Michael Kelly: The US Offers a History Lesson for Scottish Nationalists





Michael Kelly is a columnist at The Scotsman.

Supporters of Scottish independence are mistaken if they think America’s past strengthens their case, writes Michael Kelly.

The Nationalists’ latest attempts to wrap their referendum in the Stars and Stripes is an admission of failure – their failure to find a credible present-day model for their headlong dash into the dark. Having failed to convince with "independence in Europe", and even less with the crumbling "arc of prosperity", supporters of separation are forced back more than 200 years to a time of different political philosophies and different geopolitics to provide a crutch for their disabled position.

George Kerevan’s piece in these pages last week was carefully argued to show that if the British colonists had fallen for the "fear" arguments and dire warnings of caution, the United States would not have come into being. He made his case, but in doing so admitted the uncertainty which surrounds such decisions and the risk involved. We just don’t know where independence might lead. But we do know the stability that we are asked to sacrifice. We are not the SAS. "Who dares wins" is not an attractive slogan to persuade us to loosen our ties in an increasingly interdependent world.

Some SNP supporters took the argument further by comparing our 2014 vote to the American Revolution. The differences between the two situations clearly show the comparison to be invalid...



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