Tuesday, April 8, 2014

If Scotland Secedes Should Shetland Skidaddle?

this blogpost I wrote over two years ago has apparently helped ignite a secession movement in Shetland...oops
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If Scotland leaves the UK in 2014, it would make a lot of sense for the Shetland Islands to secede from Scotland. An Independent Shetland would have roughly the same population as the Faroe Islands but it would be much wealthier as most of the UK's North Sea oil reserves would lie within Shetland's territorial waters. Shetland's bonds to Scotland are tenuous. Until the fifteenth century Shetland was part of the Kingdom of Norway and the last of the Norn speakers did not die out until late in the nineteenth century. Shetland is closer to the regional Norwegian capital Bergen than it is to Edinburgh (if my estimate on Google maps is correct); Norway you'll recall is the only country in Europe which has weathered the recent financial storms with aplomb because of its vast Government Pension Fund which will have assets close to a trillion dollars by 2019. Shetland would be foolish to join Scotland which will probably have a great deal of difficulty making ends meet, like Ireland (or God save us, Northern Ireland). Independence or some sort of reunion with Norway would make much more sense culturally and especially economically. 
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And of course as Shetland goes so presumably does Orkney. And it wasn't that long ago that the entire Western Isles were part of the Kingdom of Norway either. Kintyre used to be part of the Scottish-Irish kingdom of Dalriada and why shouldn't the Gaeltacht in the north and west have its own country rather than be dominated by Scots speaking lowlanders? The UK government is already looking at the idea of declaring part of former Dalriadan land as UK sovereign base territory... It all gets rather complicated doesn't it? Look, I'm not saying that the Scots shouldn't vote for independence this year but once the secession box is open who knows what might come out of it. If the Shetlanders have any sense they'll keep that lovely North Sea oil for themselves.
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But then again maybe some long term thinking would help. Nationalism is a vulgar eighteenth century phenomenon and its sinister stepchild jingoism came along in the nineteenth century just in time to wreak havoc in the twentieth. I believe that a few centuries from now nation states and nationalism will seem like a curious and utterly pointless phase in the history of mankind and all those people who died for the honour of nations will be mourned anew as victims of an ugly meme invented in post Renaissance Europe that sadly went on to infect the entire world. We'll see.
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April 2014 update: apparently the referendum being mooted in the Shetland Islands will include 3 options: staying with Scotland if Scotland secedes, remaining with the UK if Scotland secedes, independence...According to The Independent there are even plans to include an option for reunification with Norway.  I say again...once the secession genie comes out of the bottle who knows what else will come out...

80 comments:

Remy said...

The independence debate is raging fairly strongly here although the referendum is still 2 years away. It is interesting to see pro Union parties pushing for an early vote when they traditionally were scared of having one. Salmond is a shrewd politician although I'm not a big fan of his. I don't know yet how I'll vote but I do start from the default position that if David Cameron is for something, I'm against it.

adrian mckinty said...

Remy

Its funny though isn't it? If Scotland does go then Cameron and the Tories will have a permanent Conservative majority in England and Wales. He could be Prime Minister for twenty years if he wants.

dpougher said...

Why stop there? After all, everyone north of Watford loathes the Soft South. Pesonally I'd like to see a return of the Kingdom of Mercia. The Mercian kings are the only people who ever found a use for Tamworth. I'm not sure who would be king though. Jasper Carrot? Ozzy Osbourne?

Remy said...

Adrian

Agreed and that's why the Labour party is so keen on the union or, the horrifically named, devomax option. Without their huge number of Scottish MPs in Westminster, they would have no chance of power again unless they rejected even more of their principles. Labour's vote collapsed in Scotland last year and the people who lead the party in Scotland are a shower of uninspiring non-entities.

adrian mckinty said...

Remy

As I see it its a win win for Cameron. If the Scots vote no he saved the union! If they vote yes he gets to be Prime Minister until he retires in twenty years.

Remy said...

Ah feck it. A YES in the indy vote for me then!

adrian mckinty said...

David

Yeah and every Yorkshireman I've ever met could comfortably be placed in an independent Yorkshire. I was going to say would "happily be placed" but I've never seen a happy Yorkshireman.

F B Fogarty said...

like you I escaped from ballycastle and made it to tasmania, as far as possable form the" never ending daulity" enjoyed your book, "the cold cold ground" keep writing. "what are they doing in Rathary, but fishing and fighting and taring away." forget about the jocks.

Cary Watson said...

Secession is always a slippery slope. When Quebec's separatists were at their zenith someone asked Jacques Parizeau, their leader, if Quebec's Native Canadians (Quebec's giant hydroelectric installations sit on their land) should have the right to secede from an independent Quebec. There was an uncomfortable silence, then some heming and hawing, and then a shifty reply that that wasn't the subject under discussion. I guess the lesson for secessionists is go ahead and leave, but you'd better be ready to say yes to the next group that wants to leave the fold.

Mark English said...

As Adrian suggests, the example of Ireland should serve as a warning. Somehow, boring economic realities always win out over romantic visions in national as in personal life. And I suspect there might be a few upheavals of an economic nature to come which will alter the landscape considerably.

adrian mckinty said...

FB

Ballycastle gets an apperance in the next book. Ballycastle and Rathlin. Thanks for the niceness about CCG.

adrian mckinty said...

Cary

I don't see why the sovereign Indian nations shouldnt have the right to secede if Quebec goes.

adrian mckinty said...

Mark

The funny thing about Northern Ireland now is that because a third of the population is either a civil servant or on some form of public assistance no one wants it. If the Republic of I was take over tomorrow it would bankrupt the country. Scotland couldnt afford it. England can barely afford it. About the only place in the world that could afford to take over N.I. is China and - so far - they've shown no inclination.

seana said...

Nice use of s sounds in the title.

Secession is a very slippery slope. I think the U.S. is still paying for that coming about here.

Northern California and Southern Cal are always threatening to secede from each other, but as someone who has roots in both, I'm pretty sure it would be a bad idea.

Angus McLellan said...

The myth of Tory dominance in England is widespread but untrue. Although England got a different government in 2010 than the one it voted for, that's only happened very rarely in the last century. Labour won a majority of seats in England in 1997. And in 2001. And in 2005.

John McFetridge said...

It seems like such a 19th century discussion. What's it really about, Olympic teams and awards shows?

Every country is in some bigger union anyway, right? When Quebec seperatism was strongest (though it hasn't gone away) they were talking about a different arrangement within NAFTA - surely Scotland would be a member of the EU and use the Euro? Why be a member of Britain, too?

And Seana, maybe Americans would be happier in five or six smaller countries, all in NAFTA?

seana said...

John, maybe, but the question is really where you would draw the line. And I think that people would end up being somewhat diminished, though they can't quite realize it now. Breaking up the U.S. at this point really only appeals to people's snobberies and prejudices. The West Coast doesn't want to know the Midwest and so on. It's small minded.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

I thought dividing California would be a good idea actually. Why should California have the same number of senators as S Dakota?

adrian mckinty said...

Angus

Well yes if Labour finds another Blair...I dont see it in the medium term do you?

adrian mckinty said...

John

I think thats a good thing for the Scottish Nationalists. There's absolutely not question of Scotland leaving the E.U. or, (I think?) NATO. If Scotland leaves the UK there wont be passport controls on the M6 just as there aren't on the M1 in Ireland. Everyone will still be within the European Union for good or ill.

Norway of course never joined.

adrian mckinty said...

But then again, an independent Scotland could do something about this bullshit:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2012/mar/02/deer-study-highlands-scottish

Key fact:

In other words, three-quarters of one of the biggest counties in Britain is owned by 81 families. These aren't the 1%. They're the 0.000001%.

adrian mckinty said...

Angus

here's a very brief but interesting article on precisely this question:

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/01/scotland-labour-majority-win

John McFetridge said...

But Seana, isn't nationalism small minded? The snobbery works both ways, too.

And, as Adrian says about Scotland, as long as the five or six smaller countries that come out of the Ununited States all belong to NAFTA and NATO and allow their college teams into March Madness there might not be so much downside.

It would mean maybe closing down some of the 700 US military bases around the world, but that might not be so bad, either.

I think sometimes the US is too big and too abstract for many people tomstrongly identify with it, which is why
people identify with their state or region more strongly.

In Canada Quebec has essentially seperated, there's almost no moving between it and other provinces (English move out, immigrants from other countiees move in, that's it), it has its own arts industries and so on. The only thing left is a seperate national hockey team (and Scotland already has a national soccer team).

adrian mckinty said...

John

One of the things that prevented any left wing party appearing in Ireland post 1922 was the separation of the working class of Dublin and Belfast and Liverpool. An unintended consequence of independence and partition.

adrian mckinty said...

Paul Brazill reviews The Cold Cold Ground here:

http://pdbrazill.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/cold-cold-ground-by-adrian-mckinty.html?spref=tw

seana said...

John, when you said the bit about there being almost no moving between Quebec and the other provinces, that's exactly the kind of thing I wouldn't want to see happening.

I wouldn't mind the end of the U.S. military bases abroad either, though actually I wouldn't exist if there hadn't been one in Libya. But I I don't know that it's true that people are just regional in their identifications. I really think we are both national and regional--and community--identified. I don't think it's that hard to get one's mind around.

And, as half my family is in Southern California and half in the north, I really don't think it should be split. Although Adrian makes a good point about the Senators.

John Grundy said...

Adrian - CCG also got a good review from John Dugdale in today's Sunday Times

adrian mckinty said...

John

Damn that Times pay wall!

Oh well someone will eventually send me the cutting.

John Grundy said...

Adrian - send me your email address to johngrundy.grundy@btinternet.com & I'll get a copy to you

Alan said...

Adrian,I think perhaps Scotland's nationalists at least the rational ones have already achieved certain limited goals in the form of local autonomy and renewed cultural awareness.As to the marriage of romanticism and nationalism the clash between Ireland's "one nation "and "King Billy" supporters should serve as as a warning to those who think violent non volition all change produces anything but chaos..I am reading McCarthy's Irregulars and it is a sad tale of dreams run amok.Best Alan

Anonymous said...

Living in a place with secessionist tendencies since the 1930's, I just had to weigh in on this one.
The proposed State of Jefferson. Curry, Josephine and Jackson counties in Oregon and Del Norte, Siskyou and Modoc counties in California plus a few others from time to time. These far away ( from Salem or Sacramento ) weren't getting enough road money from their respective states in the 30's, so they came up with the idea of forming a new state, Jefferson. Well long story short, they got more road money. Still people talk about it even now.
My take: bad idea. We'd be little more than a West Coast Appalachia.
The only time I like the idea of secession is when Texas' windbag governor Rick Perry talks about it. My response is: Please, yes, I'll even contribute 100 dollars to the cause if Texas promises to secede. And good riddance.
OK, enough ranting.
Accession is also in the air. Anybody but me note that on election day 2012, Puerto Rico voted for statehood? Haven't heard much about it since then. The very idea must shake the vast crypto-class of troglodytes in America to their bones.
The arguments they raise against might be the most entertaining we ever hear in politics.
Basta.
Later.

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

They do have self government, can fly their flag, raise their own taxes, send their own team to the world cup, etc. But I think for the Scottish Nationalists that just isnt enough. They want a complete divorce from the rest of the UK.

adrian mckinty said...

Anon

I'd miss Texas to be honest but I laugh when Rand Paul lectures us about libertarianism while Kentucky takes vastly more money from the federal government than it pays back in taxes. In fact, as everyone knows, most of the yee ha, libertarian, red states are net tax gainers:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union

I'd welcome PR into the union but I'd want one more state to join to make the stars an even number again.

John McFetridge said...

I agree on the even number of stars, but Canada has dibs on Turks and Caicos?

adrian mckinty said...

John

Guam would be a nice addition or American Samoa. I've never been to either place obviously but in theory they sound charming.

adrian mckinty said...

incidentally Nate Silver says that barring some unforseen crisis independence isnt going to happen:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/aug/13/nate-silver-scottish-independence-referendum

Liam Hassan said...

It's a bit of a myth that labour would be in a permanent minority if Scotland trots off. Under Blair they won majorities in England - and the way the two party system is falling apart in Britain, I think it'll be coalition government rather than majority government from now on.

Also - Adrian, it was nt independence that broke up the labour movement in Ireland, it was the lack of an urban working class outside Belfast and Dublin. There were no Citizen Armies in Limavady where I grew up!

adrian mckinty said...

Liam

Yeah I did the maths on that and found it to be completely untrue as well. As you say there may a few more coalition governments rather than an inbuilt Tory majority.

As for the Labour movement I'm not so sure. Dublin and Liverpool used to coordinate strikes with one another and a Belfast, Glasgow, Dublin, Liverpool, Manchester axis could have been a powerhouse of discontent in the 1930's - but it was not to be.

Maybe 100 years from now national boundaries wont matter at all in Europe...

Sheiler said...

Well Marois is the separatist Premier(e?) for Quebec and among the first things she did when she got elected was go to Scotland to talk secession.

As an American (in Quebec, people from the US are Americans and anglophone Canadians are anglophones and Quebec Canadians are Quebecers) I find it fascinating that Marois is essentially a socialist and that the US doesn't realize it - or maybe not care - since what focus there is on her is that of being secessionist.

A socialist state closer than Cuba! Ooh boogey boogey.

Liam Hassan said...

I see your point bout all the industrial cities coming together- but big Jim Larkin never managed it, and the church (the south) and sectarianism (the north) were bigger draws. Incidentally, Padraig Yeates did a great book on the lockout, called, er, Lockout.

Agree with you bout the national borders thing though. I remember saying to a mate of mine years back that British and Irish nationalism would change so much due to the EU, devolution and immigration that sectarianism in the north would wither away. Ah, the optimism of youth!

adrian mckinty said...

Liam

Speaking of Big Jim Larkin I started a novel once set during the 1907 Belfast dock and later police strike but I couldnt get past chapter 4 and then I read Dennis Lehane's novel about the Boston police strike in 1919 and it was so much better than mine that it took the wind out of my sails and I threw my book in the bin.

Liam Hassan said...

The lehane novel was great- but one in turn of the century Belfast? Sounds like a great idea- plenty of grit to work with. Take it up to 1912, mention the titanic and you d be landed!

seana graham said...

No, you have to do the Belfast one. Who better to do it? Forget Lehane. I like him a lot but he couldn't write that.

I'm really just commenting here to make sure all the Herzog fans know that he has done an anti-texting while driving film that you can view here. I always assume the Herzog devotees will have this news already, but just in case...

adrian mckinty said...

seana

thanks for that. I for one will check it out...

Peter Rozovsky said...

Maudite anglaise! Quebec Canadians are Quebecois!

In re Big Jim Larkin, I was snapping photos on O'Connell Street this spring when a passerby offered the helpful advice that if I adjusted my position a bit, I could get Larkin throwing up his hands with the Spire in the background, appearing to be saying, "Oh, God, what is that thing?"

I remarked to someone else (OK, it was Declan Burke) that not many cities would put up a state to someone named Big Jim.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Put up a statue, that is.

Anonymous said...

Great place for adventure! I would really enjoy going to the outdoors and exploring the wonderful corryvreckan whirlpool. It's really famous and I love to try boating in there. It would be so thrilling!

Brendan O'Leary said...

The only comment I've made publicly is when one FB friend was hectoring me to join his campaign on Independence. "No. Bugger off and leave me alone"
He did and we're still friends.

Having said that, social media is overwhelmingly pro-Independence. It would be extremely tedious to try to defend a "better together" position against the army of zealots on a medium I use to keep in touch with far-flung family and friends.

I also have a number of Shetlanders on FB and not one of them has said boo about Scottish or Shetland independence. I'd say they are watching and waiting. Rule from Edinburgh is not necessarily any better than London from where they're sitting.

Bergen is said to be the closest train station to Lerwick, but then again Banyuwangi is the closest train station to Broome.

Frederic Wright said...

I have no dog in this hunt but your political commentary is almost as enjoyable as your fiction...

John McFetridge said...

It's funny to see this post come around again the day Quebec votes and it looks like the separatist PQ will be out of office, possibly reduced to third place.

Above Sheiler mentioned that the PQ was socialist which it was a long time ago under Rene Levesque but one of the things many people are saying led to their fall in the polls was the billionaire Pierre-Karl Peladeau entering the race for them. His company, Quebecor (inherited from his father and propped up by the province-owned Caisse de Depot), owns TV stations and newspapers in the province and is notoriously anti-union.

It was funny watching the nationalist unionized workers Quebecor had locked out (14 times in various negotiations) try and put a positive spin on it.

In reality the PQ hasn't been anywhere near socialist in a long time. They may not even be that separatist anymore.

seana graham said...

Sounds like you wrote the playbook for it, Adrian. Who knew this blog was so popular in the Shetlands?

One thing in the Independent article was that that interest in the issue was worldwide--not least on other islands, and even in Venice.

Of course, you wonder how independent they'll want to be when they are sinking under rising oceans.

Alan said...

Adrian,I think that the Scottish Referendum will act as a psychological purge for many who have often felt that the word British means English except in" Travel UK "commercials or wars.Succession probably will not occur as Scots might pay too high an economic price. Ethnic nationalism is not rational as your "Ulster"has too often provided unfortunately a prime example. Best Alan

adrian mckinty said...

Brendan

Social media and all the cool people it seems are for independence. Anyone who advocates the better together position seems to become an instant laughing stock. I'm not sure why that is.

adrian mckinty said...

Fred

Thanks mate.

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

I wonder if Russia will let its autonomous regions have a vote on independence just as they insist that Ukrainian regions be offered a choice on which country to belong to. Somehow I dont see it.

adrian mckinty said...

John

The SNP is a left wing nationalist party too but left wing nationalism has always been paradoxical I think. Nationalism and left wing politics have never set easily together.

Many Marxists thought it was a disaster that the increasingly aligned working class commmunities of Belfast, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin were thrown into 3 separate administrations after 1922.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Well Scotland and Ireland are both undergoing isostasy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-glacial_rebound

so they should be ok if the sea levels rise.

seana graham said...

News to me. Your old high school teacher will be proud of you for knowing that. Doesn't sound like it will help poor Venice, though. They should probably just stick it out with Italy.

Brendan O'Leary said...

Venice dreams of being a city state again. Although I hear that most Venetians have abandoned the watery part to rich incomers and commute from the hinterland.

To be honest, I don't really trust the outside narrative on these things. Nobody seems that interested in independence day to day in Scotland but when you turn on the news or social media it's the dominant story. Just easier to cover, I guess.

paxkokomo said...

On June 3, I will be asked to vote whether Del Norte County should secede from California and form the new State of Jefferson. Modoc, Glenn and Siskiyou counties have already voted to secede. Shasta county has declined to do so. In Oregon, enthusiasm for Jefferson in strongest in Curry and Josephine counties; while Jackson county, the most affluent shows no interest at all.
It is the poor counties who get back much more money they they send to Sacramento and Salem who seem to be in favor and the uneducated who are most dead-set on secession.
It is credit to the intelligence of the Scots that they prudently see the economic disaster lurking in secession.
I too am prudent and will vote againzt secession. With all it's warts, I still like California too much.

seana graham said...

Funny, I was just thinking about all the various groups who want to split California in some way. In fact, it looks like I wrote about this last time around.

Stick with us, Paxkokomo!

Alan said...

Adrian,At least Rankin was able to incorporate Scottish feelings re:The referendum into several of his latest books as you and Neville have targeted Northern Irish sectarianism.As for Russia it appears Ivan The Terrible is staging a comeback.Give credit to Al Capp Free "Lower Slobovia."Best Alan

Cary Watson said...

You're right about the left-wing and nationalism being a poor fit: here in Canada the PQ's alliance with Pierre-Karl Peledeau is proof of that. As part of his media empire he owns SUN TV, which is best described as FOX News' pimply, overweight little brother from the north. It's not very popular but it gives a platform to a variety of Canada rightists who, ironically enough, are probably opposed to bilingualism. And the PQ is fighting this election over its "Charter of Values" an Orwellian name for a piece of legislation that's essentially an attempt to drive immigrants from Quebec in the name of nationalism. My two cents on the Charter here.

Brendan O'Leary said...

Adrian, independence is cool because it promises everything good to everyone. Arguing for the status quo is boring and easy to portray as arguing for everything bad, especially when there is a Tory in Downing St.

For the SNP in many ways it might be better if they lose the referendum, then their vision remains untested and intact.

It's somewhat different to other secessionist movements because of Scotland's long history as a separate nation, frequently at war with England in alliance with other combatants such as France.

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Brendan O'Leary said...

.. and, I should add, having preserved many of their national institutions from before the Union of Parliaments.

Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheiler said...

John, yea taking on Peledeau looked like such a power grab by Marois. And now she's out.

My partner's friends with a bunch of old school feminist socialists, who are more like Françoise Davide than Marois, and they all identify with that kind of fight - that women of a certain age who have careers have had to do. We had a running convo, back and forth, running up to the election about how going to Scotland to chat up separation and not listening to the people in the province esp in Montreal was just poking sticks in eyes. Its hard when you spend the majority of your life working toward something that isnt going to happen. I suppose Mitt Romney feels the same way. But youre right about not being so socialist any more. Maybe I have been hanging out with too loonie of a crowd.

John McFetridge said...

Sheiler, I guess some issues have a way of overshadowing everything else. I was 17 when the PQ first got elected in '76 and my dad, an old-time union guy, was very disappointed that a lot of his fellow blue collar workers voted Union Nationale (wow, that's a long time ago they ran the province ;)).

But what I find really too bad is that the PQ actually accomplished pretty much everything Rene Levesque set out to accomplish. What we have now in Canada is sovereignty-association, it is a completely different deal between Quebec and the federal government (well, all the provinces and the feds, really) than we had in the 70s and Quebec is far autonomous then almost anyone thought it would be in the 70s.

At some point (I guess when they kicked Levesque out of the party) the PQ morphed from sovereignty-association to... well, who knows exactly what because even in this election they said some bizarre things like keeping a seat on the Bank of Canada. So, I don't think people of Marois' generation can say they didn't accomplish anything, other than maybe they failed to articulated exactly what it was they wanted. God is in the details and all that.

I like Françoise Davide but socialism and nationalism rarely work well together. In fact, do they ever fit together?

John McFetridge said...

Oh, and Sheiler, the Montreal Noir is official now, I'm co-editing with Jacques Filippi.

Which writers would you like to see in the collection?

John McFetridge said...

Sheesh, one more post. What I meant to say above was that what I find too bad is that the PQ accomplished quite a bit and don't get (or even take) any credit for it.

Brendan O'Leary said...

John, I suspect that is because no party with any sort of power says, "Right, that's it, we've achieved what we set out to do. There's no point to us any more and we're disbanding"


That's why Enoch Powell ( I think ) said "All political careers end in failure"

Anne said...

I am pretty sure that, were they to be given a chance, most voters in English counties (other than the Home Counties) would vote to join with Scotland and leave London to fend for itself.

April 8, 2014 at 9:00 PM

adrian mckinty said...

Pax

I dont see California breaking up but if it does I think the secessionists will regret it.

adrian mckinty said...

Cary, John, Sheiler

I heard one SNP guy saying that if Scotland does become independent then the raison d'etre of the SNP will cease to exist and it will vanish and left-right politics will be established. That did not happen in either Northern Ireland or the Republic after 1922 however I dont think it'll happen in Quebec or Scotland either.

adrian mckinty said...

Anne

But the problem is that despite all the hatred of London, the SE of England is the economic engine of the entire British Isles.

Anne said...

From yesterday's Guardian:
Ed Miliband is to promise to put powerful "city-region" government at the heart of a Labour attempt to rebalance growth in the UK, claiming his plan represents "the biggest economic devolution of power to England's great towns and cities in a hundred years"
Miliband will say: "The country that once built its prosperity on the great towns and cities, like Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff has become a country which builds its prosperity far too much on one city: London."
Personally, I don't think that devolution can happen unless Parliament is moved to a northern city such as Manchester - there is a growing grassroots movement calling for this.

Brendan O'Leary said...

Anne, if you think of what each of those cities was famous for industrially, it has all gone.

Anne said...

Brendan - Admittedly the heavy industries have gone, but I don't think that is an argument for continuing to concentrate the wealth of a country in one city, especially when that city's wealth is not based on something of value like manufacturing goods to sell abroad, but rests almost solely on the so-called 'industry' of financial services, which could collapse at any time.

Sheiler said...

Well as an American married to a pied noir, a pied noir who is a hooligan theatre person, I have trouble with the facts about Canada, Quebec and especially the PQ. Sure, I could do some educated reading I suppose. But my modus operandi is heresay aka oral history. Which makes any argument I may make esp about Canadian history laughable.

But literally going back and forth from Montreal to Boston had me continually, continuously experiencing culture shock. So America's all about Obama being socialist, and then in Montreal there are hundreds of thousands of people protesting a hike in tuition. Protests that last like months? A year? There were some mornings when I had to avoid certain metro stations to pick my rideshares up due to protests. So, socialistic. But not socialist. But in the US? socialist. Anyway.

When I worked for Noam Chomsky, I often fielded phone calls from people's republics of something or other. A few groups in California, the republic but not the state. One woman gave me her address for a paper of Noam's. She had me read the address back to her. When she asked me "Did you write down 'CA' for California?" Yes. Then she told me that that was WRONG and how it had to be spelled out completely because of xyz. I wished I had taken notes of that because she was using a different operating system than I.

It's like there are countless parties that I'm always late to and so need to continually catch up.

John, all of which to say Cool on the Montreal noire. But I have no clue who I'd like to see in it. Anyone with a great story. If I can help out with typing or dishwashing or doing pushups (pushups for the cause), let me know.