Scotland's independence : 007's toughest mission

Article published on July 24, 2014
Article published on July 24, 2014

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

With the odds stacked against it, the Scot­tish Na­tional Party must some­how muster the strength dur­ing the next two months to deal the final blow on Sep­tem­ber 18, ref­er­en­dum day, in hopes of swaying­ the re­main­ing 20% of un­de­cided vot­ers who still haven't warm up to the idea of re­build­ing Adrian's Wall.

“Scot­land has an op­por­tu­nity to make a step change”, noted Scot­tish actor Sean Con­nery in British weekly mag­a­zine New States­man. The fic­tional agent in her Majesty's Se­cret Ser­vice was plead­ing his fel­low coun­try­men to vote on Sep­tem­ber for the in­de­pen­dence of “one of the most fa­mil­iar coun­tries on earth” in order to stir “re­newed focus on our cul­ture as well as our new pol­i­tics”. “There is no more cre­ative an act than cre­at­ing a new na­tion”, he added at the end of his state­ment. Nev­er­the­less, notwith­stand­ing the in­spir­ing words of sir Sean Con­nery, the truth is that none of the polls show a pro-in­de­pen­dence lead since last Au­gust, when a sur­vey taken by the Scot­tish Na­tional Party (SNP) - ar­chi­tect, along­side the gov­ern­ment in Lon­don, of the ref­er­en­dum - re­vealed a slight lead in favour of in­de­pen­dence by a mere 1% mar­gin. Today, re­cent polls have un­equiv­o­cally shown a com­fort­able ten-point lead in favour of the sta­tus quo, sup­ported by the “Bet­ter To­gether” cam­paign, de­spite a nearly 27% of un­de­cided vot­ers. With these num­bers in mind, sep­a­ratists desperately con­tinue their on­slaught while Union­ists cautiously hold their ground. 

This will be the third time in the last 35 years that the Scots will choose their fate re­gard­ing their po­lit­i­cal ties with the United King­dom. In 1979, the votes favour­ing in­de­pen­dence came up short and were un­able to re­open the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment, closed since the an­nex­a­tion of Scot­land by Eng­land in 1707. The “reestab­lish­ment” of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment would fi­nally come after a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum was launched in 1997 by the Labor Party under Tony Blair's ad­min­is­tra­tion. 

still On the fence

Today, the final de­ci­sion will have far­ther-reach­ing con­se­quences than ever be­fore : in­de­pen­dence, be­sides es­tab­lish­ing a fron­tier, will re­quire the new sov­er­eign coun­try to begin ne­go­ti­a­tions with West­min­ster on crit­i­cal is­sues such as own­er­ship of the prof­itable oil de­posits off the coast of Scot­land in the North Sea, the adop­tion of the British pound as Scot­land’s of­fi­cial cur­rency, and the fate of the strate­gic British nu­clear ar­se­nal - lo­cated in Scot­tish wa­ters - which cur­rently al­lows the United King­dom to main­tain its in­flu­ence in in­ter­na­tional diplo­macy as one of the per­ma­nent mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. 

Else­where, the real bat­tle is being fought dig­i­tally on so­cial net­works. On their last cam­paign video, those in favour of in­de­pen­dence were pas­sion­ately sell­ing the hopes of an in­de­pen­dent Scot­land ca­pa­ble of fos­ter­ing the progress of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Mean­while, Union­ists are doing every­thing in their power to ap­peal to the Scots' British side claim­ing that : “we are team GB”, as one of their mes­sages reads.

The first writ­ten con­sti­tu­tion

In any case, Scot­tish au­thor­i­ties are plan­ning for a vic­tory.  They al­ready sub­mit­ted the first draft of a new Con­sti­tu­tion - a rev­o­lu­tion­ary doc­u­ment - in an ef­fort to in­cite the peo­ple to vote. Sub­ject to edit­ing by the cit­i­zenry, the doc­u­ment de­clares Scot­land a sov­er­eign coun­try - al­beit keep­ing queen Eliz­a­beth II as head of State, as­sumes con­trol of Eu­ro­pean leg­is­la­tion, and makes a com­mit­ment to­wards en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion - since the Scot­tish Green Party is the only ally of the SNP in the de­fence of in­de­pen­dence that cur­rently holds seats in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

How­ever, it all re­mains painfully un­cer­tain. At the mo­ment, only one map ac­knowl­edges Scot­land's in­de­pen­dence: the map found in cy­ber­space. On July 16, sources an­nounced the launch­ing of the pub­lic do­main name .scot. In Sep­tem­ber, the Scots will fi­nally con­firm if, once again, the dig­i­tal world got ahead of re­al­ity, or if, on the con­trary, it only sold false hopes of a life­long dream.