I think the No vote will win in Scotland today. But it’s a pyrrhic victory for the UK. Nearly half of Scotland wants independence. And they want a republic. That is a body slam not only to Great Britain, but also to the concept of the monarchy. Watch where the No vote predominated. If it was in the rural and small town regions, then that is not a tenable majority. Urban populations are increasing, and rural regions decreasing. Urban voters are always more leftist and anti-monarchial than rural and small town voters. And also wait for the exit poll data. If the under thirties voted Yes, then you can see future trends. And if people under thirty do not have any loyalty to the monarchy, they will not likely fall in love with the idea of a king or queen when they hit middle age. Loyalty to a monarch is something you are raised on, not something you suddenly develop in middle age.
England knows now that they have to grant more home rule to Scotland, a lot more. Yet the more powers they grant the Scottish National Parliament, the more people in Scotland will see it as the seat of government. And the more the Parliament in London will seem like the government of an occupier. Conflicts between the two sets of power–especially on fiscal matters–will be come much more acute and only exacerbate the feelings of Britain being an occupying government. And much of the population will begin to resent the monarchy more and more. And the monarchy is, fundamentally, the only thing linking Scotland and England. It is the United Kingdom, after all. It’s a feudal institution that is still treated as viable in England, but increasingly is resented in Scotland. These feelings will only get angrier.
The Yes people will now begin a long slow separatist campaign that will wrap itself in Scottish history and symbolism. These pro-independence people will be sullen, angry and vocal. Their numbers will only increase. Scotland will be a republic within a generation. And there is no future for the monarchy. It’s days are numbered. Without Scotland, there is essentially no United Kingdom, and without a kingdom, there’s no need for a monarchy. It would survive as an English institution–much like in Holland, Sweden, Denmark–but by becoming an English rather than British institution it weakens loyalty in Wales, Ulster, and in dominions like Canada, Australia and even New Zealand.
Keep an eye on those Dominions. How long will Australia, Canada and New Zealand remain monarchies? Which they are. Each is a constitutional monarchy, not a republic. Which seems so weird.
By the way, if you ever want to shoot down a raving Australian as he dumps all over us stupid Americans, ask him why they have a queen. Never fails. They get quiet and mumble about how they tried. Then ask what happened on November 11, 1975. He won’t say Armistice Day. He’ll just drink his beer and sulk.