Sean Connery on Scottish Independence

By Christiaan van Huyssteen (@cvh23)

Yes and no thanks signs scotland

Photo Credit: The Guardian


A Scottish James Bond might forever be a thing from the past, if Scotland decides to secede from the UK.

An article by Sean Connery in The New Statesman:

“More than anything else, culture defines a country. It provides international visibility and stimulates global interest more than a nation’s politics, business or economy ever can…

I believe Scotland can and will go further. A Yes vote in September will capture the attention of the world. That inevitably means there will be a renewed focus on our culture as well as our new politics, presenting us with an unparalleled opportunity to promote our heritage and creative excellence.

I fully respect that the choice facing Scotland on 18 September is a matter for the people who choose to work and live there – that is only right and proper. But as a Scot and as someone with a lifelong love for both Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss.

Simply put – there is no more creative an act than creating a new nation.”

Although Scotland’s population only makes up 8,4% of the UK population (5,3 million people), the Scots have a long and proud history, and a strong identity. And as Mr Connery says, “culture defines a country”. By culture alone, the Scots stand out as a proud nation.

The emotional voice in one longs for an independent Scotland. An independent people who live in a separate territory ought to have an independent government. Smaller countries tend to have smaller, more efficient and more accountable governments. There is no pride in being ‘dependent’.

The rational voice is uncertain, and wonders what a ‘yes’ majority will mean. What UK structures will an independent Scotland retain? Health, education, welfare? Will they keep the Pound as their currency, or will they form their own central bank? (It would be an interesting experiment to see a Scotland without a central bank). Will they create new armed forces? Will they join the Euro?

Setting up these structures will be a great challenge, but one that can be done from the ground up, independently. Joining the Euro will render the independence vote meaningless, as EU laws and treaties make up the majority of most member country’s laws. Not very independent. The Eurozone is also suffering economically, with technical recessions in Greece and Italy, and no notable growth in most other countries. As an idea, the European project makes sense, but it has become a giant unelected bureaucracy. The Euro isn’t a sinking ship, as some seem to think, merely because there is a tremendous political will to see the project continue.

The debate boils down to the right of people to choose their destiny. The United Nations does allow for the right to self determination, and for a people to decide if they wish to secede from a country, as Crimea did recently.

They have the chance to build the structures that they want. Should Scotland vote for independence, the initial period of setting up a state will be crucial in determining if the right choice was made.

The Scots have the chance of making a groundbreaking collective decision, a chance they won’t get again for a very long time. The political elite are terrified of an independent Scotland because of the message it will send to the world. Other groups around the world may realise they can choose freedom, and economic independence. Politicians and central planners around the world will lose power if parts of their nations simply break away.

Bill Clinton, Alan Greenspan, David Cameron, Gordon Brown etc. have all called for the ‘no’ vote. I consider this the greatest reason to vote ‘yes’.


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