Thursday, September 18, 2014
The Two Things That Would Sink An Independent Scotland No One's Mentioning
The votes have been cast in the Scottish referendum by now, and in a few hours we should see the results.
Frankly I have no particular dog in this fight except that I normally favor people running their own affairs. Most of the arguments the Brits have been using amount to scare tactics, but just like any divorce both sides have cards to play in the negotiations that are going to occur if there's a 'yes' vote.
The Scots are going to want their fair share of assets they helped pay for, like consulates, military hardware, public works and infrastructure, government revenues and other joint national assets. The UK is going to want the Scots to assume a portion of the UK's joint debt, perhaps agree to house Britain's Trident nuclear subs for a few years, and maybe a cut on the North Sea oil revenues in exchange.
All this can be worked out.
But an independent Scotland is absolutely bound to fail unless there are some radical changes. And not for any of the reasons I've heard anyone on the NO side mention.
One of the chief reasons the Scots want out is because frankly, they favor much more of a welfare state than the English do. In fact, there are a lot of the English that favor Scottish independence because of it.
The Scots envision themselves as another Norway or Denmark, but that kind of society comes with a huge price tag. I doubt many 'Yes' voters have ever seen what a Danish tax bill looks like.
And believe it or not, going that route is one of the chief things that will smother an independent Scotland. Sky high taxes and regulations are guaranteed to send manufacturers fleeing and foreign investors seeking more inviting climes.
Even worse, that sort of environment destroys one of the major things an independent Scotland has going for it - the entrepreneurial spirit the Scots used to be renowned for world wide. The Scots are relying on the oil, but all indications are that it's tapping out. What will really make an independent Scotland succeed is the energy, brains and marketing skills of its people. Singapore or Israel would be a far better model for Scotland than Norway.
But of course, there's another problem the Scots are going to have to overcome to make an Independent Scotland a success, and this one's the real kicker.
The yardstick for a population to replicate itself is a fertility rate of at least 2.1 per woman. The current rate (as of 2010, the last census) of non-Muslim Scots? About 1.2 kids per woman, while the Muslim rate in Scotland is 2.8 to 3.0..and that doesn't account for the ongoing immigration that's still incoming.Or polygamy.
Jimmy may not be pumping out the bairns anymore, but Abdullah is. And even more, because the native Scot population is aging while the Muslim immigrants tend to be younger, you'll see at some point in the not too distant future a disproportionally Muslim electorate. Sharia, anybody? It already has a decent start in the UK anyway.
I have to maliciously chuckle at this just a bit because of the profound anti-Israel bias common in Scotland, which frequently crosses over the line into rank anti-semitism.The Scottish National Party and it's leadership have been particularly odious, comparing Israel to ISIS and calling for a 'Zionist-free Scotland.'
This, by the way is one reason I have no feelings one way or the other about an independent Scotland.But that aside, unless the Scots start having a lot more kids, they aren't going to have a country anyway, and there's an ugly surprise in store. . The kilts, sporrans, tartans and and pibrochs that the Scottish national movement now embraces as symbols of their heritage will give way to burkahs, niqabs, and squalor.
And that's what will ultimately make an independent Scotland a failed state, unless things change.