This is currently just a piece of idle speculation but on 19th September 2014 the people of Scotland will be voting in a referendum in which they have the choice between independence or stick with the rest of us and the United Kingdom. What if the people of Scotland decided for independence, how would it affect naturism on this island?
Just for the sake of argument I am going to assume Scotland becomes independent and so I don’t tie myself into knots of different meaning, if I write Scotland then I will mean an independent Scotland; if I write United Kingdom (UK) then I will mean England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
British Naturism and an Independent Scotland
It is unclear how many members BN has resident north of the border but, as I understand it, British Naturism will no longer represent them once independence has taken effect. Under INF rules one country, one representative organisation. That does not mean foreign nationals could not join the representative organisation of another country, plenty of naturists in Northern Ireland for instance, not only belong to BN but the Irish Naturist Association (INA) too. It does mean they end up paying for two memberships of course, and paying double to the INF but if that is the price they are willing to pay….
As for what remained of the current region – SANER – which includes Northern Ireland, the English counties could easily be absorbed into North Western, and Yorkshire and East Midlands Regions, unless BN creates a whole new region of course. But that still leaves Northern Ireland, what could be done with that? Attach it to North Western Region perhaps? Or even dissolve it and have an all Ireland naturist association, but then we come against the INF rule one country, one representative body again and officially, Northern Ireland will still be a part of the United Kingdom.
Only, it isn’t just a question of members. What if independence comes halfway through a Scottish members’ year? Will BN have to refund what remained of their membership fee? If a Scottish naturist association was formed, could that money be transferred to the new organisation and a new membership created?
I suspect the fallout from Scottish independence will affect BN, representing the UK, much less than Scottish naturists who will have to decide how they will organise themselves. With just two landed clubs and one swim/landless club, all located in the south of the country they could easily follow the template given to them from BN or follow what the Irish have done. Or they can start with a clean sheet of paper and create something that is unique to them. But perhaps the first question they will need to ask will be: Is Scottish Naturism a viable prospect?
Of course, this whole thing may be a pointless exercise as (at the time of writing) the BBC website puts the opinion polls at 53 per cent AGAINST independence, 36 per cent FOR, with nine per cent undecided. There is still 21/2 months to go however, and anything can happen between now and then.