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Showing posts with label William Wallace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label William Wallace. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Man or Myth – a strange article in Radio Times this week

Radio Times carries a full page article on page 25 headed 'Man or Myth’ by Dr. Fiona Watson of Dundee University in a Q&A format, talking to James Gill of Radio Times. The rationale for commissioning this appears to be a link to ‘Bloody Tales’ screened on Monday next by National Geographic channel.

Dr. Watson’s final comment ‘Braveheart is more fiction than  fact ..’ etc. makes reference to Alex Salmond, the SNP, xenophobia, anti-English sentiment and devolution. I have emailed Dr. Watson, a respected historian - whom I am sure has no political motivation in making such comments – to point out that neither Alex Salmond, the SNP nor the independence movement is  anti-English or xenophobic and has never sought to endorse or exploit the ‘Braveheart’ film, with all its manifest Hollywood inaccuracies.

I have also observed that the SNP and the independence movement celebrates William Wallace as a great Scottish historical figure (as do most Scots) who is most certainly not a myth, and I have referred her to the words of the great English historian George Macaulay Trevelyan, the great nephew of  Macaulay and the last historian writing in the Whig traditions, and the following extract from his History of England(1937) -

“A guerrilla chief of genius, a tall man of iron strength, who suddenly appears on the page of history, as if from nowhere, defeated at Stirling Bridge an English Army under its blundering feudal chief, the Earl of Warenne, of quo Warranto fame. Thence William Wallace broke ravaging into Northumberland and Cumberland.

This unknown knight, with little but his great name to identify him in history, had lit a fire which nothing since has ever put out.

Here, in Scotland, contemporaneously with very similar doings in Switzerland, a new ideal and tradition of wonderful potency was brought into the world; it had no name then, but now we should call it democratic patriotism. It was not the outcome of theory. The unconscious qualities of a people had given it reality in a sudden fit of rage. “

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 -

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE – SCOTTISH VERSION

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

 

BRUCE’S ADDRESS TO HIS CAPTAIN’S BEFORE BANNOCKBURN – 2014 VERSION

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

 

LIBERATION ARMY LEADER,  IN THE LAST STAGES OF THE LIBYAN OR SYRIAN FIGHT FOR FREEDOM (SCOTTISH VERSION)

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?

 

WILLIAM WALLACE, HANGED, CUT DOWN AND BEING DISEMBOWELLED, 2014

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

SUMMARY

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.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Words that inspire a nation …

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE – SCOTTISH VERSION

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 – Long Live King George

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 …

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

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

 

BRUCE’S ADDRESS TO HIS CAPTAIN’S BEFORE BANNOCKBURN – 2014 VERSION

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

 

LIBERATION ARMY LEADER,  IN THE LAST STAGES OF THE SIRTE SIEGE (SCOTTISH VERSION)

Maybe we should settle for full fiscal autonomy, guys – a kind of freedom-lite. Let’s see what the freedom fighters think, shall we? Gadaffi might be OK with it …”

 

WILLIAM WALLACE, HANGED, CUT DOWN AND BEING DISEMBOWELLED, 2014

“Full fiscal autonomy!”

SUMMARY

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! 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?

Stop throwing things at me! Really!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The words of a great English historian on a great Scot

George Macaulay Trevelyan was the great nephew of Macaulay and the last historian writing in the Whig traditions. The Whigs were the forerunners of the Liberal Party, but God knows what they would make of the present LibDems and apparatchiks like Danny Alexander.

Here is an extract from his History of England (1937) -

A guerilla chief of genius, a tall man of iron strength, who suddenly appears on the page of history, as if from nowhere, defeated at Stirling Bridge an English Army under its blundering feudal chief, the Earl of Warenne, of quo Warranto (link) fame. Thence William Wallace broke ravaging into Northumberland and Cumberland.

This unknown knight, with little but his great name to identify him in history, had lit a fire which nothing since has ever put out. Here, in Scotland, contemporaneously with very similar doings in Switzerland, a new ideal and tradition of wonderful potency was brought into the world; it had no name then, but now we should call it democratic patriotism. It was not the outcome of theory. The unconscious qualities of a people had given it reality in a sudden fit of rage.

Where is Scotland’s rage against what the Labour Party did to it over 13 wasted, blighted years and the ConLib coalition is doing to it now?

Where is our democratic patriotism now?

It cannot be summoned for the tattered, bloodstained flag of a vanished empire, Great Britain, great no longer…

It can be summoned for the spring of 2011 – a momentous year for the nation of Scotland.

Vote for your ain folk – vote for the Scottish National Party, not for The Three UK Stooges – Gray, Goldie or Scott.