Sunday 4 November 2007

Scandinavia

This article was published on the Cross of St George website, in support of English Independence. It is not quite as catchy (or pronounceable) as the Balkanisation of Britain, but the Scandinaviaisation of Britain has some good examples:


Scandinavia, a region of five countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland), has seen its constituent countries form different unions with each other from the Middle Ages to 1918, until Iceland became the last independent nation. They share similar cultures and similar languages, but have remained separate sovereign nations ever since.

So for a lot of people, a possible break-up to the United Kingdom is something they fear, believing this would cause many problems and challenges. The prospect of this raises many questions. However, one only has to look towards Scandinavia to realise all these questions have already been answered:

Would the home nations be economically viable?
The Scandinavian nations top all tables on average wealth per person. Size of country has no bearing on economic success. No reason why the home nations can’t be economically successful too.

Isn’t Britain stronger together? Wouldn’t England, for example, have a lower standing in the world than Britain?
If enjoying a high standing in the world means participating in numerous foreign wars, who needs that? Does a Swede, who lives in a wealthy nation, and has not seen his country fight a war for 200 years, envy our status? I seriously doubt it.
Perhaps countries like the USA, Russia and China dominate world markets, but their citizens don’t enjoy the same wealth per person as in the Scandinavian countries.
And if a lower world standing also means not sending men into space or topping an Olympic medals table – then I can live with that.

Would there be passport/border controls between the home nations?
No. There are no border controls between the Nordic countries.

Many Scottish people have relatives in England and vice versa. Doesn’t this make independence difficult?
Not when there’s free movement of people between nations as per Scandinavia.

What would be the constitutional position with the monarchy?
In Scandinavia, some countries are kingdoms, some are republics. It’s up to each home nation to decide their constitutional position.

Wouldn’t there be problems if England was a member of the EU, but Scotland and Wales weren’t?
Denmark and Sweden are in the EU, but Norway isn’t, and there are no problems.

And wouldn’t it be difficult for Scotland and Wales economically, when they have a much larger economic neighbour in England?
Hasn’t affected Denmark, who share their border with Germany.

Would the break-up of Britain lead to problems with security? Especially if England has an independent Scotland on its northern border?
Why? Is there a problem with security in Scandinavia? Is England likely to do something that will prompt an invasion of a foreign army? If Scotland did, would that automatically mean this army would move onto England? Even in the dark days of WW2, when Germany invaded Norway and Denmark, this didn’t spread to Sweden.

But on a small island, there must be issues where there needs to be co-operation?
Indeed, and this is true in Scandinavia. However, these issues are dealt with by the Nordic Council, without impairing any of the nations’ sovereignty.

I don’t know if I’ve listed all of the questions regarding this issue, but I’m sure if you need an answer – look to Scandinavia.

4 comments:

Ordovicius said...

PEDANT WARNING:

Apart from Finland (formerly part of Russia), Scandinavia consists of three seperate monarchies. Iceland can't really be counted as it is a great distance away and a lot harder to get to.

ryan said...

To take the Scandinavian example and apply it to Britain is a complete over-simplification of the issue.

There is only one criteria you need to fulfil for independence to be a success and that is the support of the population. People will know when they want it, understand that everything is ready and will be happy to support it. Support will grow for independence of some kind as the institutions are created and conditions are fulfilled. But this will not happen over night.

We all should help build our Wales brick by brick and not tear it apart.

Penddu said...

I agree that Scandinavia is not a perfect analogy, but neither is Peter Hain's Balkanisation.

Wales (& Scotland & England) will eventually achieve independence, which as Ryan correctly points out will be when the people of Wales decide that the time has come. This will require confidence building on all sides, and stupid comments from Peter Hain (does he make any other?) helps no-one.

taffyexpat said...

I'm a Welshman living in Denmark. Its a lovely little nation who's people are very proud. They do not have the natural resources that Wales has, and yet they have one of the best economies in Europe. This is because Danish firms and industry can go out into the world and say " look this is made in Denmark " were as we in Wales have to go under " Made in Britain ". Its old propaganda that Wales could'nt survive without England. That old song was also used about Ireland, but the Celtic Tigers have proved that wrong. Small nations can thrive, Cyprus, Malta, to name but two. Come on Wales " WE can exists with out England " ? Are us Welsh less clever than these other small countries ? For Gods sake Wales ! stop whinging about how bad the English treat us. Grow up, cut them apron strings that are in fact chains, be proud and show the world who we are and what we can. Welsh Independence now ! or as soon as possible. Cymru am Byth, Fe godwn ni eto !