Smoky Mountains Sunrise
Showing posts with label Scottish Independence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottish Independence. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Daniel Hannan: The Positive Case for Nationalism

In the end, it came down to flags. It always does.
In the final days of the campaign, it became all about nationhood. Arguments about sterling and the NHS and oil revenues faded into the background as both sides appealed to their supporters’ patriotism. True, there were two competing patriotisms, one British and the other exclusively Scottish. But both campaigns grasped that, in the last analysis, national feeling would trump other considerations, and voters duly went to the polls surrounded by saltires and Union flags.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Daniel Hannan: Thank God My Country is Still Intact

One nation, still

Thank God. Just thank God. I don’t much care at the moment whether God is Scottish, and is glowering approvingly at Great Britain from over His bands and Geneva gown, or whether He is English and is raising a glass of sherry with an absent-minded smile. At least my country is intact.

When I say “my country”, I don’t just mean what it says on my passport. I’m one of those UK nationals – a minority, perhaps, but not an insignificant one – who self-identify as British. In England, Scotland and Wales, older patriotisms generally take precedence (Northern Ireland is a special case, obviously). Although many people across Great Britain are passionate Unionists, a “Yes” vote wouldn’t have forced them to redefine their identity. The UK might have been divided, and they might have been sorry to see it go, but they’d have carried on being English or Scottish or Welsh.

Those of us who are British first had no such fall-back. A “Yes” vote would have meant the end of the country we belonged to – the end of its name, of its flag, of our internal map of home.

I love England dearly, and couldn’t be prouder to represent the Home Counties in the European Parliament. But I’m not English by birth or much ancestry. I’d have had mentally to change my homeland in order to stay at home. As the polls narrowed, I began to sink into a black despair the like of which I have never known. For the first time in my life, I found myself waking in the night from anxiety.

Earlier this evening – or yesterday, as I suppose it now is – I attended a friend’s wedding blessing. The service ended with “I vow to thee me country”, and a piper played “Highland Cathedral” as the recessional. I found my cheeks wet with tears. They are wet again now as I write.

There will be consequences, of course. “Devo Max” – or, as we used to call it before we started mangling our language “Home Rule” – is now a democratic necessity. It’s not just that all the main parties have promised it; it’s that there is no other way to unite the two sides. Home Rule for Scotland will then have implications for the other three parts of the country, forcing massive devolution all round. Good.

But that’s for tomorrow. For now, just rejoice. Rejoice at the fact that we live in a country that wants no unwilling subjects. (Try seceding from France or Spain or Italy or even the United States.) Rejoice that democracy works: we’ve just seen a record-breaking turnout on a record-breaking registration.

Rejoice, most of all, that the nation which, over the past three centuries, has achieved more than any rival on the planet, has a new lease of life. The United Kingdom is a country people want to belong to, and the world is a better place.
Be Britain still to Britain true,
Amang ourselves united;
For never but by British hands
Maun British wrangs be righted!
No! never but by British hands
Shall British wrangs be righted!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dear Scotland: An Open Letter from Your Canadian Cousins

An editorial from The Globe and Mail

Dear Scotland,

You probably don’t know this, but you made us. The first European to cross the continent and reach our Pacific coast was Alexander Mackenzie – a Scot. Our first prime minister and chief Father of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald? Scottish. So too our second PM. Our country’s national dream, a railroad from sea to sea, was realized in 1885 when Sir Donald Smith, head of the Canadian Pacific Railway, drove The Last Spike at Craigellachie – a place named after a village in his homeland. The man who did the most to create Canada’s system of universal public health care, and chosen as “The Greatest Canadian” in a national survey of CBC viewers, was Tommy Douglas. He was born in Falkirk. The thistle and the red lion rampant on our national coat of arms identify you as one of our four founding nations; half of our provincial flags contain a Saint Andrew’s cross; and one of our provinces – Nova Scotia – is named after you. There are said to be more pipers and pipe bands in Canada than in Scotland. And nearly five million Canadians identify their ethnic origin as entirely or partly Scottish, which means we have almost as many Scottish-Canadians as you have people.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Scottish Independence: The Queen is Urged to Intervene

Senior MPs have suggested an intervention from Her Majesty could 'make all the difference' as a new TNS poll shows the Yes and No campaigns running neck and neck 

Queen Elizabeth addresses the benefits of British union in a reply to the loyal addresses given on behalf of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons commemorating Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee in May 1977.

David Cameron is under growing pressure to ask the Queen to speak out in support of the Union as another opinion poll confirms a surge in support for Scottish independence.

Senior MPs have suggested an intervention from Her Majesty could “make all the difference” as a TNS poll shows the Yes and No campaigns running neck and neck. 

Read more at The Telegraph >>