Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Velvet Divorce, 2014? I think not...

Only an idiot would go to Wikipedia for the straight dope on a contentious current issue. So here's your Idiot's Guide to the likely outcome of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Even after taking the usual pinch of salt with my porridge,* if I had to bet on the result, my money would be on a "no" vote.

That's just my back-of-the-envelope, analysis-free prediction, not a comment on the respective merits of the yes/no arguments, which are too muddy with unknowns, complicated webs of relationships, potential unintended consequences (of the status quo, as well as of change), path dependency and partisan noise for a non-expert Sassenach to step into - I'm not that much of an idiot.

Not quite the ultimate in lazy blogging (I did google a couple of actual polling sites, too) but still pretty much the penultimate in lazy blogging.

Still, if we pretend for a moment that our Idiot's Guide is also a Lonely Planet Guide, another quick dip into Wikipedia's polling summaries suggests to me that the Catalans might dragging the Kingdom of Spain into the divorce courts well before the partners in the UK's occasionally rocky marriage get serious about dividing up the wedding presents. And given that Madrid, unlike Westminster, doesn't even seem to be playing lip-service to the Catalans' right to self-determination, it looks as if Iberian affairs will be getting pretty acrimonious next year.

Embittered supporters of the status quo in Westminster might cut up rough over who gets to keep stuff and might try to make things as difficult as possible for an potential independent Scotland ('if you're going to be like that, you can look after the Royal Bank of Scotland - I never liked the bloody thing in the first place'), but at least no Westminster politician (at least in my hearing), has recently declared that the Scots shouldn't be getting a vote on their independence unless the rest of the UK gets to vote on it, too. Sounds like fighting talk to me...

With my hostage to fortune now bound, gagged and securely chained to the radiator, my work here is done.