Man, it’s cold out there! That’s nothing compared to next Monday, when the high is supposed to be -13F, so I’ll just smile a lot, and bundle up. Talking to a friend in Australia, I guess they are breaking heat records. We are a planet of extremes.
I understand that Scotland will be voting for independence in 2014. September 18th to be exact. This issue interests me very much. Until my mother brought my grandfather over from Scotland in the mid-80s to take care of him in his old age, she remained a British citizen, and on my mother’s side, I am a first generation American.
It’s hard not to have ties to Scotland. The Scottish are a fiercely nationalistic people. They take pride in things that are Scottish or are perceived as Scottish. It’s an interesting pride. I mean, some would question the worth of haggis or bagpipes. I run the risk of being drummed out of the Scottish club by even doing so. For the record, I love bagpipes, and can eat haggis (and do once a year at Robbie Burns birthday) although I’m not wild about it.
The Scottish are a very wronged people. We started off as fierce, and Hadrian’s wall was built to keep us the hell out of the south part of the island. But the English have this problem. They have been historically an aggressive nation that likes to conquer and colonize, and what better place to start with than with your near neighbors, eh? So, when did Scotland become unified with Wales and England? In 1707. In 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, known more popularly as Bonnie Prince Charlie, led what many Scots consider the last real attempt at rebellion. Stuart wanted all of England with the assistance of the French. He was supported largely by the Scottish Jacobite movement, but not the English one. The Scots and Stuart were defeated soundly at Culloden. Stuart exited the political arena and lived in exile, but this is considered by some the last great Scottish attempt.
Scotland has been part of Great Britain for 307 years. Our Scots Gaelic has been traded for English. Our farmers and shepherds have been driven from their land for English estates. Our country has not been treated as a conquered people for quite some time, but we really are. When I was in Edinburgh in 2004, the tour guide at the castle joked that England joined Scotland after Queen Elizabeth gave the throne to James. But yes, it is, economically, the other way around.
I had written another part of this post comparing and contrasting reasons for and against, and unfortunately it was eaten. I will continue this post, and recapture that data soon, but I don’t have any more time to devote to it today. It is certainly a complex matter.