"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 4 June 2010

Scotland Calling

Since you may be hard-pressed to know what 'England' is, to define 'Englishness' or to find the country on a map showing those old colonialist, imperialist, neo-nazi, fascist (or whatever is the current term of abuse) thingies called 'Counties', I thought I'd take a look at what's happening in Scotland.  Scotland's the country to which 'England' is attached and it has its own Assembly which is now called an executive or a government, depending whether you're pro-independence/a UK MP or not.

I think one of the joys of being Scottish must be that they actually have an elected forum to represent the people and debate the issues most closely affecting those people.  The recently-elevated Jack McConnell makes a good point when he says that the UK must think carefully about its whole attitude towards the Union.  The days of salvaging it are long gone and we should recognise that and deal with what we have now - there is no going back, only forward.

Before any further reviews/reports/inquiries take place I suggest a nation-wide referendum should be held and everyone should be asked whether they favour secession from the Union.  I include the English, Welsh and Northern Irish in this.  One part of the UK (Scotland) cannot decide the geo-political future for the rest of us and, as I understand it, the majority of Scots voters aren't in favour of full-blown independence (that leads us to another question about being half in and half out - half in for the benefits and half out to avoid the pain).

Before he was elected, Cameron promised to address the West Lothian question and introduce rules whereby English laws could only be voted on by English MPs - I haven't heard much about that since he cobbled together the coalition with Clegg.   If independence is the route they're going down then England must have it's own Executive/Assembly/Government too.  To split up this historic nation into nine easily-administered-from-Brussels regions is a gross insult.  The England of Edmund isn't taught in our schools; our children are taught that we're an uncivilised, mongrel nation subdued first by the Romans and then by the French (in 1066) and then it's swiftly on to WW2 and why the EU is such a 'Good Thing'.  Misleading to say the least.

The articles all come from The Times, because I was struck by how many of their leading headlines led to the Scottish news page:

50/50 tax & spending power for Holyrood?
70% of newly qualified teachers fail to find a position
Aberdeen Uni: Six million euros to find out why we turn to chocolate when stressed
NHS Scotland squeezed but guess who'll get the blame

While I'm on the subject, why is it okay, even a source of patriotic pride, to be a Scottish Nationalist, a Welsh Nationalist or a member of Sinn Fein (de facto Irish Nationalists) but not an English Nationalist?  Why are the BNP and the English Defence League so vilified?  Why have some 'English' councils banned the flying of the St George's flag throughout the football World Cup?  Just do it.  Fly it with patriotic pride and know that a nation too scared to fly its own flag isn't a nation at all.

PS  Has Scotland really failed to qualify or was that just a dream?  England's first match is against America on the 12th June at 8.30pm.

More on Edmund here.

12 comments:

  1. "I think one of the joys of being Scottish must be that they actually have an elected forum to represent the people and debate the issues most closely affecting those people."

    You HAVE watched these f**kers on BBC Parliament , have you , GV ? They make the Labour Party Conference look professional and sane .


    But your central point is right , England does need its own decision making bodies . Almost no Scots would disagree .

    That doesn't necessarily mean an end of Britain . Wouldn't a federal UK be a good way forward ?

    You may also be pleased to know that I've taught Anglo-Saxon English history in at least two Scottish schools over the years . Until recently it was even an option at Higher . Never taught History in England , only Latin , so can't comment on their syllabus .

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  2. I rely on SubRosa for my Scottish politics YO so I know that all's not well but at least you have a forum :-)

    A federal UK sounds smart & modern - but we'd have to ditch the EU as a pre-requisite since it's the source of all directives and rules. I'm also beginning to think that when QE2 dies, we can give Charles a bicylce and ditch the monarchy.

    English history in England hasn't been on the syllabus in any meaningful way for a while (no timelines, no kings/queens etc) and it isn't compulsory. Scottish children probably know more about it than English children. Perhaps it will change with the new govt.

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  3. interesting post girl!..Why are the BNP and the English Defence League so vilified? ..because they are anti IzlamoNazism..plain and simple!

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  4. AnonymousJune 04, 2010

    'IzlamoNazism', haven't seen that one before lol. Is the first 'z' optional or can one use an 's' if one wants to?

    I'm an English nationalist. I don't support the BNP, or the EDL. I get by. I love my people, Angelcynn, and our homeland, Englaland. Waes Hael.

    Call me a Nazi and I'll tell you three very young men in my family died fighting Nazis, the real one's, who did real things, in the real world.

    Steve

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  5. Thanks for the reply , GV.

    The federal UK bit isn't all that modern , being an off-shoot of late 19thC Liberalism .

    Joseph Chamberlain . Greater Britain .

    As for teaching : much of the stuff outwith exam tuition is taught according to the preferences of the teachers themselves .

    I was proud to study medieval English history courses at Glasgow University (all those years ago) and have experienced very positive results from presenting it to school pupils .

    We have much more in common than much current debate suggests .

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  6. PS . Ditching the EU is the prerequisite of all British politics .

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  7. Hi Angel, I think there has to be more to it than that and as Anon Steve implies it's more to do with their structure. The EDL isn't even a political party - just a protest group - so I probably shouldn't have referred to them at all in this context.

    There is no English equivalent to the Scots or Welsh Nats and I think it has more to do with the English psyche than politics which was essentially the point of the post but it turned out rather muddled & overblown.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend over there :-)

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  8. Thanks Anon Steve, I understand that but it begs the question of where you put your cross in the ballot box given that there's no English Nat party.

    I could be wrong but I think using 'zeds' was originally English which the Americans retained but it then evolved into 'ess' in the English language. Does that sentence make sense?

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  9. Thanks YO - I know nothing of 19thc Liberalism and Chamberlain's politics but it sounds like an interesting concept and one that would fit today's political circumstances quite well.

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  10. AnonymousJune 05, 2010

    You're right about the 'z' to 's' GV. The problem I have is everyone suffixing things they don't like with -Nazi, or -Nazism. Makes no sense to me. Communism, which killed around a 100,000,00., is never mentioned.

    Moving on, the English Independence Party has just started so come the next election we will have a box to put our X in. The Englisc Nation will survive, intact and still unique and we will fight if necessary to defend it. That's a promise.

    Steve

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  11. Good post GV. Agree with you on losing the royals post her maj too.

    Cameron can't be trusted on anything. yes better than Brown and co but virtually impossible to be any worse. We've seen what his words worth over the EU. Now Tory commitment to English Votes on English Laws is going the same way. Responsibility for investigating the West Lothian Question has been delegated to Nick Clegg, a man totally committed into the balkanisation of England into EU approved "regions". Expect zero joy there if you love England.

    Just one thing I don't agree with. As the name suggests the British National Party are Brit nats not English nats. Actually so are the so called "English Defence League" formerly the English and Welsh Defence League. They fly the butcher's apron and sing rule Britannia as well - something no English nationalist would ever do.

    Home rule for England.

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  12. Thanks Steve, I'll keep an eye out for the English Independence Party - will be interesting to see how it differs from the English Democrats.

    Thanks Wyrdtimes, it's a sad conclusion I've reached about the monarchy after all these years but I think when the Queen dies, that will be it. Having said that, she's seemed quite happy to sign away the country via various treaties to an unelected euro elite.

    English votes on English laws has been quietly dropped despite it being in their manifesto. I suppose it's a casualty of the coalition - if AV is adopted Parliament will never be the same again and horse-trading such as we've seen lately will be what passes for normal. We'll never know if what we vote for will survive an AV election. AV won't help smaller parties either because it isn't true PR - it would have helped Labour gain more seats in the last election though, which is food for thought.

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