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Opinion
Pankaj Mishra

Scots Aren't the Only Angry Bunch

If Scots vote for secession this week, they'll shock the world. But they may simply be signaling the start of a trend globally.
The ayes may indeed have it.
The ayes may indeed have it.

This week's referendum in Scotland could result in the U.K. losing almost one-third of its landmass, and 8 percent of its population, and, very likely, its present prime minister. In a summer rich with shocks, the breakup of a United Nations Security Council member suddenly seems more likely than the long-predicted fracturing of Iraq.

Most people I spoke with when traveling through Scotland last month expected the battle for independence waged by the Scottish Nationalist Party to have been lost. Recent opinion polls, however, show that almost half of Scottish voters hope to break free of their London masters on Thursday.