Scottish Independence? I’d Blame that Berlusconi Chap!

Shamed be he who thinks ill of it (shamed be w...

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The Scottish self-rule debacle continues to bang on. Not satisfied with the extensive devolutionary powers already in place, Alex Salmond and his SNP cohorts continue towards Scotland’s full independence from the remainder of an (arguably) crumbling United Kingdom. But, for all the verbal claidheamh mòr brandishing, under a patriotic skirl of a’ phìob mhòr, where’s all this going?

Heading off north of the border to visit family and friends in the lands of Bonnie Prince Charlie last week, I drove past the Battle of The Standard monument. It was a stark reminder of how long this puerile Scottish v English thing has rumbled on. Selecting a CD selection of Ceòl Mór I turned the ICE volume up and settled back for the long drive ahead.

As I ventured further northwards, through the picturesque and varied scenery of Northumbria and The Borders countryside, my thoughts drifted to the magnificent and diverse landscapes of The Highlands and West Coast of Scotland. Visions of salmon attempting that final leap towards their breeding grounds, the moon reflecting across the still and tranquil surface of crystal clear Loch, guarded by a solitary castle in the shadow of a Munro, all hastened my desire to be in Scotland once again.

Irrespective of the specific mountain range, be it the guardians of An Gleann Mòr, the Black Cuillin, the Torridon Hills or the Grampian Mountains, the landscape of Scotland is powerfully magnetic to many, not least someone who is a diehard lover of the outdoors. That word ‘diehard’ was responsible for lateral thoughts straying off at a tangent to Mel Gibson in Braveheart and again, we’re back once more to this stupid English/Scottish independence struggle.

But, irrespective of whether you support the ethics and actions of William Wallace or ‘Longshanks’ in that first war of Scottish Independence, history often tells us one important thing; most warfare, be it a physical bloodbath or a puerile political argument (see previous post), often turns out to be mostly futile, at least in the long run. And, examining history also shows another important factor, it evidences how some have a tendency to twist the facts of history, whilst attempting to achieve their own self-interested aims.

Writing in The Times this week, Ben MacIntyre said; “Scotland’s national poet was no Nationalist” when he challenged Alex Salmond who claimed “Rabbie Burns as an ally of independence.” I would agree with MacIntyre when he said; “Burn’s Scottishness was defined by historical competition and conflict with England, but he also wrote as a Briton, speaking up for the Kingdom united against external foes.”

Like many British-Scots, Burns seems to have had little difficulty wearing two different but complimentary national hats for different occasions…(Ben MacIntyre)

If Burns could be both Scottish and British in his outlook back then, why can’t others have similar views today? I believe that short-sighted self-interest is the answer. Like MacIntyre, I also believe Burns “would have felt deeply uncomfortable hauled aboard Mr Salmond’s bandwagon.”  Throughout history poor Burns has been cited as the poetic mouthpiece of many differing political ideals, but mostly to advantage the exponents of that ideal and rarely as a true quotation of historical fact.

So, far from being a one-dimentional proponent or opponent of Scottish independence, Burns seems to me to be the man in the middle, a subtle combination of political and religious views, a Scot and a Briton comfortable with dual nationality – and the more representative of Scottish opinion because of it…(Ben MacIntyre)

Talking with English and Scottish family and friends, from both sides of the border recently and without exception; we are totally against Salmond’s drive. Moreover and also without exception the general belief is; Scottish independence is wrong and will ultimately be detrimental to all concerned, both north and south of the border.

As far as I can see, after examining all the pros and cons of the (mostly) political arguments, the old adage of united you stand & divided you fall appears to be wholly relevant here. So, how does Berlusconi fit into all this tosh?

Well he’s Italian and, you only have to examine the mess in Europe because of self-interested nationalistic politics or financial greed, much of it happens to be of Italian origin (amongst other self-interested states). But also, let’s not forget his Roman ancestry, as with The Young Pretender. Roman roots are the common denominator in all this and here sits the a root cause of all the problems… If that bloody Hadrian chappie had built his lengthy wall across the Watford Gap or better still, 80km further south at Watford itself, maybe then we wouldn’t be having all these puerile arguments in the first place?

Whatever your particular choice from the current menu of self-interested aims and objectives, Salmond’s personal desires for Scottish independence are of no more National importance than a deep-fried Mars bar, just so long as his desires don’t actually come to fruition… I for one hope he’s unsuccessful but until 2014, I really can’t be arsed with this silly issue any longer, I’m off for a Haggis Pizza and a bottle of Buckie!

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 02-02-2012, in Society Babble and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi Dave, I have approved your comment, at least I think so, there has only been one so far but it was anonymous so I am assuming that is you, don’t worry I am not in the business of moderating comments if they are critical, blogs would be very dull if you didn’t say anything critical, I left a reply as well. If Tam left a comment it hasn’t appeared. If you did comment and it hasn’t appeared I apologise – not sure what has gone wrong.

    I do agree though Dave, I think 2014 maybe a bit too optimistic, or if it is held it may not be ready and the debate will contain too many “ifs” that hadn’t been properly debated or decided on.

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  2. Tam you are, as I expected, mostly right. It is probabbly all a ‘smokescreen’ designed to distract from other (arguably) more important political issues but, the smoke is rising from a pyre lit by the SNP north of the border. I chose the word pyre for the one simple fact; if the political funeral cortege continues in this direction, it will surley result in a mock burial of our two great nations. The bodies will however be exumed just as quickly after the ceremony and, any celebratory wake will be short-lived.

    BTW – our comments on the other blog have either not been moderated as yet or deleted?

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  3. Having read and commented on 3finking’s Blog it leaves not a lot to say. The idea that other countries should have a vote on anothers Independance is preposterous. Thats like someone having a vote on whether their kids can move out!!!!! The fact is and I have said it before, Watch what Cameron and Clegg are up to in the background, for this issue, (which was not an issue even in Scotland until the aforementioned threw it into the arena), is a smokescreen, and youse guys are falling for it. The neo-liberal demolition government are doing “an Argentina” and trying to deflect the gaze of those that are politically astute away from the real issues. There is copious evidence of the slimy underhand tactics that this smogsboard of political ideologies brings to play when the going gets tough. As I have also said on many an occasion, I like our great bard, Rabbie Burns, Am a Scot, Am proud to be a Scot, But I am also a Proud Brit.
    Slainte.

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  4. I think the most important thing about Scottish independence is that there is no undue influence and that debates about oil revenue etc are settled before the referendum. Also, who do you think should be able to vote, I wrote a post on An English Vote on Scottish Independence

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    • In the main I would agree, the arguments around finance and political issues need to be bottomed out prior to any referendum. Given the general lack of speed within our political systems (Englih & Scottish) I would have to ask; is that a realistic posibility prior to 2014? I would also be the first to admit, it is almost impossible to fully understand all the intricate detail, even when you want to. Given that fact, the next question is; how realistic is it that we expect ‘Jo Public’ to vote in a trully informed manner, on what is a rhetoric fuelled and emotive issue to many? All these issues are also clouded in a shroud of historical fact and fiction. But to answer your question; the ultimate impact of any referendum, has important implications on both sides of the border. For that reason I would tend to be supportive of both Nations having a say in the proposals and outcomes.

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