Friday, September 19, 2014

Naw beats Aye

The British have always loved partition...for other people. In each case the justification was that the sub-nations are unable to co-exist side by side. This is when the British played not an insubstantial role in stoking the communal fires - the (in)famous divide and rule policy.

The two nation theory which is best summarized as "our heroes are their villains" has no doubt been hugely compounding misery of all the communities involved.. The wrongs of the past should have been dealt with a truth and reconciliation commission (just like in South Africa).  

The irony is that separation did not reduce the rancor one iota: Pakistan-India and Israel-Palestine have fought four (official) bitter wars, things are not too much better in Northern Ireland.

But when it comes to Britain herself, the answer was made clear today. Partition is never a solution to the problems, it also makes all of us poor as people. The cultural lines are never clearly drawn and purity is over-rated. Speaking of India specifically, the answer to a prosperous future is to encourage more secularism (and mixed marriages aka love jihad) not to create more ghettos and breed intolerance.

The bad blood that has been created over this partition fight will not (easily) go back into the bottle. The polls are clear on this point: the English now resent the Scots just as much as the Scots look down upon the English. The dividing lines will be sharper once a vote is announced for a Brexit from the European Union. Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage are smart ambitious politicians, they are unlikely to take no for an answer.

All that said we are happy for the Brits. Yes, it is certainly better together.
Scottish voters have rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core.The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to the British political establishment. Scots voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent against independence in a vote that saw an unprecedented turnout.
A majority of voters did not embrace Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's impassioned plea to launch a new state, choosing instead the security offered by remaining in the United Kingdom.
Salmond conceded defeat, saying “we know it is a majority for the No campaign” and called on Scots to accept the results of the vote. He said the voted “has been triumph for the democratic process.“

“If that is the result for the referendum then clearly I am deeply disappointed,” Scottish National Party (SNP) deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon told the broadcaster. Votes cast for and against Scotland's independence in a historic referendum were running virtually neck and neck, but leading “No“ campaigners had suggested that victory was in sight.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, a “No” supporter, told AFP: “It's early days but it's looking fairly good.“ Michael Gove, Conservative former minister and confidant of Prime Minister David Cameron, told Sky News that “fingers crossed”, the union appeared safe. “The result looks disappointing,” admitted Patrick Harvie, a member of the Scottish parliament for the Green Party and “Yes” campaigner.

Crowds gathered for all-night parties in Glasgow and Edinburgh, draped in the blue-and-white Saltire flags of Scotland and setting off flares. “We are going to stay out till the result,” said Dylan McDonald, 17, one of Scotland's 16- and 17-year-olds who have been able to vote in a referendum for the first time after the qualifying age was lowered.

The historic decision gripped many Scots who previously took little interest in politics, igniting passions and raising the prospect of deep changes to the governance of the union no matter the result. Cameron promised greater powers for Scotland's parliament in a last-minute bid to convince voters to stay in the union, prompting politicians in his Conservative party to call for the same treatment for England.

He will speak on the future of the United Kingdom as soon as the referendum outcome is issued, and if independence is rejected he is expected to announce plans to change the division of power in the highly-centralised union.

Some ballot boxes were brought by helicopter and others by boat from remote islands to be counted after polls closed, with the final result predicted to arrive in the early hours of Friday.
The closure of the airport on the Isle of Lewis due to fog meant ballot boxes would have to travel by slower fishing boat.

At the counting centre in Scotland's oil city Aberdeen, boxes of postal votes were tipped out onto tables at the stroke of 10:00 pm when polls closed, and officials immediately began sorting the ballots.

Election officials in Glasgow said they had contacted police over a handful of allegations that people had turned up to vote only to find their names already crossed off the ballot sheet.

The question for voters at Scotland's more than 5,000 polling stations was “Should Scotland be an independent country?” and they are asked to mark either “Yes” or “No”.

International media descended on the Edinburgh venue where the city's ballots will be totted up to witness a count that could have repercussions from Spain to Canada.
The SNP has said it hopes for full independence by 2016 if it wins, and a range of separatist movements sent representatives to Scotland to learn from the election.

“Scots, please, vote yes, for yourselves, but also for us,” Daniel Turp from the Parti Quebecois said at a press conference in Edinburgh where 29 European separatist movements also signed a declaration calling for self-determination.

Leaders of France and Spain warned that separatism risked undermining Europe in the run-up to the vote. A palace spokesman told Sky news Queen Elizabeth II was following events from her family home Balmoral Castle in rural Scotland. She is “kept abreast of information... from her team of advisers in London and Edinburgh,” the spokesman said.

Many people in the rest of the United Kingdom are concerned about the prospect of Scottish independence, which would sever a deep bond and cut the UK's surface area by a third.

“At last the threat we have over Scotland's future may be lifted if people vote the right way,” said pensioner Alistair Eastern, 60. “We just have to hope that it turns out with the right result and Scotland isn't ripped out of the United Kingdom by the nationalists."





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