Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scotland

Badge of Clan Gordon*
The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. Having entered into a personal union with the kingdoms of England and Ireland following James VI's succession to the English and Irish thrones in 1603, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with England on 1 May 1707 to create a single Kingdom of Great Britain. This union resulted from the Treaty of Union agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite popular opposition and anti-union riots in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere. Great Britain itself subsequently entered into a political union with Ireland on 1 January 1801 to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Scotland's legal system has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational and religious institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union. In 1999, a devolved legislature, the Scottish Parliament, was reconvened with authority over many areas of home affairs following a referendum in 1997. In May 2011, the Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. As a result, a referendum on independence will take place on 18 September 2014. Wikipedia
Scottish independence?

As Thursday approaches I have lots of odd feelings bouncing around inside of me.

While I am an American born and bred, I learned a fair bit about Scotland at the knee of my paternal grandmother. She was born near Aberdeen, the one in Scotland, not the one in Maryland.

Then there was my maternal grandmother, her people hailed from Scotland as well. She made sure we knew that Clan Gordon was in the blood.

So a lot of the blood running through my veins first arose in the Highlands of Scotland. A fair bit originated in the lowlands as well, but we don't speak much of that. Heh. Not to mention the not insubstantial sang français from my paternal grandfather's family.

This referendum on Scottish independence tears at me. On the one hand it is a romantic ideal, not really seen since The Forty-Five.
The Jacobite rising of 1745, often referred to as "the Forty-five", was the attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart. The rising occurred during the War of the Austrian Succession when most of the British Army was on the European continent. Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" or "the Young Pretender," sailed to Scotland and raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan in the Scottish Highlands, where he was supported by a gathering of Highland clansmen. The march south began with an initial victory at Prestonpans near Edinburgh. The Jacobite army, now in bold spirits, marched onwards to Carlisle, over the border in England. When it reached Derby, some British divisions were recalled from the Continent and the Jacobite army retreated north to Inverness where the last battle on Scottish soil took place on a nearby moor at Culloden. The Battle of Culloden ended with the final defeat of the Jacobite cause, and with Charles Edward Stuart fleeing with a price on his head. His wanderings in the northwest Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the summer months of 1746, before finally sailing to permanent exile in France, have become an era of Scottish history that is steeped in romance. Wikipedia
Tradition and family gossip indicate that I probably had ancestors on both sides at Culloden!

So on the one hand we have William Wallace bellowing "Freedom" in the closing scenes of that movie (which is very ahistorical!), and on the other hand we have the certainty that Scotland, by itself, is probably not a viable political entity. In my opinion, a "Yes" vote would make the old country just another pawn for the Eurocrats to push around.

Trepidation, that's what I'm feeling. I'm sure the professional politicians of the Scottish National Party (SNP) are salivating at the prospect of being independent from Britain. So what's this bunch of politicos that has the people over there so worked up?
The Scottish National Party (SNP; Scottish Gaelic: Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba, Scots: Scots Naitional Pairtie) is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence. Wikipedia
What the Sam Hill is a social-democrat?
Social democracy is a political ideology that officially has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism through reformist and gradualist methods. Alternatively, social democracy is defined as a policy regime involving a universal welfare state and collective bargaining schemes within the framework of a capitalist economy. It is often used in this manner to refer to the social models and economic policies prominent in Western and Northern Europe during the later half of the 20th century. Wikipedia
I highlighted the scary bit for you. That's the piece that really worries me.

So yeah, trepidation is the word of the day for Thursday.

Here's praying that they don't do anything foolhardy.

Of course, I said that about the U.S. in 2008, then in 2012 again.

D'oh!






*"Clan member crest badge - Clan Gordon" by Celtus (Celtus @ english wikipedia) - Own work by uploader. The stag's head is adapted from an out-of-copyright book.). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clan_member_crest_badge_- _Clan_Gordon.svg#mediaviewer/File:Clan_member_crest_badge_-_Clan_Gordon.svg

8 comments:

  1. Someone should remind the Scots that it's nearly impossible and downright impractical to put toothpaste back in the tube.

    My point is that the separation is always a possibility for later.

    Now is certainly not the time.

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  2. I'm going to defer to a much wiser and more literate gentleman who actually participated in this type of action.

    "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
    "


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    1. I understand that quite well Juvat. While severing the union may (or may not) spare Scotland the ills that England is currently suffering, I still don't think that Scotland is a viable nation on its own. The people in Scotland clamoring for separation from the UK are as well informed as the voters who put Obummer in office and returned him to that office again in 2012. There are potential problems which I don't think the SNP as thought all the way through.

      Perhaps it's an apples and oranges comparison, perhaps not. At any rate, it troubles me.

      Good comment though.

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    2. If I were to attempt to translate Mr Jefferson's document into Fighter Pilot-ese. I'd think what he was trying to say in those two paragraphs is "It's time to stop being ruled by these guys when the worst that can happen not being ruled by them is better than the best than can happen being ruled by them" You may very well be right about Scotland (and probably are) but I'm appalled by some of the nonsense coming out of Parliament and other governing bodies. (Rotterham specifically). I can understand any feeling no longer wishing to be associated with that. I feel it frequently myself.

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    3. Interesting take on this over at the DiploMad. Seems that the idiocy coming out of Parliament relies heavily on the Labour Party, said idiots rely heavily on Scottish voters. Independence for Scotland probably benefits England more that Scotland.

      Honni soit qui mal y pense!

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  3. Ye be watching "Outlander" series on Starz network? http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander Diana Gabaldon's series of time travel from 1945 England to 1743 Scottish Highlands.

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    1. Sigh. I don't have Starz. Perhaps I should. Sounds like something I would enjoy.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)