It’s NY Tartan Week
This last week Nicola Sturgeon wrote her letter to Teresa May, informing her that Scotland intends to have it’s say in the future of that country, and not follow along with the U.K.’s Brexit wave. Sturgeon has also planned a visit to America for industry meet ups and NY Tartan Week. She doesn’t plan to visit the White House, as she was part of the movement to ban Trump from the U.K. during the Trump 2015 Presidential Campaign. I think she has the wherewithal to understand that truly the power on this great country can be in it’s states and regions, and each state here is more a country with it’s own economy. That means industrial allies. Who’s to say, but I think it’s a bold move. After all, California is one of the largest countries within a country, and a meeting is set up with Jerry Brown. She’ll be here to push Scotland’s interests in industry, and no doubt try to figure out what happened to previous industry promises that came to nought for Scotland from our shores.
Teresa May this week invoked Article 50 and has begun the process to “Hard Brexit” from the EU. The day before, Sturgeon announced formally her intentions to have Scotland take a vote again on independence. Things will be spicey again this political Brexit/Inderef2 spring. I am actually excited about seeing some democracy in another country. Hopefully a protest or two.
What does this mean for traveling? As I previously wrote, there will be more protests and marches. Something live to watch, not just visiting historical sites. It’s history in the making. Remember our 99% marches and Occupation movement in the states a few years back? Have you heard much of that lately? Not really. It’s now morphed into a more, “We are not happy with the loss of our civil liberties” movement that has gone global. While many of us try to contribute to various online social giving programs to help right the wrongs of the world, to help third world nations discover democracy, we have had to back up a bit and go back to defend the countries we come from that already have it. It’s kind of like when we have forgotten and taken for granted that we have innoculations against diseases. We take for granted that sickness will not touch us, the pox is a thing of the past. It is back, morphed into it’s next mutant version and back to create disease. Democracy and civil liberties are taking a bashing again. New parties are emerging. There are more opinions than ever, and many are taking our civilization backwards seventy years. Dystopia is becoming the norm, the now, on the edge. I think traveling and getting out into the world now is a must. We must see that we are not the only ones dealing with these issues in the world and we certainly will not be the last, unless we do not stand up and truly lose this human race. I foresee that more families will be taking a more political, educational vacation in places like the U.K. to show children how the world is shaping. I certainly hope so.
So why does a left coaster in the US care about Scotland right now? Family ties of old and a country I have visited. I talked with real people and listened to their lives and watched my very first Scottish protest. I have read articles on both sides of the IndeRef2 issue and can see the concerns and how it might change a nation. I also find the hope that maybe these changes will make Scotland even more beautiful and strong, it certainly is already.
Reunification or and Independent Northern Ireland?
To add to the mix, there have been movements in Ireland for some years to address the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and coexistence on an island. The UK still has it’s small toe hold on the island from the days of the great empire. The people of Northern Ireland consider themselves part of the UK. However, there are still many who still want to have Ireland for the Irish. And now there is a movement to break away all together, become independent and join the EU. Could Scotland and Northern Ireland become rebels together and achieve great things? They are already great, they just need to redefine themselves and continue their growth.
Northern Ireland is having voting this week. What’s on the mind of voters is the questions of the small country’s place in a Post-Brexit world. While the country has stabilised over the last 30 years and become an amazing, strong country, questions are being brought up of whether to reunite the North with the Republic? Or, some believe the north should become it’s own. The EU is watching very closely. Why is this so important to the people? Many reasons, the old religious ones come to mind, but mostly it’s about economy and exports. As we saw money drop in value with the Pound Sterling last summer and the news of the soft Brexit, money was being lost in the plummeting of the value. To pull from and existing alliance will cost millions in revenue and to stay may also cost money on other levels. What does all this mean to travelers over the next two years? In some instances you will be able to play the money if you have a stronger dollar for example. Sadly the current economy is making the dollar hurt badly. You may see to cost of some hotels and travel go up or down. The railways for example may see a rise in pricing, and transportation on the whole may go up as petrol access may go up in cost. And it’s not just Ireland and Scotland, some in Wales are calling for an independence, too. Prepare for more new traveling rules not just from the White House.
Travel in the region will possibly make for hard borders in the next two years. There is talk that RyanAir may not serve the UK after Brexit and hop straight to Europe. This means less choice of hopping between the islands and can mean more expensive travel if the competition in not there. While negotiations are still going on and votes will not happen until 2018-19 timeframes, much can change in a few months. Keep abreast of this interesting time for many interconnected nations may have changing economies and travel related fees, as well as many opinions as to what is happening. However, while you are traveling, respect the people’s views that you meet. If you must discuss politics, always allow for the fact that it is not your country. Be careful of the, “We do it this way in America” attitude, the US is changing as well and many European nations are not happy with how they are being treated by the US. Open an educational dialog. Listen.