Scottish Independence

An Issue ultimately to be decided by the people of Scotland, and the agenda of how the government will go about doing it and what questions are to be asked, also an issue that ought to be decided by the Scottish Government at Holyrood.

Sending up the cavalry from Westminster, trying to dictate how a nation runs their own affairs and threatening all sorts of legal rebuffs, not ‘being allowed’ to keep pound sterling (George Osbourne), trying to say the SNP are damaging the economy and business (David Cameron) by prolonging announcing the date of said referendum and scaremongering (the worst form of politics), is going to do absolutely NO favours for Cameron and his coalition government.

Lord Steel, a former Holyrood Presiding Officer, said today sending in the big guns (the coalition big shots from london) could be portrayed as Bullying, and as both sides of the border continue the tit for tat arguments using the latest poll or official figure to join the yes or no camp against the other side, serious damage is being done to London’s image.

It almost makes me think back to Imperial Britian and Colonialism. Lets not forget britain has been formed as a colony for thousands of years, and granted there was a turbulent past between north and south even way back with the Celts and Romans, yet only since the Act of The Union in 1707 has Great Britain existed as a nation.

Now there’s lots of good things and lots of bad things about a group of countries belonging to one big union, too many points and and arguement for another day, todays issue is independence. The bottom line here is a little over 300 years ago Scottish politicians where heavily bribed, including The Earl of Glasgow, Second Duke of Queensberry who is rumoured to of taken substantial amounts of money from London in return for his aligence to the flag of Britain and a deeply unpopular alliance grew between both countries subsequently that led to months of protests, riots and mod rule in many Scottish cities. Robert Burns wrote an often miss understood poem, ‘Parcel O’Rogues’,  about the whole affair, it has also been used as a song by recent Scottish singers including Dougie Mclean.

There was a ruling upper class that pocketed all of the money and where happy with English rule. The working class where left even more desolate and it took years to rebuild the country and bring it to the flourishing nation Scotland is today.

300 years on, Scotland is one of the world leaders in innovative renewable energy, still holds in excess of 1Trillion barrels of oil in north sea oil fields, has a healthy abundance of fish stokes offshore ( many of these fishing waters where sold off to many Scandinavian governments under Thatchers administration), a thriving tourism economy driven by a now bigger than 3Billion a year Whiskey industry, internationally renowned golf courses and incredible unspoiled landscapes and islands you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

An interesting fact here for you, Scotland’s population accounts for less than 1% of Europe’s population but despite this produces over 25% of the renewables energy Europe makes, something bully organisations such as the Trump administration are not going to change – even if they offer to pay people to campaign against our great leader Alex Salmond and protest at what can only be a good thing for the country as a whole.

Scotland is a beautifully unique country.

To think that this nation that has worked so hard to combat it’s own problems and been a world leader in innovation, technology and education should have its future dictated by a Government that has merely one conservative MP (David Mundell- MP forDumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale) elected in the entire country is frankly ludicrous.

This isn’t an issue of Anti-English, indeed my own mother is English and my Father Scottish, it’s about a nation deciding for themselves how they shall be run and having their own say in the most important question that will soon be put to them, Independence or not.

There’s clearly lot’s of legalities to be argued over, what currency will an Independent Scotland use, will they really be able to Join the Euro Zone, will Scotland have its own passport, will a new border agency and numerous border check point spring up, what will happen to the army navy and air force, the decommissioning of Faslane Nuclear Base (Something Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has said could take up to ten years), wether Scotland would retain the reigning Monarch as they’re own Sovereign Ruler – most of the commonwealth countries already do so, but I think I speak on behalf of a majority and steadily growing number of Scots that have full faith and confidence in SNP leader and First Minister for Scotland Alex Salmond in bringing about the right changes that will have a positive impact on Scotland as an independent country.

In all of this, and what I’m sure will become an even more heated debate in the run up to the referendum on both sides of the border, let’s not forget, Scotland becoming an Independent Country isn’t going to suddenly mean we become a far off distant foreign land, after all we are landlocked with England we will still be neighbours either way and it’s in everyone’s best interest to let nations decide their own fate and make their own history.

I leave you with that famous Robert Burns poem, ‘Parcel O’Rogues’, make up you’re own mind on this and look at the facts on both sides before coming to a conclusion on this, don’t let someone else, some paper or personality decide for you, that how a healthy democracy functions, let’s keep it that way.

Fareweel tae all oor Scottish fame
Fareweel oor ancient glory
Fareweel even tae oor Scottish name
Sae famed in martial story
Now Sark runs tae the Solway sand
Tweed runs tae the ocean
To mark where England’s province stand
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation

What force or guile could ne’er subdue
Through many warlike ages
Is wrought now by a coward few
For hireling traitor’s wages
The English steel we could disdain
Secure in valour’s station
But English gold has been oor bane
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation

Oh would that ere I saw the day
That treason thus should sell us
My auld grey heid was laid in clay
Wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace
But pith an’ power tae my last hour
I’ll mak’ this declaration
We’re bought and sold for English gold
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation

Robert Burns (1791)

Robert Burns

Robert Burns

2 thoughts on “Scottish Independence

  1. homophilosophicus says:

    A Chara, the Saxon is a queer creature if ever there was one. As James Joyce quite insightfully pointed out in Ulysses, there are three things the Irish man (this is true for the Scots as it is for the Welsh) should fear “the horn of a bull, the hoof of a horse and the smile of a Saxon.” The Bard himself was keen to point out in the poem you quoted in full; if they don’t buy you they certainly will sell you. One point that has been missed in the wider discussion so far has been the treatment of the western Gael in her struggle for self determination – the Black and Tans, the B-Specials and State sponsored terror from 1916 to 1922. In the northern colony of Ulster in more recent times, unarmed ‘british’ (I noticed you failed to capitalise this and ‘london’ also) subjects were fired upon by the crown’s armed forces. All they were asking for was the right to cast a vote – never mind a nation of their own. Yet this was maybe more acceptable because they were Papists!

    I am a Scot (Ayrshire), but like you I live abroad (Dublin). We live in interesting times, but if the Irish Republic has taught me anything, it is that there truly are worse things than poverty. 1314? How’s about 2014?

  2. matthewoharedance says:

    We certainly do live in interesting times indeed. Ireland and the implications Scottish Independence would have on the country is something I didn’t touch on as it’s something i intend upon writing about further in more depth in the coming weeks. I think you made some interesting points, but I think what goes to show is that if Scotland can achieve Independence by peaceful political means, perhaps that will give the politicians and people of Northern Ireland the momentum to have their own referendum on the matter. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out in the future. 1314 was an important year in shaping the history of Scotland, and the legacy figures like Bruce and Wallace left behind is part of Scotland’s unique heritage that ought to be preserved and taught more in schools. That’s an interesting comparison you make between both dates, 1314 and 2014, 700 years on perhaps our great nation will regain that victory Bruce and his soldiers made at Bannockburn in a peaceful democratic referendum.

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