Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Scottish independence and the hidden tide

Yes, or no, that is the question - certainly on everyone's minds in Scotland this week. The referendum on Scottish independence takes place on thursday and by the next day my main colleague, Alisdair, and I will know whether we're both British anymore. Both of us have strong opinions, he's obviously more qualified to judge than me, but neither of us have a vote. 
I'm interested in the politics, the implications for business, finances, exports and imports, defence, etc., but I'm more fascinated by the inter-play between the desire for independence and unity.
I confess my primary interest, in the case of Scotland, is as an observer - I'm not passionate either way and respect it's their decision - I do think we would all be the worse for further disintegration of the UK and hope Scotland doesn't vote 'yes', as I suspect they'll live to regret it. However, I'm more interested in the tension between these two forces (independence & unity) in any system. 
The structures built around power and control and a centralised hub are crumbling. This, I suggest, is the hidden tide, which is flowing into every aspect of the Western cultural landscape. The evidence is around us almost everywhere - business, national organisations, churches, etc. Even multi-national power companies are collaborating in an unimaginable way ten years ago. Within the Western Church, however, I suspect we shall continue to attempt to re-build the ways which served us well for the majority of last century! 
This weeks referendum remains too close to call - even that suggests everyone has an interest in both directions - I don't blame anyone 'north of the border' (how much different will that sound next week?) wanting 'control of our own destiny', but my guess is everyone also recognises there needs to remain many elements of connectedness. It's always sad when we cannot find a different path. 

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