The Macedonian Tendency: A Macedonian Tells The Scots What To Do

Saturday, August 09, 2014

A Macedonian Tells The Scots What To Do

By David Edenden

As a Canadian and Macedonian I urge the Scottish people to vote for continued union with the UK. My wife is of Irish and Scottish heritage so I have more than passing interest in Scotland.

In the Balkans, I opposed the collapse of Yugoslavia, even though it brought independence to Macedonia. I would have preferred the EU to force Yugoslavia, through sanctions,  to stay together in the same way they are forcing Bosnia to stay together. I would have also insisted that Bulgaria, in order to join the EU, would first have to join Yugoslavia, making it a complete "union of south slavs republics" (USSR? ...maybe not). 

Notwithstanding the various Balkan wars, language and culture could have bound these diverse peoples together in a workable federation ... with a large Olympic team.

The disruption in trade and economic relations with the sudden appearance of seven new borders is the main cause of economic stagnation in the Balkans, not war or corruption as has often been reported. It has been over 20 years since independence, and only now does Macedonia have the same GDP as it did 20 years ago.  Macedonia had autonomy ... control over its own republic, working language, film, TV, and universities. Independence was not worth it just to have the right to its own currency and an Olympic bobsled team.

I urge the political class in the UK and Scotland to look to Canadian federalism as a  model for the UK. In Canada we have one province, Saskatchewan, that has a "labour/socialist" government, off and on since 1945 with a socialist political culture right beside Alberta which has a "Texas" style free enterprise political culture. If Scotland had the powers of a Canadian province when the North Sea Oil was discovered, it would have controlled the development as well as the revenues. At the same time, it would, like  Alberta, have paid into a common fund for distribution to the poorer provinces.

We also have Quebec with French as a working language and the French civil code as law. So if you want to make Gaelic the working language ... knock yourself out. Macedonian was the working language of Macedonia even when it was part of Yugoslavia.

My suggestion, using Canada as a model, devolve uniform powers to regional assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as create one (or more if so inclined) for England for a true symmetrical  relationship. ("Geordie Liberation Front" and "Cornish Revolutionary Army" ... now it your chance!)

I thought ... and still do ... that Macedonians can be Macedonian and Yugoslav at the same time. Therefore The Scots can also be British. 

People of Scotland do have an emotional and cultural affinity for Britain that will remain no matter what the outcome. Unionists, however, must provide a logical coherent alternative to the romance of independence.

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