Great Scot!
Canny Scots Lean "No" Amid Sterling Doubts and Celeb Backlash
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  • gabrielsyme

    The failure of the Darien Scheme, an ambitious plan to turn Scotland
    into a global economic power that led to a massive financial crisis in
    Scotland when the plan went awry, convinced many Scots at the time that
    Scotland would have better opportunities in a full union with England
    than it would on its own.

    While it ought not to make much difference to Scotland’s choice today, the idea that the Act of Union was a legitimate response to the failure of the Darien Scheme is completely ahistorical. Wealthy elites wished to recover their investment, and England promised to pay them. Those payments, more overt bribery, and extreme political pressure (the Alien Act, 1705) together turned a majority of the Scottish elite against the broad and deep current of popular support for independence among the people of Scotland. Rarely has private interest more directly and substantially altered a nation’s fate against the desires of its people.

    The Union may have been a good idea; but it was not sold as such, even to those Scottish parliamentarians who voted for it. England bought Scotland’s entry into Union through bribery; let’s not pretend otherwise.

  • Breif2

    The FT reports that a group of “rock stars, actors, comedians, academics and scientists”, British and Scottish alike, have signed an open letter speaking out against independence. The letter went live today on a pro-union site, and featured names both popular and refined, including “Sir Mick Jagger, Stephen Hawking, Dame Judy Dench and Simon Cowell.” Here’s some of the text:

    “The decision on whether to leave our shared country is, of course, absolutely yours alone. Nevertheless, that decision will have a huge effect on all of us in the rest of the United Kingdom,”

    Translation: “Please don’t leave us at the mercy of the Tories!”

    Regarding independence, I support the right of Scotland to decide either way, as long as they commit to the results. This as opposed to Quebec separatists, say, and their “neverendum referendum”.

  • Scotnat

    With regard to opinion polls, especially when the subject is Scottish Independence, beware because what people say and what they do are two entirely different things. I’ve learnt that through nearly 40 years of campaigning.
    Michael Follon

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