Not the first ... nor the last

Taking the step to independence is nothing unusual. This is the list of countries which have gained their independence from Westminster rule over the years.

United States of America ... 4 July 1776
Afghanistan ... 19 August 1919
Ireland (in part) ... 24 April 1922
Canada ... 11 December 1931
South Africa ... 11 December 1931
Australia ... 9 October 1942 (backdated to 3 September 1939)
Jordan ... 25 May 1946
Pakistan ...14 August 1947
India ... 15 August 1947
New Zealand ... 25 November 1947
Myanmar (Burma) ... 4 January 1948
Sri Lanka ... 4 February 1948
Israel ... 14 May 1948
Sudan ... 1 January 1956
Ghana ... 6 March 1957
Malaysia ... 31 August 1957
Cyprus ... 1 October 1960
Nigeria ... 1 October 1960
Kuwait ... 25 February 1961
Sierra Leone ... 27 April 1961
Tanzania ... 9 December 1961
Jamaica ... 6 August 1962
Trinidad and Tobago ... 31 August 1962
Uganda ... 9 October 1962
Kenya ... 12 December 1963
Malawi ... 6 July 1964
Malta ... 21 September 1964
Zambia ... 24 October 1964
The Gambia ... 18 February 1965
Maldives ... 26 July 1965
Guyana ... 26 May 1966
Botswana ... 30 September 1966
Lesotho .... 4 October 1966
Barbados ... 30 November 1966
Yemen ... 30 November 1967
Mauritius ... 12 March 1968
Swaziland ... 6 September 1968
Fiji ... 10 October 1970
United Arab Emirates ... 2 December 1971
Bahrain ... 16 December 1971
Bahamas ... 10 July 1973
Grenada ... 7 February 1974
Seychelles ... 29 June 1976
Solomon Islands ... 7 July 1978
Tuvalu ... 1 October 1978
Dominica ... 3 November 1978
Saint Lucia ... 22 February 1979
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ... 27 October 1979
Zimbabwe ... 18 April 1980
Vanuatu ... 30 July 1980 (and from France too)
Belize ... 21 September 1981
Antigua and Barbuda ... 1 November 1981
Saint Kitts and Nevis ... 19 September 1983
Brunei ... 1 January 1984

List from Wikipedia

Fifty-four so far. Each one now standing on their own feet, acting and speaking with their own voice in the world. Not one has asked to go back.

Now Scotland has the opportunity to join them. It's a big step. It's an important step. But it's not—as those who want to scare you into bottling it at the last moment would have you believe—a leap into the unknown. It's been done, successfully, many times before. You'll be number 55 on the list.

-

Neither will you be alone in a European context. This is a list of the countries in Europe that have gained or regained their independence:

Norway (from Sweden) ... 1905
Iceland (from Denmark) ... 1946
Belarus (from the USSR) ... 1991
Estonia (from the USSR) ... 1991
Latvia (from the USSR) ... 1991
Lithuania (from the USSR) ... 1991
Moldova (from the USSR) ... 1991
Ukraine (from the USSR) ... 1991
Slovenia (from Yugoslavia) ... 1992
Croatia (from Yugoslavia) ... 1992
Boznia Herzegovina (from Yugoslavia) ... 1992
Czech Republic and Slovakia (from each other) ... 1993
Macedonia (from Yugoslavia) ... 1993
Montenegro (from Serbia) ... 2006
Kosovo (from Serbia) ... 2008

So Scotland, it's now your turn.

Be brave. Say Yes.

     

Your Yes to independence will also encourage other countries to take the same step. Catalunya is set to vote on their independence from Spain in November. Euskadi and Galicia probably won't be far behind. Flanders and Wallonia are bound to split eventually.

And, which matters most to me, we in Wales will be emboldened to follow you.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go for it, Scotland!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, the schoolboy politics will come to an end tomorrow.

Nationalism finally dies a rather public death.


Bill Chapman said...

None of the countries you mention was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I don't detect any enthusiasm in Scotland for "freedom", by the way.

karlomarko said...

Although I have a great many disagreements with his work and later political positioning, perhaps this day should really be credited as "Tom Nairn's Day". This social movement is not going to be put back in its box. And for those who sneer "maturity" and kiss the flag for fear of finding worse, your "maturity" is that of an empire long stench of decline and decay. It will not hold.

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