Scotland, a Lawyer’s Dream

If you know someone who is eligible to vote in this week’s referendum in Scotland, please tell them to vote “yes” for an independent Scotland.

There are probably good arguments for an independent Scotland (as there may be against it), but I never managed to focus on any of them, because as soon as I heard of the idea, my lawyer’s mind went “$$$$$!!”.

Part of a country splitting from that country with the seceding part wishing to remain in the EU while the remaining part wants to get out of the EU and with the seceding part wishing to retain the monarch, the currency and possibly the military of the remaining country against that country’s wishes, and all of that in a country which doesn’t even have a written constitution. Wow. You couldn’t have made that up if you wanted to. That will take thousands of lawyers several years to sort out. If you start law school now, you better learn Scottish.

This is my dream scenario:

  • Scotland will narrowly vote “yes” for independence.
  • The vote will be so close that it will be contested. A recount will be demanded.
  • Different courts will decide this matter differently, with the UK Supreme Court weighing in and Scottish courts disputing the jurisdiction of the UK Supreme Court because after all Scotland is now independent.
  • In some parts of Scotland, referendums will be initiated for independence from an independent Scotland with the goal of remaining part of the UK.
  • After Queen Elizabeth II does not refuse becoming Queen of Scotland, republicans in the remaining UK start a referendum, seeking to abolish the monarchy.
  • Northern Ireland wonders why it can’t join the Republic of Ireland.
  • Wales demands greater autonomy.
  • The Queen dies. Prince William accedes to the throne of England, his brother Harry accedes to the throne of Scotland. Prince Charles sues both of them.
  • Now Scots launch a referendum of their own, seeking to abolish the monarchy.
  • The people behind the campaign to abolish the monarchy in the remaining UK want to withdraw their referendum, because now that Scotland has a King, they want to keep theirs too.
  • After 3 years of legal debate and court cases, someone (a lawyer who dreams of a bigger share of the pie) notices that the fate of the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey and Sark has been unresolved for centuries and needs to be put on proper legal grounding. He initiates independence movements there (in the case of the three Channel Islands secretly but heavily supported by France).
  • The UK holds a referendum on whether to leave the EU, but it remains unclear whether Scots are allowed to take part in the referendum.
  • Scotland argues that it is part of the EU because the UK was when it split and that it doesn’t need to apply as a new state. The EU’s opinion on this is evenly divided.
  • Germany splits into 16 states, arguing that they are now 16 independent member states of the EU, and claims 16 EU commissioners.
  • Scotland applies to the UN, but it’s application is vetoed by the UK’s ambassador. Scotland argues that the UK no longer exists and that he is therefore no longer ambassador at all, but in any case that he has no more veto power. The UN Security Council is evenly split on the issue.
  • Some of the local referendums in Scotland were successful and the remaining UK accepts them as UK territory. Scotland however does not recognize the independence of these counties. As some of them are on the coast, they also claim part of the territorial waters, including oil, gas and fishing rights.
  • It is revealed that King William is actually not Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson. He has to abdicate, upon which his wife immediately leaves him. Now King Harry of Scotland and Prince Charles both lay claim to the title of King of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

and so on, and so on, and so on … until somebody will discover that a military conflict with a clear result is sometimes a better dispute resolution mechanism than anything that lawyers can achieve.

If you think that this is far-fetched and you believe that no country in the world would opt to go through such a complicated mess, watch the following video. If it will happen anywhere, it will happen in this country.

Posted in Law, Politics, Scotland, UK | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Scotland secretly preparing for Independence

The world looks to Scotland this week, where supporters and opponents of Scottish independence are fighting tooth and nail before the referendum on 18 September 2014. But the vote doesn’t really matter anymore. The Scottish government is set to declare independence, whatever the result of the referendum will be.

There is too much overwhelming evidence that the secret preparations for Scotland’s independence have already gone too far to be rolled back:

Currency:

Economic and financial factors formed a large part of the public debate, with one obvious question being: what currency will an independent Scotland have? Oddly enough, even many of those favouring independence from the UK want to keep the British pound. The British government has stated that it won’t allow that, apparently not realisScottish pounding that it’s hard to ban somebody from using your currency (see Kosovo using the Euro).

But on my visit to Scotland, I discovered what the real plan is: on several occasions, I was accidentally given Scottish pounds. Millions of them have been printed already and some of them were “lost” in the production process. They have entered the black market and it seemed to me like it was an open secret, because they were widely accepted in almost any shop.

Football:

The government lawyers on both sides with whom I spoke seemed not to have considered the future of British football. But to voters, this is a very important issue.

Here too, preparations for Scottish independence have already gone rather far: two weeks ago, an independent Scottish team went to Germany to play none less than the world champion. How the team of a country that doesn’t yet exist managed to set up this match remains a mystery. Maybe Germany was happy to find anyone who wanted to play against them voluntarily after their World Cup win. Maybe it was due to Germans’ notorious problems with geography (they never understand the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain).

Military:

Not that anyone expects a war, but if you are a newly independent state with lots of oil and gas and you have a land border with a nuclear power which has a history of invading other countries, you need to consider national defence.

Over the last months, Scottish independent fighters have therefore put together several Scottish Army brigades, ready to be formally established on the day of the referendum. I managed to obtain a video from one of their secret exercises. It shows both the need for more professionalism and the determination that the patriotic Scottish soldiers already have.

Border:

“What, do you want to put up a border between Scotland and England?” is the half-joking question which supporters of independence face all the time. Officially, most of them say “no”. If only they knew.

Most other reporters covering Scotland wouldn’t be able to find out about this because they only hang around in pubs in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. But I, being as investigative as Tintin, travelled to the area where the border would be. There are no cities, almost no villages, just a few farmhouses every 50 miles or so. Barren, empty, forbidding landscape.

I walked around for days until I found it: the wall. An enormous wall is secretly being built along the Scottish-English border. Here is some photographic evidence:

Hadrian's Wall 101

Hadrian's Wall 107

It’s not heavily fortified yet, but it already stretches almost from coast to coast. A remarkable feat to pull something like that off without detection!

Language:

After living together in one country for more than 300 years, one unresolved question is the fate of Englishmen living in Scotland and Scots living in England. While intermarriage is still rare (and not recognised by either church), some people have gone to the respective other country to work or study.

The Scottish have devised something very clever: their own language. They have been teaching it for almost a year now in secret evening classes and online courses, and come referendum day, all Scots will switch to Scottish. This also forms an important element of the Scottish national security strategy, as it will prevent any English infiltrators or spies from understanding anything.

Queen:

You’d think that people would be happy about the opportunity to get rid of an unelected dictator monarch, but the Scottish independence campaign actually want to keep the Queen as head of state. (It would be funny if after the split England will have a successful referendum to abolish the monarchy.)

The Queen hasn’t said whether she would be willing to be head of state of an independent Scotland. At her advanced age, more work is not really what she is craving. On the other hand, she is already Queen of Jamaica, Tuvalu, Belize, Canada, Australia, the Bahamas and many more funny countries, so one more or less wouldn’t make much of a difference.

But in order to make sure that the Queen is on board, Scotland lured the Queen to Balmoral Castle in Scotland this week. With the Queen being in Scotland at the time of the referendum and the border ready to go up and be manned (see above under “Border” and “Military”), Scots would simply hold the Queen hostage until she accepts to be on their stamps and coins as well.

(Zur deutschen Fassung dieser exklusiven Enthüllungen.)

Posted in Language, Military, Politics, Scotland, UK | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Putin’s favourite song

This song will be blasting from Russian tanks when they enter Kiev:

Posted in Cold War, Music, Russia | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ISIS recruiting more German fighters

Amin al Husseini instructing Bosnian Waffen-SS volunteers

Amin al Husseini Nazi salute

Amin al Husseini bei bosnischen SS-Freiwilligen

Posted in History, Holocaust, Military, Syria, World War II | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Moser’s Ark

If ever there will be a great flood again and I would be the one tasked with saving the animals, there would only be enough space for a few cats and squirrels.

(In the port of Acre, Israel.)

Posted in Israel | Tagged | 4 Comments

Richard Kiel, 1939-2014

And I thought Jaws was indestructible.

If you have more time, another James Bond fan put together this compilation:

Posted in Death, Films, James Bond | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

When to Smoke (and when not to)

Around 1774, the former Chinese provincial governor Lu Yao provided a set of smoking rules in his book Yan Pu (Smoking Manual). In great detail he addressed the question of when to smoke (and when not to):

Do smoke: after waking up; after a meal; with guests; while writing; when growing tired from reading; while waiting for a good friend who hasn’t shown up yet.

Don’t smoke: while listening to a zither; feeding cranes; appreciating orchids; observing plum blossoms; making ancestral offerings; attending the morning court assembly; sleeping with a beautiful woman.

chinese smoking pipeWhat a coincidence that I almost never engage in any activities that fall under the don’t category, but I do quite a lot of the stuff mentioned in the do list. Personally, I do however prefer to smoke while reading before growing tired from it.

(Source: 1493: How Europe’s Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth by Charles C. Mann)

Posted in Books, China, Health, History | Tagged | Leave a comment