THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Freedom and Whisky

Link: Freedom and Whisky.

David's observation is interesting. Three of the top ten websites in the would-be Socialist Peoples' Republic of Scotland are not merely conservative, but libertarian! Maybe it's because Scots live in such a monochrome political culture that libertarians stand out like blood in the snow? Those sites are attracting the interest of the curious, but are they changing many minds?

For a Scot not to be Socialist is a social embarrassment. That's appalling in the land that gave us Adam Smith. I am afraid it's also a sign of dependence. Scottish Socialism is really just another way to hate the English; all those public sector jobs with no exposure to market realities are only made possible by the Union.

If Scotland stood alone (really alone, not leeching from net contributors to the EU budget as a poorer member state), it would have to develop its own wealth-creators and their interests would be aligned with those of the new nation. That's one of the best arguments for Scottish independence. It would allow the Scots to join the real world. It's also one of the best arguments against the EU, which is creating "Scotlands" all over the continent.

I love to visit Scotland. It's a beautiful place. I never met a Scot I didn't like, but because of the Act of Union (something I never asked for) I also never met a Scot who did not hate - or at least resent - me. One wrong word from a Sassenach, and any given Scottish companion will be - if cultured - on the defensive and - if uncultured - on the offensive.

I ceased to be a Unionist a few years ago at the Wallace Memorial, as I listened to a "ned" (Scottish for chav) explain its significance to his toddler in terms so blood-curdling as to have landed him in jail if spoken of Jews or Muslims. I looked at the nice little boy innocently drinking it all in and thought "He will hate the English after I am dead. This Union is going nowhere."

It would be good to have civilised dealings with people that - so I hear from American and French friends - are perfectly capable of them.

Libertarian and conservative thinking in Scotland will never develop without Scottish independence. Judging by how long real ex-colonies go on blaming the English for their ills, even then it will take more than a century. The Scots' obssessive feelings of resentment towards England, justified or not, drive out all good things. It's very sad. I hope my great-grandchildren will get to meet a citizen of an independent Scotland who can see something in them other than their Englishness.