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

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

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 primeminister David Cameron, and head of the Scottish Nationalist Party(SNP) Alex Salmond signed a deal agreeing to allow Scots to make anbecome independent of the United Kingdom. Both England and Scotlandare now committed to respecting this decision, whichever side wins. 

Many Americans think that all the people in that corner of theAtlantic are all “English,” but in fact the English and the Scots areas different as Irish Protestants and Catholics, or as Sunni and ShiaSyrians. Scotland and England have gone through a number of periodsof unity and disunity for hundreds of years.

The Battle of Bannockburn, on June 24, 1314, was a great victory forScottish forces against superior English forces. It was the climax ofthe First War of Scottish Independence, and established Scotland as anindependent nation. Scotland and England fought against each other ina number of subsequent wars, including the War of the Roses (1459-87),and the Armada war with Spain (1588). The most explosive war thatfollowed Scottish independence was the English Civil War (1640-49),that climaxed with the beheading of the English King in 1649. Therefollowed a generational Recovery Era where Britain had no King, butwas actually ruled by a military dictator, Oliver Cromwell, bringingScotland under English control, until a new King was crowned in 1661.During the generational Awakening era in the 1660s and 1670s, Scotlandbegan demonstrating against English control, culminating in theAwakening era climax, the so-called “Glorious Revolution” of 1689,making the Scottish Parliament independent once again. In 1701, thenext 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 ofMalplaquet in 1709. After France’s defeat at Blenheim, Scotland wasfinally brought to heel, and England and Scotland signed the “Acts ofUnion” 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 generationalCrisis era, Scotland is becoming as nationalistic as China or Japan ora number of other countries, and demanding independence once again.However, once the Clash of Civilizations world war begins, I wouldexpect Scotland and England to unite once more to fight the commonenemy. Scotsman

European negotiations for Greece bailout will miss another deadline

Negotiations for the next bailout payment to Greece are collapsingagain, making it unlikely that a Thursday deadline for an agreementwill be met. It had been hoped that an agreement would be reached intime for the European leaders’ summit on Thursday, but agreement onausterity measures and structural reforms are out of reach.Negotiations between Greece and the leaders of the EU “troika” oforganizations bailing out Greece — the European Commission (EC), theEuropean 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 beenmade at the last moment. Last year I proposed the “Kick the CanTheory” for the European financial crisis. It says that if you wantto know what’s going to happen, just assume that European leaders willlook for a way to “kick the can down the road,” meaning that they’lldo the minimum possible to postpone the crisis a little longer, toprevent a current disaster without fixing the problem, so that thecrisis will recur in worse form weeks or months later. The Kick theCan Theory has been right every time so far, and every bailout paymenthas been made at the last minute, irrespective of Greece’scommitments. One way or another, we expect the same kind of thing tohappen again, in time to prevent Greece from going bankrupt duringNovember. 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 turnfrom his previous strong opposition to extending a new bailout to Greeceunless 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 veryserious reforms [and an increasing majority of the population]does understand that being a member of the common Europeancurrency is in the best interest of Greece.

He said that a Greek exit from the euro would be very damaging forGreece and for the entire euro zone. However, Swedish FinanceMinister Anders Borg said on Sunday that a Greek exit was “mostprobable” within six months, and that “in practice everyone alreadyunderstands which way the wind is blowing.” Bloomberg

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