Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Wrapping Myself In The Union Flag

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.
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