"Scotland is determined to stay in the EU."
Congratulations, Brexit voters. You got what you wanted and opened the proverbial Pandora's Box. Now you get to own the consequences of your actions.
Let's be clear: the Catalan elections on Sunday, September 27th, are exceptional due to the explosive mix of emotions, political debate and intensity that have inoculated Spanish politics. But, the previous notwithstanding, will they be the first step towards an independent Catalonia?
How will the change take place? If anything, the global nature of the protests this weekend points out that we are in this mess together -- capitalists, communists, environmentalists and We-the-People.
Why on earth did the Scots, largely quiescent as part of Great Britain for three centuries, suddenly become the mouse that roared? It wasn't because they became besotted watching re-runs of Braveheart or Rob Roy, or even because they coveted more of a share of North Sea oil revenues. No, the Scots got sick and tired of Thatcherite policies imposed from London. Thanks to the partial form of federalism known as "devolution" provided by the Labour government of Tony Blair in 1997, Scotland got to keep such progressive policies as free higher education and an intact national health service, while the rest of the U.K. partly privatized the health service and began compelling young people to go into debt to finance college like their American cousins.
This week brought a surprise: In a time of rampant division, we saw an entire people -- or at least 55 percent of them -- choose unity instead. On Thursday, 3.6 million Scots went to the polls and chose not to change Great Britain to Somewhat Less Great Britain by voting against severing their 307-year union. Now, after the celebratory champagne and haggis (or whatever one drinks with haggis), comes the hard work of ironing out a new division of power. Less surprising was the continued upheaval in the NFL, as yet another player was arrested for domestic violence. On Friday, Commissioner Roger Goodell pledged to "make changes" and "do better." But the uniformly negative response to Goodell's fumbled press conference makes it clear that this NFL season will continue to be defined more by what happens off the field than on it.
This week, the world reeled from a welter of cross currents. Though the "yes" vote on independence lost in the end, the Scottish referendum revealed a passionately dis-United Kingdom. Elsewhere, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in India, the other Asian giant, calling for a global economic alliance of the "world's factory and world's back office." On Wall Street, China's Alibaba launched what is expected to be the biggest market valuation of an IPO ever. Pope Francis, meanwhile, mused that we had already entered "a piecemeal WWIII." In an exclusive commentary for The WorldPost, former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown argues that the real quarrel of his fellow Scots is with the dislocations of globalization, not the Union. (continued)
Scotland's independence vote has been cast, and its citizens chose overwhelmingly to remain part of Great Britain. But this historic vote should be studied by all those who want to affect political and economic change around the world, because there are important lessons to be learned.
5. Who issued a report stating that North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system"? a. The United Nations
For almost everybody in Scotland the referendum vote is seen as not the end of the matter; the key question is, "What now?"