Need To Know
FREEDOM! Maybe. You’ve probably heard that Scotland is voting today in a referendum on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom. Analysts are expecting a turnout in excess of 80 percent and no one has any concept of which way the Scots will end up voting. There are no exit polls for this one, sorry to say. You’ll just have to wait.
But that’s okay because GlobalPost has superstar Senior Correspondent Corinne Purtill on the ground investigating every last detail. You can hang out on our live blog to follow all the latest from Purtill, which includes her highly-entertaining anecdote about riding the bus this morning with a no-voter and a yes-voter. “As long as I'm getting my money," said one.
In this hilarious series of interviews with Scots, an 85-year-old retired yes-voter perhaps put it best: "You might as well take it from the Scottish corrupt than the English corrupt."
This is gonna be good. If you are wondering how it got to this point when just two months ago no one thought for a second that Scotland would break away, you can read this.
Results are expected around 3 and 7 a.m. Scottish time on Friday. That’s between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. on the American East Coast. Who will be staying awake with us?
Want To Know
If Scotland decides to ditch the United Kingdom, it will be joining a long list of other countries who have already said goodbye to the world ‘s most invasive colonialist empire: the United States, Canada, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Uganda, Jamaica, the list goes on and on and on. Here is a stellar map that breaks down all of Britain’s lost playthings. There are really not a whole lot of places left that the British can call home.
Scotland’s drive for independence, meanwhile, is inspiring other separatist movements everywhere. In the United States, the Texas Nationalist Movement, which is one of the American union’s oldest secessionist groups, is hopeful that the Scottish vote will lead to a “paradigm shift.”
In Europe, Greenland wants to leave Denmark. Venice wants to leave Italy. So does South Tyrol. The Flemish want to leave Belgium. Catalonia wants to leave Spain. So does the Basque Country. Bavaria wants to leave Germany. Some Welsh also want to leave the UK. Scotland could be just the first domino. New world order, here we come!
But would that be a good thing? Here’s what Rory Stewart thinks, he is half-Scot, half-English and a Tory member of parliament from the border region: "Individually, our nations are really embarrassing. Together, we're OK."
Strange But True
The referendum on independence isn't the only historic vote taking place in Scotland today.
While about four million Scots agonize over whether or not to break up with the United Kingdom, about 2,500 male members of The Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews will decide another issue that has split opinion across the land: should women be allowed to join one of the world’s oldest and most famous golf clubs?
Oh what we’d give to be a fly on the wall for that debate.
The all-male Royal & Ancient Golf Club, a regular British Open venue, has for years resisted attempts to admit female members at the famous “Old Course.” But today, as most Scots line up to their cast their referendum ballots, the club is expected to pass a motion allowing women to join its ranks.
Great, right? Well, kind of. As a BBC reporter points out: “Primarily it is commerce that is driving this [vote]. I’d like to say that there has been an awakening among the grand old members of the Royal & Ancient that the policy has been sexist and discriminatory for all these years but I don’t think that’s the case.” Oh well.
Here’s what Andrew Christie, a fisherman from St. Monans, thinks about all these big decisions being made today: "Scotland is a bunch of tribes. Clans. We can't agree on nothin'. I think Scotland is a country that has to be governed. We're too wild. It's in our genetics."