Hey, I'm just a damn Yank, and it's none of my business whether the United Kingdom remains "united," or separates into four units -- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland -- or even into all its constituent counties. My love of novelty makes me kind of excited about the concept of Scottish independence. (And maybe Scottish customs officials would be less rude than their present British counterparts?) But my love of British history would also make me upset at such a break-up.
In the same way, I hated colonialism, but I also hated to see the Empire break up. Such are the contradictions of the human heart. Or at least of Rainier96's heart.
But back to the prime minister. Is he really saying that Scottish independence would be absolutely irreversible, even if the Scots came to London, hat in hand, and asked to be re-joined? The way a split atom of uranium 235 can't be tacked back together again? Even though Mr. Cameron is now pleading with the Scots not to break his heart and go their own way?
I care hugely about this extraordinary country, this United Kingdom that we have built together. I would be heartbroken if this family of nations we have put together – and we have done such amazing things – was torn apart.
So he says with one breath. "But," he seems to be saying with the next, personifying Professor Henry Higgins,
I shall NEVER take her back! If she were crawling on her KNEES!
Let her promise to atone,
let her shiver, let her moan,
I'll slam the door and let the hellcat FREEZE!
No currency union with England! No, sir! We won't even allow the Scots to use the pound sterling! No representation in Brussels (I assume). Will England even vote against Scotland joining the United Nations?
The British -- certainly the English -- have a worldwide reputation for equanimity. I suspect they never mean "never" -- even when they say they do. I hope the United Kingdom remains united. If not, I hope the Scots thrive as an independent nation, within the Commonwealth and retaining their allegiance to the Queen.
But if they don't thrive, and if their future leaders should walk quietly into Parliament at Westminster and seek reconciliation, I suspect that -- after an appropriate amount of sputtering and muttering and "I told you so"s -- the English would gladly welcome them back (as did Professor Higgins with Eliza), and re-unite with Scotland.
And they'd all live happily ever after.