Europe fears Scottish independence contagion


Brussels (AFP) - The prospect of Scottish independence is raising fears in Europe that it could inflame other separatist movements at a time when the continent’s unity and even its borders are under threat, analysts say.


Yes, hundreds of thousands of Catalans marched a few days ago for independence and are taking a vote to leave Spain, so Europe is worried.


I sincerely hope that we are seeing the dawn of an age of decentralization.


And I for one hope that the Scotland vote fails just to put a stop to these movements, before they get started in North or South America.

The world needs less localism; fewer flags and visas! Not more.



Yes, I am actually really praying about this :o. I want the UK intact. It’s best for Scotland and England, the rest of the UK, Europe, and all of their allies around the world. I hope they think this one through. I don’t want to antagonize anyone and I have no problem with Scottish pride. I can’t conceive of them without it.


The world does need some localism because things like schools work best on the local level. BTW, some of us have never needed vises. :smiley:


Well, some places deserve independence - Newfoundland was shoved into the dominion of Canada under a botched and bribed vote. A place with a distinctly separate culture, dialect, identity - an identity which is Irish and British and French, not Canadian.

Austria regained it’s well deserved independence from Hungary and from the Third Reich.

Scotland’s decision is to be made by the Scots - however, I want my Kingdom United forever, and a United Kingdom it should remain - likewise it’d be foolish for Kyoto to leave Japan on an issue of dialect in the Japanese language.

Europe doesn’t fear anything. The powerhouse at the EU fears we might wake up and understand that the European Union isn’t all it coughed up to be.


Europe can afford a lot of decentralization, but needs to work for creating a centralized army that alone would be capable of defending European territory that shares a common ideology of freedom.

Decentralization is not a bad thing. It allows for cultural diversity and much of the evaporation of ethnicitiies that nationalization and empire-building overwhelms. But, there is no reason to expect that the future is going to be of perfect peace, devoid of the strong taking advantage of the weak, same as it always has been.

As Europeans decentralize, they need to come together to ensure that they have a military strong enough to defend core European values common to free people across the continent.


How would the Catholic teaching of subsidiarity play into this? Wouldn’t the Catholic teaching of subsidiarity favor Scottish independence?


Voting in a peaceful referendum is how it should be done. I am a bit of an Anglophile but I don’t think the people of the two countries always speak that well of each other.


Would you be willing to explain why you think so?


How would the Catholic teaching of subsidiarity play into this? Wouldn’t the Catholic teaching of subsidiarity favor Scottish independence?

I don’t think so. Subsidiarity(to me at least) appears to be the ideal where the lowest,most local or closest unit of social organization should be responsible(and ideally is the most effective and fit) for dealing with a problem or issue(i.e local towns running police forces or the school board running neighborhood schools).

Scottish Independence appears to be much more than that. It’s one thing to devolve some powers,functions or responsibilities(i.e Parliament allowed Scotland more leeway to run its own welfare programs).

Splitting a nation on the other hand appears to be an entirely different matter.

Pax Christi :slight_smile:


I tend to agree to a certain extent, but it won’t do Scotland much good economically if they use independence (and get it) as an excuse to run the place like a Scandinavian nation.

Of course, they could dismiss the legality of gay “marriage”, I suppose.


Well, subsidiarity means that the most local solution should be used. In my opinion, it seems like if Scotland became it’s own nation then the United Kingdom would be more decentralized and therefore subsidiarity would be increased.

I realize that there are likely a lot of variables involved and to be honest, I don’t have a good understanding of subsidiarity and so I admit that I could easily be wrong.


The Pope I think is leaning “No.” All world leaders who have commented have been “No” with the exception of the President (or Supreme Leader) of North Korea.

But of course the Pope is stepping very lightly. Catholics in Scotland can choose to read him either way.

Catholics in Scotland do support independence (see below) in pretty large numbers though. In fact, I’ve heard the argument that they are one of the main groups behind the independence drive. I think a lot of Catholics in Scotland claim Irish heritage - could be wrong on that part. Not all Catholics are “Yes” of course. (We do disagree, don’t we? ;))

A papal warning about the consequences of national division has been interpreted as a guarded intervention in the debate on Scottish independence. Speaking about Spain’s conflict with Catalonia in an interview with Barcelona-based La Vanguardia newspaper, Pope Francis said: “All division worries me.”

Referring to independence movements in the Americas and the former Yugoslavia, and making a careful distinction between independence for emancipation and independence for secession, he went on: “You have to study each case individually. Scotland, La Padania [northern Italy], Catalonia. There will be cases that are just and others that are unjust, but the secession of a nation without a history of forced unity has to be handled with tweezers and analysed case by case.”

The pope’s cautious intervention will be seen to have huge significance for Roman Catholics in Scotland, where they make up 17% of the population, compared with 11% in England and Wales. Recent data from the Scottish Social Attitudes survey suggested that Catholic voters were both the most supportive of independence and the least fearful of the prospect of a yes vote out of all religious groups.

Professor Tom Devine, Scotland’s pre-eminent historian and leading Catholic cultural figure, said that he could not see any case for suggesting that Pope Francis was condemning the movement for Scottish independence outright.“He recognises the viciousness of some types of ethnic nationalism,” said Devine, “but goes on to say that every case must be judged on its merits.”


The idea of a central EU army is ludicrous. Most of Western Europe maintains a tiny military. Each state needs to be responsible for the upkeep and organization of its own military. Pan-European-ism was tried before, it didn’t fly. The EU isn’t long for this world at any rate anyway.

I do heartily agree about the cultural aspect though. Globalism has destroyed so many cultures and languages (I am not trying to rant about evil globalism, I am just bemoaning the loss of ethnic and cultural heritage)


IMNAAHO, if losing cultural heritage is the price that must be paid to avoid another world war, I for one will gleefully wave farewell to the cultural heritage.

The alternatives are not globalism versus nice amicable nationalism (an idea that belongs up there with unicorns and toy shops at the North Pole); they are globalism versus a return to the 18-and-1900s, when the pattern in Europe was a major war every two generations. Never again, we should all scream!



Jim Murphy, a devout Catholic of Irish descent and a season ticket holder at Celtic Park, is one of the main leaders of the Better Together Campaign. He was the one whom the Nationalists pelted with eggs and accused of supporting “Israeli Apartheid” because he was once the chairman of Labour Friends of Israel:


It is interesting, I have never even heard of this “social attitudes” survey. How many people did they poll? I always roll my eyes at such things :rolleyes:

No surprises with Tom Devine. He is a supporter of independence.

The Catholic community is as divided as the rest of the country. In my family, which is evenly split between Presbyterian Protestants and Roman Catholics, not one of my Catholic cousins or aunts and uncles is voting “yes”. Interestingly, it is the Protestant part of my family that supports independence.

There is a contingent of Catholics, especially amongst those who call themselves “The Green Brigade” and are a sort of fundamentalist faction of supporters of Celtic Football Club, who are avid Nationalists. The ‘Green Brigade’ hate Britain, Israel and the USA; call themselves “rebels”, glorify the IRA and espouse Marxist Socialism on internet forums. Then many of them go to Mass on a Sunday. Go figure :wink:

Naturally, I and my family are the “Jim Murphy” sort of Scottish Catholic. I too have strong Irish descent. Practically every Catholic in Scotland does. My first name and surname are both Irish. Yet I am an opponent of Scottish Nationalism and a supporter of the United Kingdom.

My purely Scottish ancestry on some sides actually comes from the fact that three or more of great grandmothers and great-great grandmothers were converts from the Church of Scotland to Catholicism.


I respectfully disagree.

There can never be too many flags. :thumbsup:

Flags are kewl. :nerd:

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