Apparently the Scottish are taking their cues from Sir Oswald Mosley these days. Following the destruction of fascism in World War II, the late British Union of Fascists Fuhrer set off on a new endeavor: the formation of a pan-European nationalist movement. His aim was to remove the competing interests of the Old Guard nationalist remnants still struggling for breath on the Continent and unite Europe in a highly centralized, authoritarian state.
Pan-European nationalism is self-evidently absurd, if only for the fact that ‘continent’ and ‘nation’ are necessarily distinct categories. Say what you will about nationalism and Europeanism in themselves, but it’s simply impossible to predicate Europeanism on patriotic sentiment. The whole thing’s not much less ridiculous than ‘Bad Bishop’ Brown’s Christian Marxism. Mosley and Brown had this in common, if nothing else: they were intellectually lazy, self-aggrandizing spivs.
So, too, are the Scots – or at least the ones who vote SNP. The ‘nationalists’ are all up themselves because England and Wales voted Leave in the Brexit referendum, whereas Scotland voted overwhelmingly Remain. Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, is therefore threatening to call a second referendum on Scottish independence.
Now, it’s one thing to wish your country belonged to the European Union, far and away the most bloated and authoritarian bureaucracy since the Great Ming. It’s entirely another to say that you want to belong that same EU because the English razed your heather fields in the 14th century. Certainly there’s a case for Scotland to be independent, and it’s altogether true that the English oppressed them a few dozen generations ago. But there’s absolutely no sense in saying that William Wallace or Robert the Bruce would’ve led the Highland clans into battle under the banner of the European Union. Rebbie Burns would never have lent his pen to Jean-Claude Juncker’s cause. (‘Ye R’manians by name, lend an ear, lend an ear!’) In short, there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that any of the Scottish nationalist folk heroes would’ve traded an English tyrant for a Belgian one.
‘Well, the Scots are silly buggers,’ you say. Fair enough. And I’m not one to piss on a patriotic bonfire. (All the better if you throw the effigy of a papist saboteur on top.) But what about the poor English?
Let’s face facts: England would be much better off without the Scots. The devolved Scottish government is a cumbersome welfare state – and one propped up by English taxpayers to boot. The massive redistribution of wealth initiated by the SNP is only possible because the English are, for some reason, keen as beans to foot the bill. And how do the Scots repay them? Endless streams of vitriol about the ‘English oppressors’, culminating in a £15.8 million independence referendum – to which the English taxpayer contributed generously, no doubt. Recall that this all took place in 2015, when a post-EU Britain was only a twinkle in Nigel Farage’s eye. The real question posed by the referendum was, ‘Do you want to stop receiving welfare checks from London?’ Put that way, it’s amazing that 45 percent of Scots voted ‘Yes’. Who turns down free money? Then, of course, the Scots turned around and elected Nationalists to 54 of 59 parliamentary seats. Further proof that the SNP’s platform is, in fact, ‘Give us more stuff, you Sassenach bastards.’
Maybe I’m too American to appreciate the English people’s boundless generosity toward the Scots. They’re financial leeches, shameless ingrates, and they play the victim card more than President Obama at an ‘historically black college’ – yet none of that perturbs the limeys. So maybe they really are an infinitely stoic race. Or maybe they’ve bought into the Scots’ Sippenhaft narrative. Or maybe I’m just not Australian enough to see the overwhelming, undeniable evidence supporting the Remain camp. (Wait a second…)
Still, as an Anglomaniac, I can’t help but plead with the mother country: if the Scots do secure a second referendum, call their bluff and cut them off. Pack up the North Sea oilfields, the GBP, and go home. You left the EU, at least in part, because you were tired of shoveling money into failed states. Well, Scotland is a failed state. And if they’re not grateful for your unfathomable benevolence, tell them to piss off. Let them try their luck begging handouts from Angela Merkel and see how quickly they come crawling back, tam o’ shanter in hand, haggis tucked between their legs.
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