Hey y’all! I arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland yesterday and it is beautiful! From the mountains to the sea, the city is filled with amazingly beautiful old architecture. The pace of things is so much slower here, but the tourist element of where we are staying cannot be avoided. I am loving the food, especially the haggis pies, and the scotch whisky here is unlike anything I have had the opportunity to try before. If anything, Scotland is far more connected to the environment than London and the weather has been cold but extremely pleasant.
In this entry I really wanted to get at the crux of what I am studying on this trip: the political climate of the United Kingdom in the post World War II years, as we just met with a member of the Scottish Parliament and that has been on my mind recently. While there is an incredible amount of national pride that is present in Scotland, the political environment is far more left wing than anything I have ever experienced. The policy prescriptions espoused by those who proclaim themselves as ‘center left’ in this country are reserved for the far leftists of the United States. When it comes to unionization, healthcare, environmental policy, rent control, or wages, the left-wing ideology dominates the dialogue in this country. However, there is not the same degree of polarization in this nation, as even the right wing of the Scottish Parliament accepts the large-scale social programs to a large degree, and the people of Scotland elect, overwhelmingly, left wing candidates. It is such a different dialogue than I am used to back home, especially as a strong conservative myself, but that is part of the learning process. I hope to continue to broaden my knowledge of the Scottish political landscape, as they are likely to be an independent nation within the next five years, and the role the Scottish will play on the world stage will impact western policy for centuries to come.
Outside of the political dialogue, the countryside is beautiful in this nation and I could not be happier to be here. This is my first Fourth of July outside of the United States, and to everyone back home I would like to wish you a very Happy Independence Day! I look forward to updating you all again soon. Cheers!