David Byrne Warns Scottish Referendum Voters of Danger of Independence

Scottish musician says it "might be a bit much to handle."

David Byrne Warns Scottish Referendum Voters of Danger of Independence
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David Byrne has warned Scottish people about the dangers of independence, saying that it "might be a bit much to handle."

AsĀ NME noters, an independence referendum will be held on September 18, which could see Scotland break away from the rest of the UK.

Byrne, who was born in Scotland and holds both a UK and US passport, gave his views on the Yes Vote in a new interview with the Evening Standard.

"As an outsider, my sense would be that by raising the issue again, Scotland can get a bit more autonomy and self-control, but complete independence might be a bit much to handle," he said. "I have lived in the States pretty much my whole life, but from my parents and everything, there's still an affinity to maybe a Scottish sense of humour, and some of the attitudes that go with that."

Earlier this year, the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Sting were among a list of more than 200 famous faces who signed an open letter urging Scottish voters to keep Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.

David Bowie has also expressed his wishes for Scotland to stay with the UK.

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    cyclonus
    I think David Tennant hit the nail on the head when he chose not to comment despite being from Scotland when he said that he doesn't live there anymore so he didn't see the point in discussing it
    Gala-Vine
    Scotland get a a rare chance to actually break one of the rotten legs of westminster!, and have a chance at real democracy!.. go Scotland!!
    guitarist41
    I cannot see how Scotland will be much better off with independence, but I also cannot see how we'd be much worse off.
    Smegal
    I think the biggest damage would be that the UK will be divided. By all accounts england will be about the same, but what good is a united set of kingdoms if they arent united, what does that say to other nations. All it will do is destroy BOTH nations reputations in a diplomatic sense.
    blackone666
    It's actual democracy if you can't decide the future of your country?
    theclassicrock
    Where did that come from?
    WhiteStripesIII
    The Scottish vote has minimal effect on the outcome of UK elections and the Scottish generally have different political ideologies compared to the English. David Byrne really shouldn't be commenting on something he knows nothing about - he says himself that he hasn't lived in Scotland for most of his life. Anyways, independence hasn't been "too much to handle" for countless other countries over the last 70 years, I'm pretty we'd handle just fine.
    Mahoru
    Exactly. As you probably know, here in Catalonia we're in a very similar situation, with the difference that the Spanish government just doesn't give a sh*t about our opinion and all we get from them is negatives to everything, even before proposing anything. It's ridiculous, they want to decide our present without asking, try to erase our past and now we can't even ASK the population about our future? That's the last straw, and they're stupid enough to think that if they keep ignoring us we'll forget about this. I'm sure Scotland will be able to handle an independence situation just fine, and I'm also sure we will. And for that reason, since we're supposed to live in democracy, we should all be able to have a say about our future and what we think is the best for those we care about.
    WhiteStripesIII
    I've been following the movement in Catalunya and I have my fingers crossed for you, same with Veneto in Italy!
    christianonbass
    Jagger and Bowie are Brits. Of course they want Scotland to stay part of the UK. People warned us Americans about it being "too much to handle" if we became independent from Britain...but I'll say we manged very well thank you!
    iommi600
    My 2 cents: I have nothing against their independence. That said, it could bring some economic hardships for them. The Bank of England is the spine of their financial system, basically, and they'll probably need a ****ton of austerity as well. It would take some time for them to get the country back on its feet. Far from impossible, of course, but still... Inb4 "aye shut the ****ing **** up ye english prick!!!!111!!"
    Blew1
    Why the hell would anyone care what Bowie and Jagger have to say!? They both got so wasted they ended up bumming each other! Stay out of politics rock stars!!
    cyclonus
    Oh look, more musicians jumping on a political debate
    eatfresh1736
    On a country that he has a personal relationship with? Is that a problem?
    cyclonus
    A country he's barely lived in. I'm related to Scotland with family up there but I don't live there or contribute to it in any way so as far as I'm concerned, I'm not in a position to tell them what they should or shouldn't do and neither is David Byrne. But I don't know why musicians, and celebrities in general, think they have a soapbox to publicly comment on political topics. If it was a politician making a comment on how rock artists should write songs, everyone on here would dismiss it
    travislausch
    Last I checked, didn't the outcome of political actions affect everyone, including musicians? Or is Scotland not a democracy?
    gibsongalore184
    I don't understand why just because you are not from Scotland, you have no rights to have an opinion about Scotland. Should we also all keep our mouths shut about the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Gaza, etc.? Yes, if politicians made comments about how to write songs despite not being musicians, we would totally dismiss it; but thats completely different. Politicians don't make music, but I'm assuming most of us live in a democracy ourselves. International politics affect everyone, internationally. Who cares if you want to put in your opinion? You have every right to.
    Smegal
    I don't see what they have to gain by breaking free. They have independant laws from england, they have votes on english law (Which is not true the other way), they have full rights to work in england as scottish citizens, they gain all the benefits of any policy that england forges. Essentially they are treated like english citizens and equals.Independance would mean they have no support in economic terms nor legal terms. Given scotland isn't a strong economical nation that could prove disastrous.Additionally, why are scottish citizens currently working abroad not being allowed the vote. Many scottish citizens in the UK have been barred from the vote, which isn't very democratic. Additionally, i'm not even sure scotland is allowed to do so legally given england purchased scotland after their gambit of trading carpets to the carribean failed.
    sdbrown89
    your comment is literally too moronic to argue with... england purchased scotland... what does that even ****ing mean!?
    Smegal
    It means scotland became economically destroyed by bad investements, england bailed them out and scotland became a part of english land, we then decided that scotland should maintain it's culture and remain it's own state. I would like to know why you think it is moronic, it is history, look it up.
    Smegal
    To quote wikipedia. "In 1698, the Scots attempted an ambitious project to secure a trading colony on the Isthmus of Panama. Almost every Scottish landowner who had money to spare is said to have invested in the Darien scheme. Its failure bankrupted these landowners, but not the burghs. Nevertheless, the nobles' bankruptcy, along with the threat of an English invasion, played a leading role in convincing the Scots elite to back a union with England.[71][72] On 22 July 1706, the Treaty of Union was agreed between representatives of the Scots Parliament and the Parliament of England and the following year twin Acts of Union were passed by both parliaments to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain with effect from 1 May 1707.[20]" The union was forged and england took on all the losses scotland encrued. But with the taxes between the nations now gone, both flurished during the colonial expansion, with glasgow being a prime tobacco port.
    WhiteStripesIII
    Scotland went into the Union with no national debt, it was only rich noblemen that lost money on the Darien Scheme. The English government made it illegal for an Englishman to trade with a Scotsman (Alien Act) therefore cutting off Scotland's trade. The now-skint noblemen were offered large sums of money to vote on Scotland uniting with England, of course when this happened there was mass riots all over Scotland.
    Smegal
    On the alien act. "The Act contained a provision that it would be suspended if the Scots entered into negotiations regarding a proposed union of the parliaments of Scotland and England. Combined with English financial offers to refund Scottish losses on the Darien scheme, the Act achieved its aim, leading to the Acts of Union 1707 uniting the two countries as the Kingdom of Great Britain."
    Smegal
    also, the act didnt make it illegal. It stated they would be treated as foreign nationals.
    WhiteStripesIII
    A trade embargo was placed. Scotland was shafted into joining the Union.
    eclecticragnar
    Really?!? There weren't other nations to trade with? Scotland would have done exactly the same in England's place in terms of the Alien Act. England had no union at the time and therefore NO compunction to stick their necks out for Scotland.
    WhiteStripesIII
    Different times. Trade was far more difficult and Scotland's trade with England made over 50% of it. England had always wanted control over Scotland and this was taking advantage to get it.
    Smegal
    So just because trade is difficult we should just help our neighbours? Trade wasn't easy for anyone, If england truly wanted to scotland would have been annexed into england and the entire of great Briton would be english, however it was not all about control and an autonomous partner is more useful than an enslaved nation, scotland remained scottish and an agreement was reached whereupon england bailed scotland out of their monetary problems and scotland would become partners in the united kingdom. Having not read the document myself im unsaure what clauses allow for the seperation of the union but I can't imagine one side can just say they are out and it be that simple, in either case what does scotland have to gain by leaving?
    Joeseye
    Independence = international political and economic suicide for Scotland. Also, England is not Britain. Dumbass nationalists. FREEEEDOM.
    coffinpilot
    Hmmm , whatever , lets face the fact that it will be doomed if we end up with Alex Salmond in charge , he'll eat all the pies .
    Himynameisben95
    Once again, the referendum is not about Alex Salmond. If Scotland gains independence, there will be a general election, and whoever wins THAT will gain power. That is what is called "Democracy". We will not be rule by Alex Salmond from day one. Although if we were, it would be a damn sight better than being ruled by Cameron, Clegg, Milliband or Farage.