The “Independence” of the Thoroughly Dependent: Modern Scotland’s Welfare Mentality and Proposed Succession in 2014
Scotland holds a very special place in my heart as it always does for anyone who has had the pleasure to travel there. My wife and I lived in Scotland while I was at the University of Glasgow, and our time spent amongst those charming, funny, witty, spirited people will never be forgotten. I still enjoy all things Scottish and look forward to my future visits to that amazing country. It is because of my admiration for both the Scottish people and succession movements in general that I have been closely watching the Scottish independence movement and am eagerly awaiting the upcoming referendum. I’d love to see a truly free Scotland loosened from the socialist, statist, bureaucratic chains of the United Kingdom. I get goosebumps at the very thought.
We all know the fighting spirit of William Wallace who proclaimed that the enemies of Scotland may take their lives but never their freedom. Statism and state-dependency have taken both from today’s Scotland. As shown on the Drudge Report this week, Mrs. Ruth Davidson of the Tory party recently got into hot water by drawing attention to the fact that nine out of ten Scottish households take more from the government than they pay in. In her words they are “living off of the patronage of the state.” This should shame those nine out of ten households, but it won’t. For the European lefty political class, there is no such thing as shame and they have passed this mentality onto their constituents.
The sectarian displays at Scottish Old Firm football matches have been laughably and dramatically dubbed “Scotland’s shame” by their uppity media talking heads and politicians. When the state of affairs in Scotland is such that 9 out of 10 households are little more than consumers of other people’s money, how could anything else but this truthfully be called Scotland’s shame? Scotland’s shame is their state of government dependency, their lack of self-sufficiency and their addiction to goods provided by others. Most Scots like most other Europeans want free stuff instead of freedom and they don’t care who pays for it as long as it is not them. It is said that you only criticize most harshly that which you love most dearly. I consider Scotland my second home, and these statistics truly bother me.
When discussing the issue of Scottish independence, the question must be asked: to what end? How can the Scottish National Party clamor for independence from the UK while maintaining a staggering welfare benefits program so out of control that it makes international headlines? How can a population completely and totally dependent on public government services from cradle to grave provided by the productivity of others dare speak about independence? They don’t know the meaning of the word. Historically, countries secede to pursue liberty and happiness their own way. Most of the Scottish people, under the “leadership” of the SNP have no desire for true freedom or autonomy. The SNP knows that if independence meant the welfare state constricting at all, the entire idea would fail.
The popular BBC TV program “The Scheme” (find it on Youtube) entertainingly highlighted the daily rituals of a Scottish community living on the dole in a government housing scheme, with predictably painful, pathetic, cringe-worthy and sad results. The show depicted a culture of lazy, ignorant people wasting their lives on the tax payer’s dime. While the show certainly does not represent all Scots, it represents more than you’d think. There are of course a great many hardworking, energetic, productive Scottish people (I have the honor of calling many of them my friends) and they are the greatest victims of all. They bear the burden to produce so others don’t have to and to shoulder the load of a nanny state bureaucracy bloated beyond anything even remotely reasonable.
Perhaps the new Scotland will claim to pursue liberty, but the sad truth is that Scots have become far too reliant on the nanny state of British socialism to ever stand on their own two feet in the near future. Sure, the independence referendum will most likely pass, and the new overlords will submit Scotland for full European Union approval, including assuming the EU’s myriad of pointless, failing left-wing agendas. If Scotland becomes independent, it will only mean that a select few in the energy industry (along with the attached “essential” government bureaucrats) will actually prosper in a new way, while the majority of Scots will stay as they are, latched onto the state from cradle to grave which is exactly where the politicians want them. It is exactly this type of drastic consumption of public goods and services that have caused many in England to seek to rid themselves of Scotland. Many in the UK see Scotland as nothing more than dead weight. With the state of things in Scotland, who could blame them? When you are being lectured by England of all places for being too dependent on government goods and services, you know that you have a problem.
This is not a rant against those on government services. At this point, many of them have no choice in the matter and the blame here lays at the feet of many. The political apparatus in Scotland and the United Kingdom has manipulated and softened the Scots to get them where they are. As Mrs. Davidson pointed out, after many years of socialist public sector actions there are no alternatives for the free market to provide and for Scots to pursue private sector success. The state of things in Scotland defies the principles of economics and common sense at Robert Mugabe-like levels. For Scotland to begin its modern independence on this footing is to welcome failure.
Of course a great many Scots would prefer the superior products and services provided by the free market, but the culture is as such that any scaling back of public benefits is wrongly considered “unkind” and “uncaring” rather than as innovative problem solving. The demagogues of big government have dominated the issue so there is essentially no debate. Most Scots continue to live off of the quickly shrinking largesse of the others without thought of how this scheme might possible continue in the future.
We Americans owe the Scots so much. Historically, no other people group has contributed more to the founding of our country. John Knox famously said “Give me Scotland or I die.” To the Scottish people I say: you are better than this. Turn things around. Once again become a beacon of freedom and liberty in Europe. Do what needs to be done. Eject those from office who promise nothing more than welfare benefits. While you are at it, say no to NATO and the endless wars of aggression that have been part of the UK’s foreign policy. Do not join the EU. Model yourself after Switzerland more than your regional neighbors. Learn from those countries going bankrupt all around you. Rebel against all remnants of the pathetic UK police and nanny state. Grab hold to your new destiny and strive for a truly new country where government dependency is not the norm but the exception. The country that gave us Adam Smith is surely able to change course at this very important time in its existence.