Michael Fraser writes for the University of St Andrews’ The Saint on the argument against Scottish independence:
Scottish Independence is nothing less than intellectually objectionable. The political justification for independence is internally contradicted; the rhetoric and economic arguments are flawed; and when the Scottish people vote on independence, they will most likely vote based on what are objectively the wrong criteria for such a decision. I recognize these sweeping statements reek of arrogance, but bear with me.
At the most basic level, independence is about full political control. Scotland’s parliament has many devolved powers; the remaining economic and political powers are vested in the UK parliament, to which Scotland contributes 59 of the 650 members. Scottish grievances such as the English ‘theft’ of North Sea Oil Money and forced Scottish involvement in distasteful affairs such as the war in Iraq for the most part boil down to Scotland being more liberal than the rest of the UK. The logic then goes that full independence will allow Scotland to establish a rosy liberal Utopia with its oil revenues, as various Scandinavian countries have done.
What is wrong with this thinking? Firstly, it is exceedingly undemocratic and illiberal to secede from a democracy because the rest of the democracy is not voting the way you want them to. Secondly, by asserting that secession is the best solution to these perceived problems one is inescapably saying that political dialogue has failed (or is too much effort?). This is significant because dialogue (and the belief that you can change people’s minds with civilized debate) is the foundation of democracy. Thirdly, arguments for independence on the basis of how much more liberal Scotland will be, generally ignore the corollary of how the political balance in the rest of the UK will swing in favour of the conservatives in equal measure. How do the liberals advocating this justify such a transformation except on the grounds of “screw them, they aren’t Scottish”? Overwhelmingly in this respect, Scottish Independence is a long-term illiberal method of achieving short-term liberal political goals.
Ful article here.