Monday, 31 March 2014

My latest article: Scotland, Norway and unions

Yesterday I had a short article in the Scottish newspaper Sunday Herald (external link) in reply to a claim made in the same newspaper last Sunday (external link) by seventeen mainly Norwegian authors (Jon Fosse, Jostein Gaarder et al) that the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union in 1905 is an argument for why Scotland should vote for independence from Britain in the referedum on 18 September.
Unfortunately the editor has distorted the first paragraph so that it does not make sense, but the point is that the events of 1905 are a poor argument for a yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum, as the arrangement the Scottish government proposes after the referendum is similar to the one between Norway and Sweden before 1905, i.e. a union of crowns between two independent states. However, there may be other lessons to be learned by the Scots from the Norwegian experience which such a loose union.
The Swedish-Norwegian union of crowns will by the way also be the topic of my article in the May issue of Majesty, occasioned both by the bicentenary of Norway's independence as well as the upcoming Scottish referendum.

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