A referendum is planned for 2014 on the subject of whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom to become an independent state in its own right.
OK, so it’s not actually really like that at all. But how could I resist?
How should reactionaries view this development? I’m open to comment on that point. My thoughts at first were largely neutral. In the past, the Scottish National Party, which currently runs the devolved government of Scotland, has been republican. The elimination of the monarchy on independence, obviously, would a deal-breaker for me and should be for any reactionary.
On the other hand, that position seems to have softened of late. The SNP’s official position is now that the elimination or maintenance of the monarchy would be up to the Scottish people once independence is achieved.
This is still not good enough for me, for two reasons. First of all, if an independent Scotland is more likely to become a republic than the United Kingdom is, I’m against it. Second of all, even if the referendum ends with a positive result for the monarchy, I’m a legitimist. I don’t believe in submitting monarchies to republican referenda at all; it implies, even if the republican initiative fails, that royal legitimacy is dependent on the will of the people, which can only hurt our cause.
That said, if it were firmly agreed that the monarchy would be maintained, I might have positive feelings toward Scottish independence. There are several reasons for this. First of all, Scotland was independent under the Stuarts, and I have strong Jacobite sympathies. Second of all, I think decentralization and local autonomy is usually a good thing.
On the other hand, one has to consider some points against Scottish independence. Most of them weigh not so much against the idea or principle of independence for that country as against the likely implementation of that idea were it to happen in today’s political climate.
First of all, while a restoration of the pre-1707 British constitutional settlement would be wonderful, we should be realistic and note that that is almost certainly not going to be the result of any successful referendum on Scottish independence today. Instead, Scotland would almost certainly receive a u.S.-style “written constitution” with a social-democratic slant. The monarch, if She were retained at all, most likely would not keep even the theoretical reserve powers She now holds in the UK. This is a major sticking point for me, and should be for all monarchists.
Second of all, the issue of religion. Again, a left-wing party like the SNP is unlikely to maintain the established Church of Scotland when the time comes for them to invent a brand new Scottish Constitution. That’s another mark against independence.
And the final argument against independence is this: From what I read, Scottish voters tend to lean a little further left than English voters. This is confirmed by the left-leaning social democratic party that now rules Scotland. An independent Scotland, then, would be more leftist than the UK. The leftover independent England (and Northern Ireland) might be more rightist than the UK, but I don’t think so; they’re already the vast majority.
I’m still open to persuasion, though. Would anyone like to convince me Scottish independence is a good idea?