Scotland votes: All you need to know about the referendum

Among the top five things happening in the world today, the vote on Scottish referendum would definitely be one. It is about a country's independence. But how many of us really know anything about the referendum?

Firstpost brings you a string of opinions that are part funny, extremely informative (and not in a boring manner) and most engaging which will tell you all that you need to know about the Scottish referendum and what it means for the world.


The Most Lucid: The first video is brought to you by The Guardian. With a very witty narrative, which is also engaging, the authors of this video have simplified the referendum for the 'non-Brits' and how! But apart from deconstructing the referendum to its basics, the video explains why is a separate Scotland important. Starting from the geographical positioning of the 'country' to what is the history of Scotland-England relationship and down to the most important question: Is it  a good idea to have a separate Scotland? Watch the full video here.

The Most Funny: No one else could have possibly done this except John Oliver. On his show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver equates the Scotland-England relationship as a 300-year-old arranged marriage with England being a "dick" after the honeymoon period. It is a John Oliver show and if we start censoring, the show would be a long and unending BEEP!

 Scotland votes: All you need to know about the referendum

The Scottish saltire flag and the United Kingdom flag. Reuters

The show starts with cliched jokes on Scotland which include the Scottish accent, the kilt and the bagpipes. The cliches are obvious but the jokes are all original Oliver. He mocks the country and asks how a country, whose national animal is a Unicorn and whose national flower is a Thistle, plans to run its own government.

And he did not spare UK Prime Minister David Cameron. There were a couple of videos of David Cameron and his gaffes which proved, in more ways than one, as to why Scotland was tired of being with England and would love to start being an independent country. But beyond his below-the-belt jokes and mockery, the show ends with very pertinent questions — The problems of an independent Scotland. The issues if the referendum is not passed. And finally the consequences of an independent Scotland. Generation of revenue will be one of the biggest issues that Scots will have to sort out. But that's not it.

Oliver reminds us or rather informs us that with the dwindling Euro, Scotland will have a tough time deciding on its own currency as UK has said Scots might lose the Pound. And then the bigger question - What will happen to the flag of Great Britain if Scotland becomes a separate country? Great Britain's flag, which has not changed in the last 200 years, is a union of England's cross St George, Scotland's cross St Andrew and Ireland's cross St Patrick. What would happen if Scotland decides to take their cross with them when they divorce England, wonders Oliver! But it is a must watch for all of them who are still scrambling to understand the Scotland standoff and for those who don't care about the referendum at all. Watch the video here.

Why should the Indians care: Because the money which established Scotland and helped it mend her social and the economic infrastructure came from India! That's right. Tehelka author Rakesh Krishnan Simha in an article explains why the Scots want a "Disunited Kingdom."

The author lists almost the same reasons for the Scotland-England divorce as mentioned earlier - how England's step-motherly behaviour has not borne well with the Scots; how England will be a lot weaker if Scotland decides to run her own country in the way she wants to and how there is a well of opportunity among the Scottish and they are more than just fine whiskey and bagpipes. But what is striking about the article is the India angle.

The author opens his article with the sub-head "Empire's Troopers" and sums it up in one line.

"Without India there would be no UK today."

Simha says after years of squabbling the Englishmen offered something to the Scots that they could not resist.

"The Scottish chiefs were told the English had come upon a land of untold riches and if Scotland joined England, then together the two of them could divvy up the booty. The newly targeted country was, of course, India."

Simha quotes George K McGilvary in East India Patronage and the British State: The Scottish Elite and Politics in the Eighteenth Century which was published in 2008, and says it was the grand England plan to flow the wealth of Indian into Scotland which would make Scotland part of the Great Britain for a long and a good time. The author says:

"Scots became enthusiastic members of the East India Company and later the British Raj. India being an extremely demanding theatre of conflict — because of the stiff resistance put up by the people — Scottish soldiers were also used in large numbers in Indian wars. Without Scottish numbers, England on its own couldn’t have coped with the simultaneous wars against Napoleon’s France and India."

The article sheds a grim light on mean-minded and extremely business-like England and how they used two other countries for its own selfish needs. Read the article here.

That unassailable journalistic source: The Cabbie

The author takes a different route - through the taxi drivers of Glasgow, the biggest city of Scotland. In an article in The Telegraph, the author tries to get a feel of the people of Scotland and what they want.

"My heart says yes, my head says no, confides a taxi driver."

It is hard to predict the outcome of the referendum vote and here's why that is:

"What makes predicting harder this time is that there are 109,533 new voters, aged 16 and 17. But the Yes lobby have managed to register many in the lower socio-economic groups who generally cannot be bothered. This explains why in parliamentary elections the turnout tends to be 50 per cent in Scotland. This time it is expected to be much, much higher."

The article also states the underlying "hatred" for the royalty which is much loved in England. When the author asked a taxi driver that whether or not Queen's intervention matter in the voting process, he got this:

"She should have kept her mouth shut,” the woman says. “She was disgraceful."

The article subtly gauges the mind of Scotland's underbelly and spells it out in numbers how a 'No' vote is not unlikely. Read the full article here.

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Updated Date: Sep 18, 2014 20:33:32 IST