Amy Goodman from the popular news program Democracy Now! today covered the topic of Scotland’s impending independence, slated for tomorrow. In the segment she interviews British historian Sam Wetherell and musician Billy Bragg, who has been writing on the topic of Scottish independence for several years.
Many things are at stake, including Scotland’s oil production. Although Scottish independence has often been framed as the creation of a new “petrol state,” Bragg is clear that the real issue is self-determination:
“I think you’ve got to see Scottish independence as a rejection of the way Westminster does politics. Over the last 30 years, there’s been a convergence between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party to the situation where Labour at the next election will promise to implement the same spending program as the government. That’s not really a choice for our democracy. The Scottish National Party are offering a different way of doing things, a more localized way of doing things. And I think this is a pretty good response to globalization. As our economies become broken down, people search for some kind of identity within their own national borders. I think it’s an aspiration certainly for the Scots. It’s been an aspiration for many, many years. And they have devolution. They have devolved power from London. But they want their own spending powers. They want fiscal autonomy. And this could have been an option. The Scots wanted a third option, which people refer to as “devo-max,” “devolution max.” It really means fiscal autonomy. The government refused to allow them and made them make this binary choice of in or out, and are surprised that people are looking—well, it could be very, very close anyway.”
To link to the Democracy Now! segment click here.
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