The 2014 Scottish Referendum gave hope to other secession movements
Even though it ultimately failed at the ballot box, the campaign for Scottish independence should cheer supporters of numerous secession movements springing up around the world.
In the weeks leading up to the referendum, it appeared that the people of Scotland were poised to vote to secede from the United Kingdom.
Defeating the referendum required British political elites to co-opt secession forces by promising greater self-rule for Scotland, as well as launching a massive campaign to convince Scots that secession would plunge them into economic depression.
The people of Scotland were even warned that secession would damage the international market for one of Scotland’s main exports, whisky. Considering the lengths to which opponents went to discredit secession, it is amazing that almost 45 percent of the Scottish people still voted in favour of it.
Widespread acceptance of the principle of peaceful secession and self-determination could resolve many ongoing conflicts
The Scottish referendum result did not discourage secessionist movements spreading across Europe. Just days after the Scottish referendum, the people of Catalonia voted to hold their own referendum measuring popular support for secession from Spain.
Support for secession is also growing in America. According to a recent poll, one in four Americans would support their state seceding from the federal government. Movements and organizations advocating that state governments secede from the federal government, that local governments secede from state governments, or that local governments secede from both the federal and state governments, are springing up around the country. Over one million Californians signed a ballot access petition in support of splitting California into six states. While the proposal did not meet the requirements necessary to appear on the ballot, the effort to split California continues to gain support.
Americans who embrace secession are acting in a grand American tradition. The Declaration of Independence was written to justify secession from Britain. Supporters of liberty should cheer the growth in support for secession, as it is the ultimate rejection of centralized government and the ideologies of Keynesianism, welfarism, and militarism.
Widespread acceptance of the principle of peaceful secession and self-determination could resolve many ongoing conflicts. For instance, allowing the people of eastern Ukraine and western Ukraine to decide for themselves whether to split into two separate nations may be the only way to resolve their differences.
The possibility that people will break away from an oppressive government is one of the most effective checks on the growth of government. It is no coincidence that the transformation of America from a limited republic to a monolithic welfare-warfare state coincided with the discrediting of secession as an appropriate response to excessive government.
Devolving government into smaller units promotes economic growth. The smaller the size of government, the less power it has to hobble free enterprise with taxes and regulations.
Just because people do not wish to live under the same government does not mean they are unwilling or unable to engage in mutually beneficial trade. By eliminating political conflicts, secession could actually make people more interested in trading with each other. Decentralizing government power would thus promote true free trade as opposed to “managed trade” controlled by bureaucrats, politicians, and special interests.
Devolution of power to smaller levels of government should also make it easier for individuals to use a currency of their choice, instead of a currency favoured by central bankers and politicians.
The growth of support for secession should cheer all supporters of freedom, as devolving power to smaller units of government is one of the best ways to guarantee peace, property, liberty — and even cheap whisky! (Ron Paul is a former member of the US Congress)
5 replies on “An American politician opines on the 2014 Independence Referendum “Considering the lengths to which Unionist opponents went to discredit secession, it is amazing that almost 45 percent of the Scottish people still voted in favour of it.””
It’s a pity that the very real economic reasons that England as the UK didn’t want independence in 2014 isn’t more widely understood. Others can see what independence would mean for Scotland and rUK.
The UK’s international trade deficit began in the mid 1980’s and has become progressively worse since then, something that will not be accepted by other countries indefinitely. As the effects of Brexit become clearer by the day, the UK’s inability to pay it’s way in the world, or even to accept the serious economic position that Brexit has created (re Labour’s announcement that it will never rejoin the EU Single Market), may prove to be the trigger of the UK’s economic reality being forced upon it by others. Scotland becoming independent and therefore to a large extent England as well (NI & Wales either look set to leave or may well choose to do so), would undoubtedly be the final nail in England’s economic delusions.
Given these vastly under reported UK economic realities, is it any surprise that England as the UK is so desperate to avoid Scotland not only from becoming independent, but even from having the chance to determine if it does want to become independent now that the UK of
2014 no longer exists.
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The UK economy has not recovered from the financial meltdown of 2008/9 a situation made even worse at the time through the inaction of the Labour government. Not one banker or financial institution held to account. All losses were absorbed by taxpayers who, courtesy of the treasury were forced to accept massive government borrowing incurring financial debt which would take upwards of a century to reduce to manageable levels. The bankers and their City of London fat- cat cohorts got off scot-free!! indeed
they benefitted from a swift return to enjoy, yet again the largesse of their high wage and massive bonus scheme regimes. Joe public was not so lucky, the Tory government hit the taxpayer hard with the imposition of a period of austerity punishing the many for the wilful acts of a few who should have been banned from working in the financial sector forever. After 12 years of imposed financial hardship the economy is coming apart as inflation rears its ugly head once more. Scotland needs to get out of the Westminster driven rat race now. No more pussy footing about. If needed we should take our case for independence to the UN.
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If there was a positive case for the union, it’d have been made by now. That they haven’t, only proves that there isn’t one and that all the unionist’s have are meaningless slogans and deliberately malicious misinformation. In a word – lies. The UK’s inevitable slide further into economic and social chaos isn’t a risk of remaining part of the UK, it’s simply a proven fact that started decades ago. Labours announcement that they will never rejoin the European Single Market or Customs Union (so it’d also be a hard Brexit under them) shows that even with the self evident transport fiasco and economic harm that Brexit has caused, Labour is no different than the tories. Similarly all the UK party’s are aggressively opposed to Scotland even trying to become independent, again proving that Scotland has a UK government problem and not just a Tory one.
Any risks that Scotland faces as an independent country fade into insignificance when compared with the negative certainties of remaining part of a failing UK. If any good is to come out of the UK economic crisis about to take place (heating or eating?), it will be that Scotland finally takes control of the process to establish independence and stops bothering with a UK establishment that knows it’s historic pretensions are over and it’s economic lies about to be proven as such by the day to day realities of life in an increasingly grim UK. The UK’s biggest lie is when they lie about the risks of Scotland becoming independent. That is just a diversion tactic. It’s staying part of an economically and morally bankrupt UK and suffering the relentless decline that that will result in, that is the biggest and only risk worth considering with regards to independence. Only it isn’t a risk, it’s a certainty if Scotland remains part of the UK.
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If only we could get our views read by 4 million Scots!!!
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Some good progress now being made on better communication.
The MSM is utterly biased. The SNP is undermined. That is what happens in colonies. The repertoire of tactics by colonisers is long. But the message is getting out and the example of that is the fact that more Scots are coming to realise that choice to decide is their choice. Sovereignty, claim of right is there to be exercised. Westminster does not have the writ to say no you cannot have a referendum, you cannot choose because we choose, not you.
And that was the reason this week that the Commons chamber erupted in fury at the two Alba members. Scotland’s right to choose is a dagger at their heart. They know it and they fear it. And that right, the knowledge of that right, is now becoming much more mainstream within our community.
Alba, the Scottish Sovereignty Research Group, Salvo, the new bloggers like Yours For Scotland, Barrhead Boy and others including this site, are all getting the message out. The SNP line that only a S30 referendum in the gift of the Westminster Government is now being recognised as a flawed route to independence.
However, having asked for a S30 and having it rejected has highlighted the path to that of a Scottish plebiscite claim of right. And that is again why the Commons this week erupted in such fury, throwing out and breaking parliamentary procedure
In 2014 the Yes campaign achieved 45% in the teeth of the biggest propaganda onslaught the MSM and government could muster. But now we are wiser and if every one of us can get behind continuing to get the message out, sharing information, encouraging discussion, group participation, then we will succeed.
So thanks CJ for your effort, for playing your part, and if every one of us could inform a n other who could in turn do the same then we will galvanise our people, and their elected representatives to action.
Independence is there to be taken!
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