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Showing posts with label American independence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American independence. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Words that inspire a nation … update for NATO

I first put this piece up about a year ago. It seems it needs updating -


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. But then again, perhaps they would prefer full fiscal autonomy rather than dissolve the political bands, and let’s face it, we’ll still be British – Long Live Queen Elizabeth and her successors in perpetuity, of course

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 – but sometimes they’d rather have devo max, and a kind of independence lite – and we know that Civic Scotland and a whole host of organisations who are essentially undemocratic and don’t like the sound of the voice of the electorate also like that kind of thing …

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 – or if that seems too extreme, perhaps we should go for full fiscal autonomy and leave them in charge of the vital things, like nuclear weapons, and the God-given right of the British empire (sorry, UK) to rain destruction on foreign countries to protect them –well us – well, really the United States from – er, well you know the kind of thing – terrorists, that sort of thing

My apologies to the Founding Fathers of a great independent nation, the United States of America and their unanimous declaration of independence, July 4th, 1776



And certis me think well that ye
Forout abasing aucht to be
Worthy and of gret vasselagis
For we haff thre gret avantagis
The fyrst is that we haf the rycht
And for the rycht ay God will fycht.
The tother is that thai cummyn ar
For lyppynyng off thar gret powar
To sek us in our awne land,
And has brocht her rycht till our hand

but then again, maybe we should settle for full fiscal autonomy, sterling, the Bank of England, the English monarchy, Britishness – and we’ll be a member of NATO, a nuclear defence alliance, but only if they disarm



Maybe we should settle for full fiscal autonomy, guys – a kind of freedom-lite. Let’s see what the freedom fighters think, shall we? Maybe Gadaffi and Assad will be OK with it … We can have a constitutional dictator and a central bank – and after all, we all still feel Arab don’t we?



“Full fiscal autonomy, the Queen – and NATO!”


I offer these alternatives to great historical events in the birth of nations as inspirational slogans to nationalist Scots, young and old, as they fight for hearts and minds of their fellow Scots in the lead-up to the Referendum on their freedom  and independence – well, maybe not quite freedom, perhaps full fiscal autonomy. (What’s the Gaelic for full fiscal autonomy?)

Yes, yes, I know Westminster would still be in charge, still sovereign, still free to **** up the economy, engage in foreign wars, kill our young servicemen and women, keep obscene weapons of mass destruction in our country, enrich the South East of England, etc.

For God’s sake, what’s your problem? Politics is the art of the possible! Look at the polls – the Scottish people are feart – let’s reassure them that nothing is really going to change. What’s wrong with going into battle with a banner that says Independence Lite – it has a kind of resonance, don’t you think? Devo Max? How about that, then?

But anyway we might actually win and get a YES, and then we can change anything, repudiate all treaties, renege on all promises – we can have referendums on everything. Just you tell me what you want a referendum on and you can have it – the currency, the monarchy, NATO, Britishness, the BBC, the Beano, the Dandy, The Sunday Post ... Look, see my magic wand – it’s got independence written on it. But I’ve still got the devo max one, not quite in the Harry Potter league.

A vision for Scottish society? Ah, well, that’s a hard one – maybe we should have a free and open debate on that at the next party conference – I’ll listen to all you have to say, then tell you where you’re wrong.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Scaremongering or legitimate points by NO Campaign–and questions of identity

The Unionist Tory/Labour/LibDem Coalition against the independence of Scotland when accused by the SNP of scaremongering and debasing the great debate, respond by saying they are raising legitimate points.

Here are some of them –

Claims by Lord Fraser, the former Tory Solicitor General, that England could have no choice but to bomb Scottish airports in order to defend itself from attack if Scotland became independent.

Claims by Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove that an independent Scotland would no longer have a National Health Service.

Claims by Home Secretary Theresa May that passport checks would be issued at Scotland’s border with England.

Questions published by the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee querying if people could still buy wine from The Sunday Times Wine Club or whether the school curriculum would include ‘English’?

Claims that the Westminster Government would seize custody of the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo post-independence.

I hope that any Scottish voter listening to this nonsense gave a loud horselaugh. Only Iain Davidson’s Scottish Affairs Select Committee could have come up with the Sunday Times wine club one. (They’re currently considering Scotland’s defence, God help us all!)

Picking up on the last one – could someone on the NO Campaign “seize custody” of its spokespersons’ common sense before they debase this vital debate any further? It’s a difficult choice, but faced with either Alistair Darling boring us to death or the ********* who came up with the above rubbish making us laugh ourselves to death, I must, in the interest of the dignity of the great debate, resign myself to being bored to death.


I asked a question on Twitter yesterday – I ask it again here.

What do people of other countries think of prominent Scots who argue against the independence of their nation?

I also now ask the supplementary question -

What will Scotland think of them after independence is achieved?

If I turn the questions around, as in fairness I must, we must ask -

What do people of other countries think of prominent Scots who argue for the independence of their nation?

What will Scotland think of them if independence is not achieved?

I think I know the answers, but those in this great debate must find their own.

There is much talk again today of dual identity, i.e. “I’m Scottish and I’m British” (and they don’t mean geographically resident in the British Isles – they mean the UK.)

I have no problem with dual citizenship of two different, independent countries, nor with a shared sense of values and common purpose with other independent countries. But when it comes to country – and the independent state either achieved or aspired to across the globe, there can be only one identity.


We are not far away from the 4th of July, Independence Day in America. Remember what America secured its independence from – the British Empire, the rump of which is the present United Kingdom, clinging desperately to what it has left of that empire. I’m certain there were politicians – and ordinary people - in America before independence who claimed a dual identity, and who claimed to feel at ease as both Americans and subjects of the British Empire.

What I’m equally certain of is that no American would make such a claim today. They will happily celebrate their country of origin – as Scots, as English, as Welsh, as Irish, as indeed every country of the world that sent its people to the great melting pot – but their identity, their loyalty, and their heart is American.

I acknowledge and celebrate my Irish roots, I acknowledge and celebrate my shared history and cultural affinity with England and Wales, but my identity is  Scottish, my loyalty is to Scotland, and my heart is Scottish.  And when people talk of dual identity, the words of a great Englishman, Frances Bacon, in another context come to mind - “a heart that is double and cloven, and not entire