Indy Light part 1

When I was in Japan, I was asked to compare Scottish independence to that of Estonia. I was told that, after the fall of the Soviet Union, energy and industry was limited in Estonia, which took the opportunity to rebuild its economy on the back of IT (including companies such as Skype). The question was: would Scotland do the same? The answer is that any break from the UK does not have that same profound sense of separation, novelty and crisis. Rather, Scotland would remain a relatively rich country with natural resources and developed ‘human capital’. Its break from the rest of the UK is not radical. Rather, it will keep some meaningful institutions (including the Queen and perhaps the BBC), seek to keep the pound as its currency (although the details are hotly debated right now), become part of the EU (which will maintain many Scottish laws and practices) and maintain important social, economic and political ties to the rest of the UK. It is often described as a ‘divorce’, but it’s more likely to be Moore/ Willis than Holmes/ Cruise. I then said that modern Scottish independence is often called ‘Indy Light’, to reflect that qualified sense of separation. It took some time to explain the term, and we talked about Coke Light/ Diet Coke as the real thing without the sugar. I’m not sure what the connotation is supposed to be, though, since it began (I think) as a disparaging term – when diet coke is quite nice really.

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