If I were Scottish, I genuinely don’t know how I would vote in the upcoming independence referendum. After centuries of subservience to the London metropolis, the lure of self-rule must be extremely tempting. Yet, as a non-Scot, I’m desperately hopeful that Scotland, in the words of David Bowie, stays with us.
I am of course breaking with academic convention by pinning my colours so vehemently to one side over another in this very political tussle. Yet it is a view I have arrived at through cold-hearted analysis of Britain’s political economy.
The worst possible argument that non-Scots can make in favour of the union is that Scotland, by some ordained law of nature, is quintessentially and irrevocably a part of Britain and must remain so, for better or worse. For all the rhetorical focus of the campaign on the economic costs and benefits, this, essentially, is the perspective of (small-c) conservatives, on both sides of the border.
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Image: Scottish Government