Skip to content

Scottish Independence – What It’s Not About

May 16, 2014

This may seem to some like an odd subject for me to address, so allow me to explain. Ever since I have been involved in the Scottish independence debate I have been seeing assertions, from ‘No’ supporters, about what the debate is ‘all about.’ Of course I’ve also seen a multitude of statements from ‘Yes’ supporters with regard to what it is about. What’s remarkable about this is how little overlap there is between the two. Now this must be very difficult for those who are undecided to understand. It might almost seem as if there are two completely separate debates taking place. Neither side, it would seem, is listening to the other and consequently they are talking at cross purposes. Neither side appears to recognise their opponents’ characterisation of the debate. It is to those of you who are undecided that I wish to address my observations, and I thought perhaps to do so it might be worthwhile to try coming at the subject from a different angle – what it’s not about. I’ve identified, after many, many months of observation, a number of things that, although we hear about them a lot, it’s not actually about. So, in alphabetical order:

Alex Salmond

It’s not all about Alex Salmond. Or any other politician for that matter. The ‘No’ side talk an awful lot about Alex Salmond, but on the ‘Yes’ side you hardly hear him mentioned at all. The ‘No’ side say independence is Salmond’s ‘vanity project,’ they call him the ‘Dear Leader’ (North Korean reference), paint him as a Machiavellian manipulator, an egomaniac, a megalomaniac, a would-be dictator, and from the crudest elements we hear a torrent of personal abuse. I won’t disturb you with the details because they would, well, disturb you.

Now I don’t know Alex Salmond. I’ve never met him. I cannot, therefore, say anything very definitive about his personal qualities, psychological make-up or deep-seated motivations. I strongly suspect many of the people passing judgement on him have never met him either, although that doesn’t seem to deter them one bit, but I prefer to deal in the concrete, with what I know. So what I can tell you about is exactly how Alex Salmond has influenced my thinking and my opinions.

He hasn’t. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I arrived at the conclusion that independence was the only way forward for Scotland long before I’d even heard of Alex Salmond. I arrived at that conclusion entirely by myself, pretty much in isolation, because I arrived at it after I left Scotland. I have written about the circumstances of my leaving in The Moment When You Know so I won’t go into it further here, but the perspective of living elsewhere was very much a part my thinking process.

Now it is undeniable that he played an important part in bringing about the forthcoming referendum, but since I started participating in the online debate I have met a great many supporters of independence, not one of whom has cited him as a reason for their support. They all have their reasons, and the reasons are many and varied, but Salmond is never one of them.

5805812_orig

Anti-English Sentiment

It’s not about anti-English sentiment. It’s not because we ‘hate the English.’ You hear this one a lot too, all the time in fact. But I see very little evidence of it. I suppose there must be a few people who do. Show me a country entirely devoid of racism and I’ll show you, well, nothing, because no such country exists. You just don’t hear that much of it. The message to our English friends seems to be, “It’s not you, it’s us.” Because one thing David Cameron was right about is the fact that the ties of friendship and family between our peoples are many. I myself have family throughout the British Isles. I’ve lived in North Wales and in London in my time, and made good friends there. I’m a great admirer of English culture. The very name of this blog pays tribute to one of my favourite writers, and a very English writer he was.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding here, and it’s this: you don’t have to hate someone, or even mildly dislike them, in order to recognise that you’re not the same as them, that your interests are not necessarily identical. On an individual level this happens when you are very young. It’s called ‘theory of mind.’ It’s when infants realise that other people are other people, independent entities like themselves. At a collective level it happens more gradually. For Scotland it happened somewhere between 700 and 1200 years ago. We recognised that we were one people, part of something bigger than ourselves, our families or our clans. A single nation within, more or less, our current borders. A nation amongst other nations, and not just England, which was going through the same process at about the same time, but we were also in regular touch with the Welsh, the Irish, and most of Western Europe from the Baltic to the Mediterranean.

Now you might think that sense of national identity would have been subsumed, after 307 years, into a British identity, but that has not happened. You can look at polls, you can look at the census, the vast majority of people in Scotland still give ‘Scottish’ as their principal nationality. It’s important that I say principal, because interestingly even relatively recent migrants and children of migrants who still identify with another nationality also identify as Scottish rather than British. Again, this does not mean they hate anyone. It’s just who they think they are.

This is only half of the story however. Despite the best efforts of the media at ‘dumbing down’ (not just in the UK but all over the western world) the Scots still seem to be able to distinguish between individuals and their governments. Which is why, when you listen to the ‘Yes’ supporters, you don’t really hear people talking about ‘the English,’ but you do hear them talking about Westminster. The name Westminster embodies all that is wrong with UK politics, and hey, it’s not only the Scots who feel that way. We understand this. There are many English people, particularly in the regions, who would dearly love to have the opportunity we have to distance themselves from Westminster. We sympathise. There’s not a great deal we can do though. Scots are waking up to the fact that we don’t have to be a part of it any more, but we can hardly start making territorial claims over bits of England. Many of us have reached the conclusion that the best thing we can do is to lead by example. Strike out and find another, better way. Our own way.

Brigadoon and Braveheart

It’s not about Brigadoon and/or Braveheart. This should go without saying, it’s such a silly notion, but it’s an accusation which is still thrown around with monotonous regularity. We are all, we’re told, hopeless romantics, gullible enough to allow Hollywood to determine our political views, and define our sense of ourselves. I have never been able to sit through Brigadoon, crude parody of Scottishness that it is. And Braveheart, though obviously a very successful piece of entertainment, certainly isn’t history, and I don’t know anyone who thinks it is. Nor do they see it as any kind of inspiration for independence today. We do not discount our history, it is part of who we are, but the reasons we seek independence, and our visions of the Scotland we wish to create are ‘all about’ the present and the future, not the past. Of course there are things in our past of which we are rightly and justly proud, ideas that are every bit as relevant and laudable today as they were when they were new:

1044422_630174123673543_1016481635_n

Nationalism

It’s not about nationalism. At least not as most people understand that concept. I have never considered myself a nationalist. I have, and still do, consider myself an internationalist. But like many ‘Yes’ supporters it is my view that I can be a more effective internationalist in an independent Scotland than I ever could in the UK. This is because the Scottish people are more internationalist in their outlook then our southern cousins. You’ll find far more nationalism, in the traditional sense of the term, in England than in Scotland. I suspect the confusion arises from a popular fallacy, which is that SNP stands for ‘Scottish Nationalist Party.’ It doesn’t. It stands for ‘Scottish National Party.’ I can’t help but think though that Alex Salmond has muddied the waters somewhat with his talk of ‘civic nationalism.’ I understand what he’s getting at, but many of us feel a more accurate description would be ‘normalist.’ Because it is entirely normal, is it not, for nations to govern their own affairs? We simply seek democracy. Real, vibrant, inclusive democracy.

4991190_orig

Oil

It’s not about oil. It’s nice for any country to have natural resources, but for Scotland it’s a bonus. We would not in any sense be dependent on oil (although we have not failed to notice that Scotland is the only country in history to strike oil and get poorer). The figures say we would be just as healthy economically as the UK even if the oil didn’t exist. And yet we constantly hear that we will be hostage to fluctuations in the price of oil, not just from individuals but from the official ‘No’ campaign and from the UK government. Not only that, but we are expected to believe that independence will create so much ‘uncertainty’ that oil companies will abandon North Sea oilfields. But ask yourself this – have you ever heard of an oil company walking away from an oilfield? Anywhere? In any circumstances? Of course not! They hung on for grim death to their leases in Iraq, despite a full scale war followed by a long-running insurgency. They hang onto them in Nigeria despite all the conflict and the human rights abuses there. But an independent Scotland, we’re told, would be too much for them to handle.

Secession

It’s not about secession, for one very simple reason – that is the term for when a region, or part of a country, seeks to leave that country. We are an ancient nation, seeking not to leave the union, but to end the union. The UK is a voluntary union, of two equal nations, the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England (incorporating Wales and Ireland, both of which England had conquered and annexed centuries earlier). If one of these two nations resolves to leave the union therefore it ceases to exist. There is no such thing, after all, as a union of one.

Separatism

It’s not about separatism, though it is one of the favourite terms of the ‘No’ side. Have you noticed that they never utter the word ‘independence?’ It’s always ‘separation,’ as if in event of a ‘Yes’ vote we will all turn up at the border on the 19th with pneumatic drills, ready to set about detaching ourselves from the rest of the island. In point of fact many Scots are increasingly worried that the English electorate, given their promised referendum in 2017, will opt to separate us from the EU, whether we like it or not. Perhaps the unionists are afraid that it will end like this:

11111 😉

The SNP

It’s not about the SNP. Of course the SNP support independence, it is their raison d’être. But now that independence is a real possibility the vast majority can see that this decision is far bigger than any party or any politician. Here’s what I think happened. Thirty or forty years ago the SNP could have been described as a centrist party, perhaps even centre right. Since then however it has evolved into a social democratic party. It won the Scottish election of 2007 on a social democratic platform, and it retained government and increased its representation (to an outright majority, despite the fact that the system of proportional representation by which the Holyrood parliament is elected is widely thought to have been designed to ensure nobody would ever achieve such a majority) in 2011 because they were perceived by the electorate as being a better social democratic party than Labour. They were re-elected on their record, but also on a platform of holding a referendum on the subject of independence. This does not mean that all those who voted SNP in 2011 had made up their minds to vote for independence. But there was an implied bargain, in that they were perceived to have done a good enough job of governing to be given the opportunity of making their case.

Having reached that point though, numerous others who were not members of the SNP, or even supporters in many cases, became involved in the debate on the pro-independence side. This is because many on the left in Scotland had by then reached the same conclusion that I had in my isolation – that Westminster had become so dysfunctional that it was in all probability beyond saving, and that an independent Scotland therefore represented the only realistic possibility of generating any positive change in the foreseeable future. As the debate has continued more and more people seem to have been persuaded of this. This is why the attempts by the ‘No’ campaign to equate a ‘Yes’ vote with a vote for the SNP have backfired – ‘Yes’ voters who are SNP supporters don’t care, and those who are not find these assertions ill-informed, condescending and just plain annoying.

So what is it about?

It’s really very simple.

We seek to regain by democratic means that which was once won in battle, and lost to treachery and deceit, namely our ancient freedoms and liberties, and the sovereignty of our people. We have that right, and we will exercise it on the 18th of September.*

1231121_220253361497608_785662350_n

*Obviously there’s a bit more to it than that. For a full exploration of what it’s really all about, please see The Hitchhikers’ Guide To Scottish Independence series (that link will take you to part one). 🙂

Advertisements
54 Comments
  1. Willie Belford permalink

    You’re wrong in including Ireland with England an Wales. The Union with Scotland Act (1706) states that for the purposes of the Union Wales is considered to be part of England, no mention of Ireland.
    Ireland became part of the UK following the Union with Ireland Acts of 1801, therefore a political Union (not a conquest) and partially ended by the Irish Parliament Act (1921) which effectively created the ROI.

    • Although what you say is technically correct I have always considered the 1801 Act a piece of post facto window dressing. Ireland had been under English control for many, many centuries before that. But even if it was valid it was, as you say, superceded by the 1921 Act. This will leave Northern Ireland in a somewhat anomalous position in case of the dissolution of the UK. The Welsh won’t be happy to discover their position either. They think of themselves as part of a union of four, but constitutionally that’s not the case. Perhaps it will encourage them to think about their own nationhood.

  2. Fantastic post! Really enjoyed reading it.

  3. Sectarianism?

  4. Paul Zarb permalink

    I have to say, the Scots independence brigade seem to forget post Roman control they were invaded by an irish tribe known as ‘the Scots’, there was a Scottish King who took the throne in England and joined the the Kingdoms as they were. Scotland retained its national identity and legal system after the Act of “Union”. And most importantly if people are honest, Scotland has faired well being part of the union. Whether it would have been more successful had the Act of Union never happened is a matter of pure conjecture. The sovereignty thing does not wash with me as an observer as the current plan (selling point from the pro independence party) appears to be to stay in europe and retain the the pound – Were the model to be Switzerland (i.e. a properly independent country) I would accpet the Sovereignty argument. The whole concept of independence seems be an ill conveived romantic whim. Or am I being too harsh?

    • Well, you’ve made a number of points there Paul, so I’ll try to respond in order. Being a bit of a history enthusiast I haven’t forgotten any part of our history, but I’m not part of anyone’s brigade (unless I can be the Brigadier). The Scoti (as the Romans called them) were already present in the South West before the Romans arrived. It used to be widely thought that there was a large influx around 500AD, but it turns out the archaeology doesn’t really support it. It’s now thought to have been more of a cultural event than an invasion. However it’s not a very wide sea, and the people on either side of it had probably been culturally, linguistically and ethnically indistinguishable for millennia before that. Modern Scotland, the nation state, the Scotland we all feel we belong to, was formed by the historic 9th Century alliance between the Scots and the Picts. A few years before England, and one of the oldest nations in Europe. Our flag, the Saltire, is the oldest continuously-used sovereign flag in the world.
      As for the Scottish King who took the throne of England, I have argued elsewhere that it was unconstitutional for him to do so, and that he forfeited his claim to the Scottish throne that day. Because of this:

      “But after all, if this Prince shall leave these principles he has so nobly pursued and consent that we of our Kingdom be subjected to the King or people of England, we will immediately endeavour to expel him as our enemy and as the subverter both of his own and our rights and will make another King who will defend our liberties.”
      (Declaration of Arbroath, 1320)

      You say, “And most importantly if people are honest, Scotland has faired well being part of the union.”

      Faired well? Have you been there recently? Now of course over 307 years there have been ups and downs. It certainly seemed to be a benefit in the early years, especially for the Glasgow tobacco barons, but a closer look reveals a different story. Unionists like to assert that Scotland was bankrupt, a failed state, and that they saved us from drowning. But they only saved us from drowning by taking their foot off our head. In the years leading up to the union (which was also unconstitutional by the way, for exactly the same reason), Scotland had been subject to what amounted to a total trade blockade. It would be illegal today, under WTO rules. The lifting of that blockade was the reason for that early boom. And it can be shown that Scotland has paid a hefty subsidy to England for at least the last Century.

      On sovereignty, the Declaration of Arbroath also made clear that in Scotland sovereignty resides with the people, through the concepts (centuries ahead of their time, which is why Jefferson drew so heavily on it for the US Declaration of Independence) of the ‘Community of the Realm’ and the ‘Due and Lawful Consent and Assent of all of the People.’ In England sovereignty has always resided with the monarch. It is a matter of fact that as a successor state to the UK Scotland, on independence, will be a member of the EU and part own the Bank of England and the pound. Whether we continue that way will properly be a matter for the Scottish people in the future. Other options, potentially more advantageous, may present themselves and if I have anything to do with it (and I mean to) we’ll be making no guarantees on things like that.

      “The whole concept of independence seems be an ill conveived romantic whim.”

      Far from being ill-conceived, I for one have spent more than 30 years studying every aspect of Scottish independence, and I know exactly how to make it work. For me it’s extremely well thought out, and I now know many other people who are equally savvy about it. It may seem like a romantic notion to some, hell, it is romantic, but believe me, if you knew what I know about the economics of it you’d understand that voting ‘Yes’ is also the ruthlessly pragmatic decision.

      • cant disagree with a single word! I’m so glad that this referendum is bringing so much of our history and culture to the fore. there are youngsters out there who never knew ANY of this!

      • You say that “it is a matter of fact that, as a succesor state to the UK Scotland, on independence, will be a member of the EU and part own the Bank of England and the pound.” I would be grateful if you would expand on this as others have expressed a different view!

      • I agree that this is a very important matter John, so much so that I consider it deserves a blog post of its own, which I intend to publish shortly.

    • Mike Renwick permalink

      I would like to briefly answer two of your points in support of The BabelFish.

      And most importantly if people are honest, Scotland has faired well being part of the union.

      Not since 1979 when along with the north of England the governments then & since have allowed the decimation of the industrial base, the added value generated enabled investment to change the whole of Britain. However this is no longer true. The UK has become dependent on banking & associated sectors & we can see how well that worked.

      The whole concept of independence seems be an ill conceived romantic whim. Or am I being too harsh?

      The cadre of Scots who sought union with England were the bankers who had suffered during the Darian expedition failure. The failure left nobles, landowners, town councils & many tradespeople almost completely ruined. The fiasco involved the loss of between a quarter & a half of all the money circulating in Scotland. Just like today that was owned not equably within the nation but by the top strata of society. As with the 2008 bank failures the majority of the people had no say in the matter. Scotland was & still remains a separate country never having been subsumed into England. So why would you think that independence is a “romantic whim?” Financially, politically Scotland is well able & well placed to take care of itself following independence.

  5. Maureen Smith permalink

    My sentiments entirely! You have just put them all down in an orderly manner and made them so much clearer. Thank you!

  6. This needed to be written, it embodies and clarifies everything I know to be true. Thank you Derek, outstanding. A well written article that contributes heavily to the debate.

    Kindest regards,

    David Milligan Lvss

  7. William J. Swain-Nisbet permalink

    As to The Act of Union of Parliaments Scotland Act of Union of Parliaments England 1707 Both Nations Parliament Agreed and Signed Whilst Recognising Five Major Codicils One Ports and Harbours were to remain Controlled by Scottish Towns and Burroughs Both Royal and Common This allowed Scottish Ports to retain The Right to import Direct from the American Colonies, as well as other Colonies, Produce from especially Virginia, especially Tobacco. Margaret Thatcher s Very First Privatisation was The Privatisation of Ports and Airports including Scotland s Ports and Airports This directly led to The Destruction of Prestwick as a Main Hub Airport as well as Destruction of Scottish Fishing Fleets . this was Done supposedly because The Increased Power of English Dockers to Hold Westminster to Ransom Airports seen as evolution of Ports and Harbours . Strike One Next was Scottish Banks retained the Right to Issue Their Own Banknotes Which was to be known as jointly as The Scottish Pound we have been Led to Believe by Scottish Unionist Politicians This was a Gift of Westminster Parliament it was Not The English Parliament at Westminster recognised The Right of The Scottish Banks to Retain The Right of The Scottish Banks to Issue Their Own Banknote which Jointly would be Recognised as The Scottish Pound to be Issued by Said Banks of Which Three Remain The Royal Bank of Scotland The Bank of Scotland and The Clydesdale Bank this was in no way Connected to Westminster apart from The Right to Destroy by Controlled Incineration Retired Unusable Scottish Banknotes….This Incidentally Led to The Great Train Robbery And Then Thatcher Stole or would have appeared to have Stole The Scottish Pound although all three Banks Still retain The Right to issue All Value Notes From The Pound Upwards The Ten Bob Note had been done away in The Change over to Decimalisation Strike Two Then Came that which led to The Slow Decline of The Tory in Scotland The Poll Tax by Trialling it In Scotland Even for a A Year Smashed The Third Codicil that Scotland should never be Taxed in a way which was Not applied to The Rest of The Union. Now hold on you will say The Poll Tax was Repealed? Correct but The Codicil was not Repaired and Re- Installed into The Act of Union Yet it could have been done in Both Houses The Commons and The House of Lords within The Same Day but Hey it was repealed Yes but not Repaired Strike Three Then Thatcher Rested. After The Near Destruction of The Act of Union of Parliaments The Lady Wrapped Herself in The Union Jack and Gave away Hong Kong instead! The Privatisations Continued but The Last Two Codicils Remained…..Then Something Strange Happened Scotland Got Devolution and Abrogated The Codicil Concerning The National Church of Scotland being The Church of Scotland. This is an Interesting one in that The Queen of Scots as Queen of Great Britain and The Commonwealth is Titular Head of The Church of England aka The Anglican Communion and aka The Espicopalian Church. Yet Remains a Parishioner of Crathie Kirk. Anyway The Newly Formed Scottish Parliament Declared Scotland a Multi Religious Country and Abrogated The Right of The Church of Scotland to be Recognised in The Act of Union of Parliament as The National Church of Scotland….. Now it No Longer was by a Scottish Parliament Ac.t It was like it had never been. But One Codicil Remained Intact The Right of Scotland to Maintain it`s Own Justiciary and Legal Jurisprudence Known as The Scottish Legal System aka Scot`s Law Which Westminster had No Right to interfere Witness Lockerbie Trial in The Hague and The Release of Megrahi With The Foundation of The British Supreme Court The Final Codicil was Smashed. Thus The Two Tory Prime Ministers Thatcher and Cameron Who Defined Themselves as Defenders of The Union Between them Destroyed it.

  8. Joe permalink

    You are obviously in the Yes camp! If it’s not about Braveheart and Brigadoon, why do the SNP sing Scots Wha Hae at the end if their party conferences? If it’s not about oil why do the SNP harp on about it making us the 14th richest country in the world after separation? Their words! I’ll bet you a Ryal to a euro ordinary Scots won’t see a penny of its income. Yes, vote for independence, and when the proverbial hits the fan, watch Salmond walk away with his many pensions tucked firmly into his back pocket!

    • “You are obviously in the Yes camp!”

      Well, I am a ‘Yes’ supporter, that’s no secret, but I hate camping. Do you mind if I book myself into the Yes Backpackers?

      “If it’s not about Braveheart and Brigadoon, why do the SNP sing Scots Wha Hae at the end if their party conferences?”

      I am not a member of the SNP (or any other party) and have never attended one of their conferences, so I’ll have to take your word for that. Not entirely sure I see the connection though. Brigadoon, which as I mentioned I’ve never managed to sit through, is an example of what my father would have described as ‘Popscot.’ It has nothing important to say about anything. Braveheart is a fictionalised account of the story of William Wallace, featuring fictionalised versions of his most famous battles, Stirling Bridge and Falkirk. Many Scots admire Wallace the historical figure, and with good reason, but the movie is not a history, it’s a piece of Hollywood fluff.

      Scots Wha Hae is about Robert the Bruce and the Battle of Bannockburn. It mentions Wallace only in passing. The melody, as an instrumental march, is ancient and would have been known at the time of Bannockburn. The words were penned by Scotland’s greatest poet and national Bard, Robert Burns, as his impression of the speech Bruce might have made to his troops on the eve of the battle. What Bruce actually said is lost in the mists of time, if indeed he said anything. The lack of public address systems in the 14th Century would have made it rather difficult for one man to address over 6,000 people.

      But let’s imagine for a moment an equivalent. I’ll use an English example, as I am more familiar (as I expect most of my readers will be) with English history than I am with that of, say, Kazakhstan. Imagine an English battle, a famous victory, something which occupies an important place in the English national psyche. Agincourt perhaps. Now imagine England’s greatest poet and national Bard had written a speech that Henry V might have given to his troops before the battle. Oh, wait! Shakespeare did indeed write exactly that speech! “We happy few, we band of brothers…” etc. The main difference is that he didn’t set his to music. But if he had, wouldn’t English patriots have been enthusiastically belting out that song ever since? Would it not in fact have been a very strong candidate for a national anthem?

      “If it’s not about oil why do the SNP harp on about it making us the 14th richest country in the world after separation?”

      Err, I think you mean independence (see above). ‘Separation’ is the term used by Unionists for its negative connotations, it’s sense of something unusual and unpleasant, whereas ‘independence,’ a word the unionists point blank refuse to utter, is considered the normal, natural state of affairs by the 190-odd members of the UN. This ’14th richest’ figure is used for purposes of comparison with other nations, in order to disprove the oft-repeated falsehood that Scotland is ‘too poor’ to stand on her own feet economically. It is based on per capita GDP and calculated using figures from the OECD and GERS.

      It is of course possible to calculate the same figure excluding any revenue from oil. When you do that our ranking is virtually identical to that currently enjoyed by the UK. And I’ll be honest, I’d be perfectly happy with that, as there are many other advantages to being an independent country apart from financial ones. But the oil does exist. What would be the point exactly of pretending that it does not?

      “I’ll bet you a Ryal to a euro ordinary Scots won’t see a penny of its income.”

      Well we certainly don’t at the moment. The resource currently generates a tidy sum in tax and excises for the UK Exchequer, and has been doing so since its discovery. With independence those revenues would naturally pass to the Scottish Exchequer. It would be up to future Scottish governments to decide how best to deploy those funds, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet that they wouldn’t choose to hand them over to another country to help sustain/disguise that country’s chronic structural fiscal and balance of trade deficits.

      “…watch Salmond walk away with his many pensions tucked firmly into his back pocket!”

      I have absolutely no idea what Salmond’s pension entitlements may be and nor, I suspect, have you, but whatever they might be I’d be willing to bet they are no more lucrative than a House of Commons parliamentary pension, a lifetime seat in the House of Lords and a handful of well-paid directorships of multinational corporations, the typical rewards of a successful Westminster careerist.

      • worth mentioning that Alex gave up a very promising career as an oil economist with the bank, and took his chances in Westminster. Far from walking away from a pension now, I feel he did that around 30 years ago. AND… he set up the Mary Salmond trust fund, in memory of his dear Mum using his own money – there aren’t many politicians in the press today for giving away their own money – as opposed to plenty fiddling the taxpayers money with some ludicrous expense scandal!

  9. Stuart McGuinness permalink

    Excellent. I hope sincerely to see your blogs on monarchy and religion in an independent Scotland. After millstone #1, union, is dissolved we can get to work on #2 and #3 until faith or lack thereof is a personal, unsubsidised, unprivileged, disestablished concern and no least vestige of the feu remains.

  10. Craig Ballantyne permalink

    [Babel Fish: As this is such a lengthy post I’ve decided to edit in some responses rather than doing a separate reply. This will save you scrolling up and down all the time to work out what I’m responding to]

    Having read all your information I have to highlight that it is obviously to you that these matters are not what it is about. However to the various people that constantly talk about these points from both sides of the fence they are key points in their decision making.

    [BF: It is my experience that it is overwhelmingly one side that talks of these things, and mistaken assume they are reasons for the decision making of people on the other side.]

    Alex Salmond is a man to be feared if handed too much power. [BF:Anyone is to be feared if handed too much power.] He can and will find a way to retain power long beyond the vote if YES is successful. [BF: We’ll see about that. I have other ideas. 😉 ] The benefit of a majority party in power, in the form of SNP, will help him do this. As for anti-English sentiment and Nationalism, I’m afraid to disappoint you but on many pro YES sites that is what is ALL about. By pushing the us and them stance it is driving a hatred that should no longer exist.

    [BF: I spend a great deal of time on ‘Yes’ sites, and I strongly disagree. The myth of the vicious ‘Cyberbat’ is a pernicious one, but a myth nonetheless. You may find this recent example instructive. Labour MSP Cara Hilton has claimed she and her children have been threatened and that she was called ‘Judas’ and a ‘moron’ on Twitter. Spoiler alert – she’s offered no evidence, no tweets, no replies by her, none can be found by advanced Twitter search methods and, tellingly, she has not reported the matter to police, only to unionist tabloids. She’s lying.]

    Oil is the main driver of the pro YES campaign in helping fund an independent Scotland. [BF: No, it isn’t.] As for being able to finance ourselves without it I believe, and in reading independent reports am more confident in my knowledge that, we cannot survive financially as an independent nation. Whilst pro YES keeps shouting about 14th richest in the world any independent report shows us nearer 56th, sandwiched between Iraq and Bangladesh. [BF: This is simply not true. Not only is the notion that we, uniquely amongst the nations of the world ‘cannot survive financially as an independent nation’ frankly laughable, I can tell you, as an economist by training and much study, that there are no credible economic reports that rank us 56th. Actually 14th is the lowest we’ve been ranked by any credible source. It’s based on a change of methodology by the OECD. Last year we were ranked 8th.] The fact that the pro YES campaign have used many Whole of UK figures and not just Scotland on their own figures to calculate this is the key error in the numbers. [BF: No, they haven’t. I’ve been over those figures and they are correct. Perhaps you’re thinking of things which only appear to be whole of UK figures currently, but are actually Scottish. Like ALL of our exports, to the rest of the UK and the rest of the world.] Whilst Oil will give us some financial respite the finite lifespan of the resource and technological difficulties in accessing all that is there makes it not enough of a financial grounding to sustain and grow a nation. [BF: No, oil is a bonus. If you completely discount it we would have exactly the same wealth ranking (per capita GDP) as the UK does now. Oil is entirely icing on the cake. A sovereign wealth fund is the obvious use for it.] The financial position has been further commented on and confirmed as being more realistic representation of our true financial strength from some of Europes largest financial institutions, none of which have head offices in UK. [BF: Again, simply not true. You are just shamelessly making this stuff up now, aren’t you?]

    Additionally there is the impact to our workforce. This hasn’t been mentioned in your report but is key none the less. There are 1.8 million employed individuals in Scotland. 400k of these approximately work in various roles for financial services companies, utilities companies as well as the public sector alongside numerous other customer service jobs where the companies are headquartered in rUK . These are jobs which can and likely will be relocated in the event of a YES vote for numerous business strategy, cost and regulatory reasons. The impact is obvious to not only tax revenues but also the local impacts where there is no longer the availability of surplus incomes to support clothing and food retailers outwith the major international chains, who will also move in time due to reduced store turnovers.

    [BF: That is sheer speculative negativity, based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. There are no economic reasons why businesses would relocate out of Scotland, and substantial economic disincentives to moving anywhere. And the last bit – hilarious! Food retailers are going to leave due to reduced store turnover? What, are we all going to stop eating?]

    Lastly I read your closing comments. So what is it about?

    It’s really very simple.

    We seek to regain by democratic means that which was once won in battle, and lost to treachery and deceit, namely our ancient freedoms and liberties, and the sovereignty of our people. We have that right, and we will exercise it on the 18th of September.

    Our Grandparents and Great Grandparents obviously had no concerns about this when fighting in 2 world wars to allow us to keep our union in place for the future. They fought for Great Britain. They were recognised for the individual aspects of each nation from within the Union from where they originated but they fought side by side with English, Welsh and Irish comrades.

    [BF: That’s completely beside the point. They also fought alongside comrades from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, India, Free French forces, Free Polish forces, and many others. My grandfather for instance, as part of 1HLI (First Battalion, Highland Light Infantry) fought as part of the Third Indian (Lahore] Division. They were sent to France in November 1914 and spent a year there, fighting in many engagements, including Ypres, with allies from many nations. A year later they were deployed to Mesopotamia where they fought for the rest of the war, along with the Australian Light Horse and the Arabs (remember Lawrence of Arabia?) The point is, if Scotland had been independent back then would things have been any different? Not in the Second World War certainly. You think Scotland would not have united with the rest of the free world to fight fascism? Scotland, that sent so many volunteers (look it up) to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War? And by the way, did you know Churchill had a plan to abandon Scotland if the Germans invaded? True. And my town got virtually no protection and was almost completely destroyed in the Clydebank Blitz. So ra ra, the flag and all that, but we could have fought just as effectively under our own flag. We’d have been an asset to any operation, as we always have been.]

    We have successfully worked as part of a Union for centuries. We are at a point where we are intertwined and financially interdependent to a level that it is nigh on impossible to accurately separate what belongs to who and why it would be theirs. [BF: No, it’s far from impossible, many minds, including my own, are working on it and it will be worked out one way or another. Having an initial currency union, and there WILL be one, will ease the transition. Major disputes can be adjudicated in the ICJ, but if our negotiating partners are prepared to be reasonable that shouldn’t be necessary.]

    You are right in the fact that on 18th of September we will have the right to vote. For the sake of all those I love I hope the right decision prevails.

    [BF: Now THAT is the one sentence in your post I completely agree with.]

  11. Excellent analysis and one which consolidates my change of mind over the last few years. The Yes camp is definitely gathering momentum.

  12. I have to hand it to you sir you know your stuff.
    you speak (as it were) in a level headed and reasoned manner, unfortunately no mater how often we act thus the people on the other side of the argument leap in with frothing mouths and scream outrage and insult at us.
    we are accused of not having looked at the facts, every time we place evidence before them, then we are shown none in support of their view point.
    constantly they cry blue painted face, to make us look barbaric and silly, even though we provide intelligent answers and well reasoned responses.
    The thing I think they fail most to realise is that we know we shall never truly get them to understand and agree with what we know. But that their vitriolic and unreasoned rage, their lack of good sense policies and failure to hide the truth will help convince the undecided to vote yes just as much we our selves shall.
    there is a much used meme that is very fitting in this
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” ― Isaac Asimov

    • Thank you for your insightful and erudite response. I’ve taken the liberty of correcting a single typo on your behalf, I thought you’d probably not mind.

      I agree with your summation of our opponents, but what can we do but keep calmly stating the facts and insisting on the truth?

      And by the way, anyone who can quote Isaac Asimov in support of their argument will always earn bonus points on this blog. 🙂

  13. Billy permalink

    Living in Glasgow and regularly visiting other parts of Scotland, I hear the 2nd, 3rd and 4th mentioned as a reason for voting yes by A LOT of people. Fair enough, you don’t have any of these reasons but you are very much in the minority.
    P.S. I haven’t decided which way to vote but your view is as appealing as the no argument. Both pick apart the truths and spin them for their own evils. Its become pretty pathetic and fickle.

    • Billy, having looked back to see which points were which, the 2nd was ‘Anti-English sentiment.’ I see that I did concede there is some of this, however I honestly have not seen much, and I have slapped it down mercilessly wherever I’ve found it. The fact is that independence is probably the best cure for it anyway though. I would prefer that, for any mistakes we may make, we have only ourselves to blame, and not the English (although as I’ve indicated it is the Westminster power paradigm that is really to blame, and not the good people of England).

      As for the 3rd, that was ‘Brigadoon and Braveheart.’ Are you seriously saying that people are telling you they are voting ‘Yes’ because of a movie they’ve seen? Who have you been talking to, eight year olds? And the 3rd (nationalism), as I mentioned, means different things to different people. This is why I dislike the term and have suggested alternatives.

      And regarding your P.S., I am the Babel Fish, see ‘The First Post’ for definition and explanation, what I do is to pick apart the spin to get to the truth. You are wise not to take all you hear at face value, that’s healthy scepticism, but by the application of reason, logic and common sense, we can arrive at the truth. I sincerely hope you are able to reach the right conclusion by September the 18th.

  14. A real Scot who actually lives works and pays his local taxes! permalink

    You were starting to convince me until the last paragraph, where it seemed to morph into some William Wallace styled twaddle…

    P.S we may have the right, but we should take some of the responsibility with it. e.g not rely on the BoE to bail us out if things get tough.

    • Well, you may not like the style, but a lot of people do. I had to end it somehow, and as the subject of the piece is what it’s not about I used a formulation I’ve been working on for a little while. I haven’t settled on it yet. The idea is to express exactly what’s going on in as few words as possible, without leaving anything out. If you have any constructive suggestions on how it could be improved, don’t be shy.

      I think we should take full responsibility for ourselves, that’s an important part of the desire for independence. Within a reasonable amount of time we can and should set up a central bank of our own, and probably our own currency too, but it will ease the transition if we go with a currency union at first, not least because it will make things much easier for England, and as our biggest customer it’s in our interests that they can still afford to buy our stuff.

  15. Can I just say that this post is getting unprecedented levels of traffic, which is fantastic, and thank you all very much!! But I should warn you that comments have to be approved if you’re a new visitor and I also like to respond to points that people raise. But I’m just one babel fish, so if yours hasn’t appeared yet, especially if it’s a long, detailed one, do not be concerned, I will get to you. It may just take a little longer than it might on a site that has, you know, staff.

  16. Tisha permalink

    “We seek to regain by democratic means that which was once won in battle, and lost to treachery and deceit, namely our ancient freedoms and liberties, and the sovereignty of our people.” If this isn’t a convolution of nationalism, ‘Brigadoon and Braveheart’ (i.e. rectifying historical wrongs) and separatism, then I don’t know what is. There is nothing wrong with these per se, but there is something wrong with pretending they don’t equate. You are deeply confused.

    • I’m afraid it is you who are confused. They do not equate in any way at all. To equate them is in itself a sign of a deep confusion. That statement is no more and no less than my attempt to formulate, in a single sentence, exactly what it is that is taking place here. It covers the historical, legal, constitutional and political aspects of it. It is not about righting historical wrongs though. Correcting one massive political mistake perhaps. It is a claim of right, and of national sovereignty, whilst recognising that in Scotland that sovereignty has always resided with the people. So while it owes, as it must, something to history (we are an ancient nation, long recognised by other nations and independent three times longer than we’ve been part of the union), it owes nothing to some silly pieces of Hollywood trivia. Frankly I find the suggestion insulting, both to my intelligence and to yours.

  17. Kay permalink

    Thank you so much for writing this! An excellent read and have shared on.

  18. Paul Zarb permalink

    I appreciate your detailed answer to my points, but I still remain of the view it’s an ill conceived romantic notion. A romance appears to be based on a historical hatred of the English and a more contemporary dislike of Conservative governments. These motivations to me to do not appear to form a rational basis for pulling out a Union that has been largely been successful. However, we will have to wait and see what happens and whatever will be will be.

    • Well seeing we’re having a civilised dialogue (which is nice for a change) Paul, let me just respond to that. There is undeniably a certain amount of romance in being Scottish. We’re a romantic lot. But I have to draw a distinction between hatred of actual, individual English people, which I don’t encounter much at all, with a historical resentment of English kings and English governments. I think most people are actually capable of making that distinction.

      When you look at our history, you can’t ignore England the political entity, it has always been the elephant in our room, but we were not, and are not, defined by England. Scotland is a willed nation. A psychological process occurred at some point in the distant past, it’s impossible to say exactly when, whereby the Scottish people thought, “Oh, that’s who we are. We are the nation of Scotland.” There’s nothing remarkable about that, every nation does it. The thing is that has not really happened with Britain. It’s not as if, after 307 years, we haven’t given it a go.

      I would also dispute the success of the union, not only because of its economic impacts, but politically too, because the UK persistently acts in ways, on the international stage, that Scotland would never act. If it were up to us. As for ‘ill-conceived,’ I can only say that I’ve spent 30 years on it, from my point of view it’s extremely well-conceived, and if the current crop of politicians aren’t up to the task, then I am. I know exactly what to do, and I won’t stand idly by and watch it fail.

  19. “An ill-concieved romantic whim.” Very close to the truth. After ‘telling’ us what its not about you then declare that it’s all about Revenge.How very sad.Fortunately Scots are far more aware of ‘agenda-ism’ than most self-proclaimed pundits realise.

    • How is that about revenge? It is a claim of right. A declaration of independent nationhood. It is entirely about us, it is not about anybody else. Read it again and you’ll get it.

  20. Hi,

    You might be interested to know that we have produced some new gift ideas related to the Scottish Referendum. They consist of the Scottish flag being formed by different headlines concerning independence.

    You can read about them in our WordPress blog: http://rwdesigning.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/we-are-making-headlines/

    Or go directly to the Scottish Category in our store: http://www.zazzle.com/rwdesigning/gifts?cg=196229832427673118

    For other design proyects NOT related to Scoland go to our homepage: http://www.zazzle.com/rwdesigning

    Of course, there´s no obligation to look but you might something of interest for you or a gift idea for friends and family.

    Thank you,

    RW designing

    • I wouldn’t normally allow any kind of advertising material on the blog, but in this case it does have an obvious relevance to the subject matter we’ve been discussing, so I’m going to allow it. My publication of it does not imply endorsement, judge for yourselves.

      • We understand your argument completely.

        Thank you for your cooperation.

      • loumac permalink

        An interesting read but all this chat on our history when really its the future we are bothered about. How will voting yes change my day to day life and my money? i dont think it will make much difference.

      • People seem to want to discuss the history, so I look on it as clearing up a few misunderstandings. Even if a ‘Yes’ vote wouldn’t make much difference to your day to day life, there are other reasons to like it. Not getting involved in illegal wars is one aspiration you hear a lot. But I think it will make a real difference and I’ll be writing much more about how and why it will, watch this space!

  21. Jim C permalink

    From a patriotic Englishman it may be hard for me to appreciate your comments, but I have taken the time to review matters quite simply and have noted the following observations and opinions and queries:
    1. If the Scottish want to be independent then why not allow those Scots living in the UK the right to vote? After all they are Scottish and this independence will affect them.
    2. Why does the rest of the UK not have a say? I’m not asking for like for like votes as that would be unfair to Scotland who count for 8% of the UK population. However when we became a union England had to agree to it, why when Scotland wishes for independence should the rest of the UK suffer the consequences with no choice?
    3. Under international law, natural resources are the property of the discovering nation, in this the UK. Which if challenged in court would mean that Scotland is entitled to the proportionate amount relative to its population, in this case 8% (similar to that of the UK debt).
    4. I will hold no grudge against Scotland should they decide to separate, but I will not allow the rest of the UK to be undermined so Scotland can have the ‘best of both’. Currency is a sore issue and FX analysts such a depreciation of 5-16% of any new Scottish currency (which for anyone in the know, is the only feasible option). Please just bear that in mind as a concerned englishman, not as a scaremonger!

    As I say the choice is yours, but I respect Scotland, respect their entitlement to powers and democracy. The article sums up very well the difference between campaigns. But I hope for all those who consider, we are better together, neither of us will benefit, but for Scottish people, oil is more important than you realise…. no one will leave the oil fields, but if you’re not receiving money from this then it’s not a positive economic outlook.

    All the best for voters.

    • Thank you for taking the time to contribute and enquire. Let me take your questions/points in order:

      “1. If the Scottish want to be independent then why not allow those Scots living in the UK the right to vote? After all they are Scottish and this independence will affect them.”

      This is a tricky one to be honest. Where would you draw the line? Should I, for instance, born and bred in Scotland and living in Australia, be able to vote? What about my kids, who were born here, but still consider themselves Scottish? And wouldn’t it leave us open to accusations of racism, and the ugly kind of nationalism, to base the right to vote on ethnicity? As it happens I will get a vote. Because it matters enough to me to come home in time for it. If others feel as strongly, it is still open to them to do the same.

      “2. Why does the rest of the UK not have a say? I’m not asking for like for like votes as that would be unfair to Scotland who count for 8% of the UK population. However when we became a union England had to agree to it, why when Scotland wishes for independence should the rest of the UK suffer the consequences with no choice?”

      The key part of this is that we are members of a union of two. There were only two signatories to the Treaty of Union. In this respect (and I know many people dislike the analogy, but for our purposes, it holds) it’s like a marriage. So in effect your asking, ‘If my wife wants to divorce me, shouldn’t I get a say too? Shouldn’t I get to say, no, I don’t agree to you leaving me?’ Since the union is the status quo, there is no need to ‘choose’ to stay, but either country, at any time in the last 307 years, could have decided to leave. So it that sense, you do have a say, and you’ve always had a say. You just don’t get to veto our decision about what we want to do. You can’t force us to stay against our will. We may in many ways be part of the same family, but thankfully we’re not the Fritzls.

      “3. Under international law, natural resources are the property of the discovering nation, in this the UK. Which if challenged in court would mean that Scotland is entitled to the proportionate amount relative to its population, in this case 8% (similar to that of the UK debt).”

      No, that is simply not correct. Natural resources are the property of the country in whose sovereign territory (or exclusive economic zone in the case of offshore resources) they are located. Who discovered them, or what nation they were part of at the time, is of no legal significance whatsoever. Otherwise, Australia, which is a very resource-heavy economy, would be a poor sort of place indeed, as most of her natural resources would belong to the UK too. In fact they do technically belong to ‘The Crown,’ however in practice that means the Commonwealth of Australia. The same would apply in Scotland, as it does in Canada, and many other members of the Commonwealth which are not republics, as this referendum is only about dissolving the union of the parliaments, not that of the crowns.

      “4. I will hold no grudge against Scotland should they decide to separate, but I will not allow the rest of the UK to be undermined so Scotland can have the ‘best of both’. Currency is a sore issue and FX analysts such a depreciation of 5-16% of any new Scottish currency (which for anyone in the know, is the only feasible option). Please just bear that in mind as a concerned englishman, not as a scaremonger!”

      Sorry to be the one to tell you, but your government has been lying to you. There will be a currency union, not because it is necessary to Scotland, but because it is vital to England. If Scotland was to opt for her own currency, it might well be subject to some initial depreciation, which tends to happen to any new currency until markets get a feel for its natural level. However Scotland’s problem would not be depreciation, quite the opposite in fact. It has long been recognised that given Scotland’s asset base, and our fiscal and trade surpluses, our problem would be one of appreciation. A Scottish currency, backed as it would be by a solid balance of trade surplus, a strong budgetary position and an enormous (for our size) asset base in petro-dollars, would face the potential problem of being too ‘hard.’ This has been the case at least since the discovery of the oil, and was even made clear in the McCrone Report. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the McCrone Report, but if your answer is ‘not particularly,’ then you could do worse that start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCrone_report

      The currency which would be in trouble in the absence of a currency union would be the pound. You don’t imagine that the pound, losing 8.4% of the people using it, plus 9.5-10% of its GDP, and a resource that is valued, on the most conservative estimates, at approximately the amount of the entire UK national debt, would be unaffected, do you? Scotland could easily support its own currency, but the strongest argument for retaining the pound, at least for an interim period, is that that currency would appreciate so much, and the pound depreciate so much, that our biggest customer, England, would no longer be able to afford our stuff. That’s why it’s in our interests, both our interests, to negotiate a currency union. Osborne and the Treasury’s contention that such an arrangement would not be in the interests of the rest of the UK is a flat out lie. You will not find a serious, independent economist who agrees with it. It is, frankly, nonsense, as even a cabinet minister, in an off the record briefing to a Guardian journalist, admitted. You can read about that here: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/28/independent-scotland-may-keep-pound

      So to sum up, we are extremely confident, for sound economic reasons, that there will be an economic ‘independence dividend’ for Scotland. The end of the union may not be so beneficial for the remainder of the UK, however it could certainly benefit from substantial economic reform, and perhaps our independence will be just the catalyst required to make that happen. I certainly hope so.

      Just one question – you say in your final paragraph, “…. no one will leave the oil fields, but if you’re not receiving money from this then it’s not a positive economic outlook.”
      Surely you are not suggesting that England would attempt to hang onto the oilfields by force? Because to do so would make it an international pariah. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would support such an ill-advised and desperate strategy. You wouldn’t need an in/out referendum on the EU, you’d be drummed out. You’d be subject to economic sanctions from the EU, the WTO and the UN. Plus of course Scotland would look to our traditional allies, such as France and the US, to support us, which they would in fact be obliged to do by the terms of the NATO treaty. But let’s not dwell on such unpleasantness. I’m sure, in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, we’ll both be good international citizens and will build a friendly and productive relationship suited to the new reality.

  22. Angela permalink

    Really enjoyed reading all the comments. As a nationalist from my cradle and coming from an extremely politically motivated household I am very heartened to hear so much discussion and more reasoned argument. Finally Scots have their dander up! My only regret is that none of my own children are old enough to vote. My a- political father-in-law and former Thatcherite is voting Yes as he feels it’s his duty towards his grandchildren ; that has given me hope. This is about self- belief , government closer to the ideals of our nation and social democracy. This SNP administration has delivered to us the opportunity for self-governance they are but a lever in the process.The government we choose after voting YES will be closer to the will of the people of Scotland than for many years. The post referendum Scottish government will be a very different beast to the administration we see now and I feel that message isn’t getting through. All political parties will be lining up to form that government and reinventing themselves overnight as they did at the time of devolution. Suddenly they all believed in it. The same will happen this time. It’s up to us to grab this opportunity and use it. There are no guarantees and some of the answers being given are pure conjecture; ludicrous. Self- belief the rest is easy! It’s not about monetary gain, taxes always go up in real terms no matter the government. It’s about building a nation we are proud to call home for all the people who live here, whatever their accent.

  23. We seek to regain by democratic means that which was once won in battle, and lost to treachery and deceit, namely our ancient freedoms and liberties,

    Great sentiment. Just a pity about the practise. For example, the 1606 Colliers act legislated for in our very own independent Scottish parliament effectively legalised the enslavement of miners and salt panners for the enrichment of our Scottish ‘betters’.

    So the spinnng sentiment is fine if you’re Tony Blair or Alex Salmond, it’s a bit different when you look at the historical reality which people of a Nationalist bent tend to do.

    Ironically, it was an act of parliament under the Union which finally repealed this heinous Scottish legislation.

    The rhetoric’s great, the reality is a bit more inconvenient.

    Regards.

    • “There are certain events in the past with which I would wish to disassociate myself. Most of the 14th Century, for instance, was pretty grim.” (‘Reg’ in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams).

      I doubt whether there’s any country that lacks such events, none with a spotless reputation. If you mean to suggest ours is any worse than that of any other nation, or that of one nation in particular, then I utterly reject that. The reference in my quote was to the Declaration of Arbroath (1320), a document at least four centuries ahead of its time, and a legacy of which we can justly be proud, and should absolutely strive to preserve.

      • If you mean to suggest ours is any worse than that of any other nation

        No. I mean to suggest that this rose tinted idea of ancient freedom’s and liberties is tosh. From the legislation passed in the Scottish Parliament of 1670 which gave free rein to the ‘killing times’ of that period to the alleged four centuries ahead of its time of the Declaration of Arbroath.

        ‘Freedoms’ for a feudal king were the ‘freedoms’ to be overlord over his subjects using the same feudal system of oppression as his enemies. ‘Freedoms’ in this instance was the freedom to oppress North Britain without interference from South Britain. Something the Declaration singly failed to do.

        What I’m suggesting is that, like any Nationalism, there is a stereotypical narrative of mythologising the past in order to prove some inherent superiority or correct some historical injustice. You can call it ‘civic’ or ‘progressive’ if you want, but that just buys into the inherent mythological narrative.

        Such mythologies inevitably break down when placed under the light of scrutiny. Take off your rose tinted spectacles.

        Regards

  24. Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    I am in danger of reblogging everything this chap writes and giving up writing my own posts as he is saying pretty much what I want to say, only better!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Scottish Independence – What It’s Not About | bmdphotography
  2. The Scottish Independence debate - Page 6 - Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums
  3. The Hitchhikers’ Guide To Scottish Independence (Part 1) | The Babel Fish

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: