I'm imagining the sound of bagpipes and my despair is dissipating. I checked the vote at 5:55 a.m. today and the final tally still hadn't been called. The Scots didn't fight the bloody battle of Culloden--and a host of others--for nothing.
The day before the vote, I went to the office and there, in the hallway, my Austrian colleague stood in a kilt, not a tartan but a black punk-style one, that showed off his shapely legs nicely, although he doesn't hold a candle to my husband.
"So, you'd be in favor of Scottish independence?" I asked
"No! I'm in favor of wearing kilts!" I got quite a piece of his mind about nationalism and its evils, how a Yes vote would increase UKIP's power, how it couldn't be good for the Ukraine . . . and I thought no, no, no, it all depends on what we're calling nationalism, and Scotland's efforts to free itself from England is not German nationalism in the 1930s or even Quebec's struggle. It is just the Scots wanting some peace and quiet, the end of interference, and the right to enjoy their riches in peace. The deal they signed 300 years ago--well, the American colonists didn't keep theirs, did they?
My American colleague from the South was too reminded of the South seceding from the Union . . .
Scotland's burning, Scotland's burning
Look out, look out
Fire, fire, fire, fire!
Pour on water, pour on water . . . .
As these traditional lyrics show, the Scots are pretty good at imagining rational solutions to big problems. And they'll find a way, I am confident, to shake the dregs of English empire off their honest boots.