|Wrapping Myself In The Union Flag
||[Feb. 15th, 2014|10:45 am]
I'm a Unionist- and if I had a platform to speak from I'd be going on about all the wonderful things the Scots and the English have done together.|
I'd talk about Boswell- and how the biography of the archetypal Englishman was written by a Scot. And how the archetypal Englishman and the little randy Scots lawyer made a tour of the Highlands and Islands and were received in her family home by the Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald.
I'd talk about "good Sir Walter" and how he gave us a wonderful myth of Scottish history and a wonderful myth of English history too (think Ivanhoe).
I'd talk about all the Scottish engineers who came south and all the English landscape painters who went north.
I'd talk about all the great Scots writers who lived in England and became citizens of the world. Carlyle and Stevenson and Barrie and Conan Doyle for starters. I'd talk about de Quincey's residence in Edinburgh and how Orwell wrote Animal Farm in a Hebridean bothy.
I'd probably feel bound (however much it went against the grain) to talk about Victoria and Albert's little place at Balmoral and the Queen Mother's little place at wherever it is.
I'd talk about how the two nations have intermarried and created a bonded culture. I'd also (sotto voce) mention how we once ran an Empire together.
I'd talk about the Scots Guards at Waterloo.
And so on and on....
I'm not at all a fan of Churchill's but there are times- and this is one of them- that cry out for the "Winston touch".
None of our current leaders has it. Not even a smidgeon of it. All they seem to care about is money.
Ah, they should remember "hearts and minds" and not just "minds" - although the temptation to put cocky Jocky Alex Salmond in his place over the currency must be overwhelming.
I hope they stay. How would we cope with the bloody Tories without them? and they are my genetic countrymen, I don't want them to become foreign - because that would make me a third-generation immigrant.
I don't know whether I have any Scottish blood but I'd be surprised if I didn't. I'd also be surprised if there are many Scots around who don't have English ancestors.
The problem is, the Scots (like the Welsh) are fed up of being ruled by Tories that they haven't voted for. The devolved parliaments give them some control over what happens in their own country, but I suspect that, like me, they resent how all the money is being funnelled into London and the South East.
So yes, it is about money and how it's distributed.
The North of England is also sick of being ruled by the Tories.
I'm beginning to think that London should become an independent city state and leave the rest of the country to be a socialist republic. It is like two different worlds and policies that favour London don't necessarily help the regions.
I like the idea too- but it's not going to happen, is it?
Herein lies the core of the anti-PR brigade, when we had something of an opportunity for electoral reform. Even in what are considered Tory heartlands, we find (from current personal experience) localities where the Cons perform terribly in town, but make up their solid margin in the outlying villages.
Thus, we're stuck with a helicoptered candidate so loyal to Cameron (and beyond - he voted for the "strip terror suspects of citizenship" amendment) that the local party chief resigned in protest. Yay.
Just because we're in the heart of the South does not, emphatically, mean we support these callous bastards.
That's very true. Our system disenfranchises large portions of the population.
All your talk of deep historical links might (and is) equally marshalled by Irish Unionists too, though. Irish people also contributed to empire, fought in English wars, exported brilliant writers to London. But we broke up the UK nonetheless, and have been a separate state for almost one hundred years - and relations between Ireland and England have arguably never been better in the last millennium than they are now.
That's a good point.
But Ireland was a conquered land whereas Scotland was a willing and notionally equal partner in the Union.