Scottish history consists of a series of discontinuities where there have been violent changes of direction from one course of direction to another. These changes of direction through the centuries triggered intense conflicts and the replacement of one political entity by another with a subsequent displacement of the elite on the losing side, The greatest of the conflicts was in the Wars of Independence which were eventually decided through the victories of King Robert the Bruce (1306 – 1329). However there have been many others of greater or lesser importance through the centuries such as the overthrow of the absolute Stuart dynasty and the efforts to restore it from 1689 – 1760.
Beginning in the 1960′s this current period of discontinuity was an effort to move from being part of an Anglo-UK entity to that of a Scottish one with a concomitant attempt to move towards being an Independent Social democracy on the Scandinavian model against the current orthodoxy of the present neo Liberal consensus. The move to this model from the 1960′s onwards by an ever-increasing proportion of the Scottish population meant that there would be conflict with the previous political entity and this has continued in the intervening period. The decisive moment in this saga has been the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament which in the last fifteen years has greatly facilitated the progress towards an Independent state. The last three years have seen an unprecedented official and grassroots Independence campaign which has moved the idea of an Social democratic Scotland significantly forward.
As in eras of previous conflicts and periods of discontinuity the bitterness and intensity of the process leading to an Independent Scotland away from the previous structure reflects the fact that along with the previous political structure the existing elites and their supporters also fear displacement, The current developments in Scottish politics mean that for the first time in Scottish history, one of the periods of discontinuity may lead to a genuine democracy instead of a new elite replacing the old one.