18.09.2014

Aye for Independence?

This is actually a non-blog, but if it were a real one, a short disclaimer would be in place. I generally don’t blog about politics! It is not my field of expertise even if I had some opinions about it, I would refrain from spilling them into Bilot’s communication channel.

On the other hand, I am intrigued about general phenomena and one of these is when certain macro-initiatives start to cluster. One of these is patriotic movements which seem to correlate with economic cycles. When times get tough, thoughts on independence start to spur.

It is even more interesting, if you can witness a phenomenon from close-by. Bilot has some 20 different nationalities on its payroll. When a local phenomenon or movement takes place somewhere on our planet, there is a relatively high probability that it at least indirectly affects all employees somehow.

For one of our employees (“bilots”), Dylan Drummond, today’s referendum polling for Scotland’s independence is surely a moment of truth. As he is a Finnish resident, he is not able to cast his vote, but he can of course rally. In fact, he will have his 15 [more like 10] minutes of fame tomorrow morning on YLE morning TV at 10AM.

Dylan

What does he have to say about Scottish Independence? Does he see this in a broader context?

“Well, obviously I am in favour of independence for Scotland, so that there will be more recognition for our national office dress code (pictured)… just jokin’ ye… one main reason I support independence is because I think that for a long time, the political union with rUK (rest-of-UK) has been dysfunctional: the South votes for conservative- and anti-EU- movements (and for storing nuclear weapons near Glasgow), Scotland doesn’t. Scotland has got the taste for taking political responsibility through the devolved Scottish Parliament, and now would be a good time to take full responsibility for our own affairs.

The other reason why I favour independence for Scotland is not a directly rational one, but an emotional one, and one that strangely enough connects to England… if you ask someone from the Big Island where they come from, they will most likely answer: “I’m English”; or “I’m from Scotland”; or “I’m from Wales”… you rarely hear answers such as “I’m from the United Kingdom” or “I’m British”. If you asked, say, of Mika, “So, where are you from?”, and he answered “I’m from the European Union” or “I’m European”, these would be technically correct answers, but not maybe what you expected to hear.

So in the end, I think that while all identities and nationalities are to some extent an imaginative construct in the minds of people, identities like “Scottish”, “Finnish”, or “English” are strongly lived in our phenomenologies, whereas an identity like “British” is only dear to a small sect of political and aristocratic elites.

If Scotland votes No tomorrow, it doesn’t change much: Scotland will still have trouble qualifying for the World Cup, and we will still cheer when England lose to the actual football superpowers.”

Bilot values originality. In a modern, international environment, it is a true asset to have a day-to-day interface to different nationalities, different tribes, different religions and different cultural backgrounds. It helps us stand for more.

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Mika Tanner

Bilot Alumni