist as a unified country?
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling, a Tory, points out that an EU map some years ago displayed Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but only a grouping of several regions where England had been. That is the Labour plan, which likely would cement socialism into the English political fabric and Britain into the EU. In this light, the success of the UK Independence Party in the 2015 parliamentary elections will be critical for getting the UK out of the clutches of the Brussels bureaucrats.
More interestingly for populists, the Scottish referendum has given huge impetus to independence movements elsewhere. As Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg points out, the Scots received an opportunity which “99.9% of humans have never had,” the freedom to vote for liberty and independence.
The parliament of Catalonia in Spain voted overwhelmingly, only one day after the Scottish vote, to hold an independence referendum this November. While it will be merely advisory, the Spanish federal government has promised to oppose the vote by “all available means.” The patriotic Catalans might then turn to significant civil resistance. A wide plurality of 45% of the 7.5 million Catalans seek secession from Spain.
People in Okinawa would like to be free of Japan and a massive American military presence, but tensions could be significant, as Japan and China spar for control of the strategic island.
Flanders in Belgium, Corsica and the Spanish Basque country also have their separatists.
Italy is also under stress, as the Germanic South Tyrolians seek reunion with Austria and even Venice contemplates becoming a republic again.
Thanks to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and the SNP, the designs of the New World Order thugs for a global plantation are unraveling. As nationalist and populist movements grow around the world, especially in Europe, it is clear that man’s age-old struggle for freedom from tyranny is on the offensive.
Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author and an assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.
One Quarter of Americans Ready to Secede
• Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 23.9% of Americans strongly support or tend to support secession
By Dave Gahary
A poll conducted from August 23 through September 16 and released on September 19 revealed that of the 8,952 respondents queried, nearly a quarter are ready to call it quits for this experiment known as the United States of America. Importantly, the online survey’s “margin of error” was only 1.2% points, historically low for polls of this sort, which leaves little room for doubt that these Americans want their states out of the Union.
The one question poll, do you “Support or oppose the idea of your state peacefully withdrawing from the USA and the federal government?” uncovered that the desire to secede cut across all political party lines, and that the young and the poor were also in favor of the split.
Although Republicans were more favorable to the idea, 29.7% compared with 21% of Democrats, President Barack Hussein Obama’s job performance was an important factor for those favoring secession.
Just last month, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 60% of Americans were dissatisfied with the state of the economy, more than 70% believe the country was headed in the wrong direction, and nearly 80% were disgusted with the country’s political system.
The same poll showed that Obama’s overall job rating hit at an all-time low of 40%, a far cry from his 67% approval rate the week after his inauguration, in January, 2009. While the average approval rating for U.S. presidents, according to Gallup, from 1938 to 2014 is 53%, of all presidents in their second September after reelection, only President Harry S. Truman had a rating lower than Obama, 35%, in September, 1950.
Experts parsing the Reuters/Ipsos poll results felt that Obama’s declining approval ratings, the Scottish independence referendum and the success of militia members who supported Cliven Bundy’s grazing rights battle ranch with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, were the main factors in drawing more interest in secession.
Secession is part of the fabric of this once-great nation. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was organized “in part to avoid the danger that the colonies would break into competing regional confederacies.” Secession threats occurred in 1799, 1814, 1828, 1845, and of course in 1860, when 11 Southern states seceded, sparking the Civil War.
Follow-up calls placed to the respondents to see if their views had altered uncovered that they kept the same views. Many were disturbed over an economic recovery that has failed to produce jobs, over jobs that don’t pay well, “against mistreatment of veterans, against war, against deficits, against hyper-partisanship, against political corruption, against illegal immigration, against the assault on marriage, against the assault on same-sex marriage, against government in the bedroom, against government in general — the president, Congress, the courts and both political parties,” basically, everything that’s wrong with America today.
Reuter’s reporter Jim Gaines, who analyzed the data of his company’s poll, found some troubling trends.
The poll data, he wrote, “should be more than disconcerting; it’s a situation that could get dangerous.”
“[A]ny country where 60 million people declare themselves to be sincerely aggrieved — especially one that is fractious by nature — is a country inviting either the sophistry of a demagogue or a serious movement for reform.”
Gaines referenced Princeton political scientist Mark Beissinger’s research that has shown “separatist movements can take hold around contempt for incumbents and the status quo even when protesters have no ideology in common.”
Washington needs to sit up and take notice. Americans may be on the march soon.
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.