Mr. Salmond managed to spark flame of nationalism in Scotland. I can see euphoria and even aggression of the YES voters. But as I tweeted – be careful jumping into that euphoric river of independence, once it resides, you may discover it was a tsunami – but it will be too late, bridges will be gone.
No, I do not want to scaremonger – polls suggest that 61% of voters do not know what does devolution mean after the No vote. However I would like to see the polls of how many voters do know what are the current powers of Scottish parliament now?
I would like to know it from especially from Yes voters…
So what will the Yes vote bring?
At first there will lengthy discussions and accusations in media – like in bad divorce about the responsibilities, borders, budgets, deficits, splitting of national companies… It will be civilised at first but fireballs of blame, accusations and conspirations will be thrown through the new border soon – from both sides. This will settle after about a year as public on both sides of the border will loose appetite to listen to those stories… God forbid Scottish economy will get worse in the meantime or shortly after independence – the blame will be put on English heads – always – and this will be the norm for the years to come. This is how nationalistic parties as SNP work and this feeds their voters and their wins.
After disagreement about keeping British Pound or after the first economic difficulties of a independent Scotland, we will see the birth of Scottish Pound. Scottish Pound will be about 10%-20% cheaper than British Pound – if it will still bears its name.
Yes vote will also bring the rise of clientelism and corruption covered by bureaucracy on the bases of crony capitalism. Scottish local politicians will suddenly become state politicians. I’m not sure if their backbones are so strong to bear this change – Yes voters can only hope. Even if they magically resist that temptation, they need to have a skills to perform their job at a state level – they don’t have it now. Also Scotland will become suddenly a country where “everybody knows everybody” – this brings different “modus operandi” for politicians and departments.
Scotland will also join EU – but knowing EU bureaucracy it won’t be fast and it won’t be free. It will be also interesting to see if Scotland will join NATO – perhaps Trident removal will be reconsidered as part of NATO strategy…
Budget of Scotland as independent country will be very tight as SNP plans to support ever growing NHS, free services, elderly care and there will be new items on the bill – such as army and border protection. So the only way how to plug this hole will be a tax rise.
I also do not want to speculate what will happen with Scottish budget if another recession strikes in the meanwhile or if just oil prices significantly drop – for example 30-40%.
On the positive side – Mr. Salmond’s close supporters will be obviously better off. Also Edinburgh as a new capital will see economic boom and property price rise. However Glasgow may suffer more if SNP does not support it. Also rural Scotland will be worse off – with property prices falling at many places.
On the other hand when people of Scotland will be finally fed-up about SNP (it can last 10+ years), there will be a good ground for the rise of a true Scottish conservative party – somebody will have to fix Scottish economy at the end. We know too well socialism isn’t working…
In final – England will suffer temporarily as well as price for Scottish independence will be too high.
All this mess will settle after about 15-20 years and new generations won’t have memory of it anymore – however my dear Yes voters – do you really want to go through this?