Mom and Dad Might Be Getting A Divorce: A Letter to Scotland from America

September 14, 2014

Dear Scotland,

Hey, America here – your eldest child. So, how’s it going? Sorry for being out of touch for so long – we’ve been swamped with work – so this is a bit of an awkward letter to write. And what with your occasionally overbearing Presbyterian heritage and rather constant criticism of our life choices, we have not had the closest of relationships in recent years. But let’s not get into that. We’ve both made mistakes. We probably could have helped out a bit more when you were low on cash and we should have tried to appreciate your cuisine and poetry and learned your Scots Gaelic but it’s just not very practical in our line of work. Regardless, we do think back fondly on our times together – summers at Andrew Carnegie’s place in the Highlands, World Wars I and II, quoting Trainspotting (sorry about Braveheart – not our fault, Mel Gibson is Australia’s kid), drinking too much single malt, and making fun of the extended family (incidentally – New Zealand has gained a ton of weight). Thus I hope you will hear us out.

Over here your upcoming independence referendum has been in the news quite a bit as of late and we are rather concerned about the outcome. While we moved out of the imperial house some time ago and live on the other side of the world (you should visit, seriously, our yard is massive and you should see the size of the place, makes Balmoral look like a shanty) – we really don’t want to see you and England, our historical parents, get divorced.

Koko Bear

We are aware that your marriage has been going through a rough patch for some time now. We recall the impacts of economic reform in the 1980s and the screaming matches between you and Westminister over the future of your heavy industry and resource sector. We know that your inheritance, in the form of North Sea oil, probably could have been better invested and utilized as regards long term economic and social development. And on our last visit we noticed that with the establishment of the Scottish parliament you and England began sleeping in separate bedrooms. It was apparent that the romance was gone and the two of you had come to some sort of workable arrangement as to the future. And we kept our mouth shut. But this whole divorce thing – it’s just a step too far.

Now we know that the idea of moving out and finding a nice place somewhere where you don’t have to deal with England’s crap – the alcoholism, exhausting sense of cultural superiority, and lack of empathy as regards your needs – might seem like a good idea on the surface. That condominium complex the continental Europeans have built does look fun – I hear they’re adding a pool. However it’s not certain your application will be accepted and even if it is, that German lady who own the building seems to be less than trustworthy as regards the contractual obligations. At the end of the day, you’d essentially be moving down a notch and throwing away quite a bit.

You and England, despite your differences, do in fact make an excellent team – look at the Scottish Enlightenment, you BUILT the United Kingdom. The Empire – yeah, England took all the glory but you basically ran it. The UK’s position as a global economic and military power is your achievement as much as it is England’s. You talk England down off the ledge when they get a bit too extreme on things and you are able to utilize their large economy and population to seriously punch above your weight in global affairs. It is also your responsibility. The UK remains a bulwark of western civilization and a stable global order – abdicating your position in it and causing serious global instability is not the Scotland we know and love (that misguided 17th century colonization of Panama notwithstanding). Sure being Norway or Denmark – comfy, export-based, small – is fun but, and as a good Calvinist you will surely recognize, it’s pretty much lazy free-riding on the efforts of others.

Finally, we are sort of concerned about your finances if you decide to go through with this. Your banking sector is amazing but your own economy is not large enough to guarantee its stability. Remember what happened to the neighbors? Ireland and Iceland? Not good. Additionally, England has been rather clear that a divorce is not going to be amicable and you really are going to need your own central bank and currency – we’re not seeing how that is going to happen. We’ve done “dollarization” with some of our neighbors over here – it’s fine for us, but it’s a last resort monetary policy for unstable third world states, not one which should be adopted by the nation which essentially created capitalism (we still have a painting of great-great-great-grandfather Adam Smith on our desk).

Thus, we urge you to reject independence and remain in the United Kingdom. Please don’t make us choose with which of you we want to maintain the “special relationship.” On an emotional level, while our siblings New Zealand and Australia will probably be okay, this is likely to send our more sensitive brother, Canada, into a very deep depression. It’s going to cause all those memories about the bad years with Quebec to come flooding back.

At present, we in the USA have quite a few problems of our own so the idea of our historical parents getting divorced is rather upsetting to us. Broken homes can cause many unforeseen problems for offspring and, as I am sure you know, we already are quite a handful. You’ve seen us on our best behavior and at our worst over the last 240 years, so “acting out” in response to a divorce is unlikely to be positive for anyone.

For the sake of the children, please try to work it out.


P.S. You were always the “fun” parent – don’t make us spend Christmas with England. It’s exhausting.


One Response to “Mom and Dad Might Be Getting A Divorce: A Letter to Scotland from America”

  1. Liam Says:

    Logically sound. Otherwise horrible, triggering, and coldly financial.

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