The Scottish Conundrum

This Thursday is a crucial day for the United Kingdom; whatever the outcome of the referendum – even if the vote is No – the Union can never be the same again.

Scotland will be bitterly divided and unsettled to the point that its contribution will constitute more of a permanent headache than one would have initially recognised. Turbulence, for independence will continue unabated and gain momentum. Extremism will take root and wipe out any advantages of remaining together through the ballot box.

A referendum was a bad idea from the start. It simply awakened deep nationalistic feelings which were dormant in Scotland, as long as people were not provoked into a choice they had to make or be branded traitors to the cause. It is now too late to lament the ill-wisdom of the coalition government that seems to create its own doom for lack of intense and measured reflection as to the consequences of many of their policies, hurriedly pushed through.

The reality of the situation Britain is now facing is too unpredictable to make a coherent judgement. Instead, there is panic in the air over Yes vote fears, for this will bring in its wake severe economic upheavals hard to estimate but could be tantamount to an earthquake that will shake the very foundations of our so-called economic recovery.

Reports from many respectable financial sources indicate that investors were already pulling money out of the UK at the fastest pace since the credit crisis of 2008. Cross Border Capital said that the net flow of capital out of Britain hit £16.8 billion in August, the highest level since Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Meanwhile, a study by Deutsche Bank said a Yes vote for Scottish independence would ‘go down in history as a political and economic mistake’. On a par with Winston Churchill’s decision in 1925 to return the pound to the Gold Standard, or the failures by the Federal Reserve in America that triggered the Great Depression in the 1930s. It warned that Scotland risked a similar depression if voters backed the Yes campaign and described the desire for independence as an ‘incomprehensible one which could have negative consequences far beyond what people have imagined’.

For Great Britain, however, the omens remain dark and highly volatile. Would it have the same respect and influence abroad? Will Wales and Northern Ireland stir the pot and ask for a similar cessation from the UK? Will the coalition government survive and who is likely to win the next general election?

It would take a seer of exceptional vision to predict these complexities that appear to defy ordinary human semantics.

Politicians have yet again engineered their own downfall and with it their total loss of credibility. A new broom might still emerge out of this mess and begin the task of cleansing the nation for better or for worse. Who knows?

Let’s keep our fingers crossed, as the saying goes…

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