World View: England, Scotland Agree to Referendum on Scottish Independence

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
  • England and Scotland agree to a referendum on Scottish independence
  • European negotiations for Greece bailout will miss another deadline
  • Germany does U-turn and rules out 'Staatsbankrott' for Greece

England and Scotland agree to a referendum on Scottish independence

What is being described as a "historic agreement," Britain's prime minister David Cameron, and head of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) Alex Salmond signed a deal agreeing to allow Scots to make an "irrevocable" vote in October 2014 to decide whether Scotland should become independent of the United Kingdom. Both England and Scotland are now committed to respecting this decision, whichever side wins. 

Many Americans think that all the people in that corner of the Atlantic are all "English," but in fact the English and the Scots are as different as Irish Protestants and Catholics, or as Sunni and Shia Syrians. Scotland and England have gone through a number of periods of unity and disunity for hundreds of years.

The Battle of Bannockburn, on June 24, 1314, was a great victory for Scottish forces against superior English forces. It was the climax of the First War of Scottish Independence, and established Scotland as an independent nation. Scotland and England fought against each other in a number of subsequent wars, including the War of the Roses (1459-87), and the Armada war with Spain (1588). The most explosive war that followed Scottish independence was the English Civil War (1640-49), that climaxed with the beheading of the English King in 1649. There followed a generational Recovery Era where Britain had no King, but was actually ruled by a military dictator, Oliver Cromwell, bringing Scotland under English control, until a new King was crowned in 1661. During the generational Awakening era in the 1660s and 1670s, Scotland began demonstrating against English control, culminating in the Awakening era climax, the so-called "Glorious Revolution" of 1689, making the Scottish Parliament independent once again. In 1701, the next generational Crisis war began, the War of the Spanish Succession, which allied Scotland and France against England. Miraculously, England defeated the French army in the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, and then again in the explosive and tumultuous climactic Battle of Malplaquet in 1709. After France's defeat at Blenheim, Scotland was finally brought to heel, and England and Scotland signed the "Acts of Union" between the two countries, under a single king or queen, forming the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.

Now, 305 years later, with the world going deeper into a generational Crisis era, Scotland is becoming as nationalistic as China or Japan or a number of other countries, and demanding independence once again. However, once the Clash of Civilizations world war begins, I would expect Scotland and England to unite once more to fight the common enemy. Scotsman

European negotiations for Greece bailout will miss another deadline

Negotiations for the next bailout payment to Greece are collapsing again, making it unlikely that a Thursday deadline for an agreement will be met. It had been hoped that an agreement would be reached in time for the European leaders' summit on Thursday, but agreement on austerity measures and structural reforms are out of reach. Negotiations between Greece and the leaders of the EU "troika" of organizations bailing out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- have been on-again-off-again for weeks (actually, for years), missing one deadline after another. Each new bailout payment has been made at the last moment. Last year I proposed the "Kick the Can Theory" for the European financial crisis. It says that if you want to know what's going to happen, just assume that European leaders will look for a way to "kick the can down the road," meaning that they'll do the minimum possible to postpone the crisis a little longer, to prevent a current disaster without fixing the problem, so that the crisis will recur in worse form weeks or months later. The Kick the Can Theory has been right every time so far, and every bailout payment has been made at the last minute, irrespective of Greece's commitments. One way or another, we expect the same kind of thing to happen again, in time to prevent Greece from going bankrupt during November. Kathimerini

Germany does U-turn and rules out 'Staatsbankrott' for Greece

In fact, the can-kicking decision may already have been made. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has done a 180 degree turn from his previous strong opposition to extending a new bailout to Greece unless all the austerity commitments have been fulfilled. On Monday, Schäuble said: 

It will not happen that there will be a 'Staatsbankrott' in Greece. Greece has had to take a lot of very serious reforms [and an increasing majority of the population] does understand that being a member of the common European currency is in the best interest of Greece.

He said that a Greek exit from the euro would be very damaging for Greece and for the entire euro zone. However, Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said on Sunday that a Greek exit was "most probable" within six months, and that "in practice everyone already understands which way the wind is blowing." Bloomberg

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