Home > Politics > To think again . . .

To think again . . .

At last, it’s official. There will be a referendum on Scottish independence, most likely on the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, a significant date in our history. My mind is already made up, and has been for many years. I will be voting ‘Yes!’ (Note the exclamation mark.)

I have a few English friends who don’t understand why that will be. My answer is always the same; ‘Because I’m Scottish. That’s my nationality. That’s what I am.’ My dream is that one day I will present my Scottish passport to a foreign immigration official. Maybe he’ll be English, maybe Canadian, most likely Spanish; whatever, wherever, I will insist that it is stamped, for it will be a momentous day in my life.

Already the ‘No’ campaign is rolling, and many of my fellow Scots are in that camp. I’m not going to demean them by calling them names. They’re not  ‘Fearties’, most of them, but people who hold a different view to mine and who see our future in a continuing political union with our English nee’burs. But I’m not going to allow the assertion that we are voting for the break-up of the United Kingdom to stand unchallenged.

The United Kingdom has been in existence since 1603, and came about because the Virgin Queen left no weans (Well, she wouldn’t, would she?) to succeed her. The Union of the Parliaments came about in 1707, and it is that ill-considered but long-lasting marriage that will be dissolved if Scotland says ‘Yes!’ I will not be voting to reject the Head of State; I’m a monarchist, and more than happy with the present occupant. No, I will be voting to end an economic and fiscal union that has always been dominated by London and has always put London’s interests first. And I’ll even do so knowing for certain that the new state will have a left of centre government; I, who have never voted Labour in my life.

Nor am I going to allow myself to be deflected by the sterling smokescreen. The pound is a British unit of currency, not English; Scotland is its co-owner, and it is entirely logical that we should retain it, in the short term at least, taking our share of the asset and setting up a Scottish central bank, possibly with Alistair Darling as its first Governor.

Will it ever happen? Will I ever present that Scottish passport? Current polls indicate that if the referendum was held tomorrow, the single question on the ballot paper would see a resounding ‘No’ vote. But it won’t be. Those of us who believe in a sovereign Scotland, in a politically and fiscally independent Scotland, have the intervening period to persuade our fellows to ask themselves the simple questions, ‘Who am I? What am I? What do I want to bequeath to my children?’

The more we can do that, the more likely we are to energise the electorate, particularly its youngest members . . . very young some of them . . . and to awaken the inherent courage of the nation that we always have been in our hearts, and can be again, in the fullest sense.

Categories: Politics
  1. GILLIAN
    October 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Hello
    What does this mean”‘Fearties” and from my days as a proper! bank clerk, don’t you already have your own bank notes. forgive the spelling just had cataract surgery, and things are just a little blurry
    Kind regards
    Gillian
    Ps I hope you will be talking this over with Mia before making your final decision

  2. October 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    ‘Feart’ = Afraid, Gillian. Yes there are Scottish bank notes, but under-written by commercial banks, not a central bank. Their status is questionable, and they are often refused, furth of Scotland.

    My decision is made. Not even Mia could talk me round; she’ll have to settle for an inexhaustible supply of Smarties. However, she might be on my side. Catalunya has its own virtual independence referendum next month, and the polls are showing a small majority in support of secession from Spain.

  3. Alison
    October 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Pride in your country is a marvellous thing. Since I’m from where I am, I always consider myself to be Yorkshire first (but then I would), English second. But I make a point of putting ‘English’ on any of the necessary forms, because I’m proud of being English and proud of our heritage. So from that point of view I fully understand where you’re coming from.

  4. October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    There’s a strong case for allowing you a referendum also: I’d be all in favour. What you say backs me up, when I say to my friends (and family) from south of the border that I never meet an Englishman, per se. Yorkshiremen, Lancastrians, Geordies, Cornish, Brummies, etc., those loyalties are usually asserted first.

  5. Patricia (Pat) Wright
    October 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Not really any of my business but your stand on Scottish independence is the right one, I think. Any “independence” appeals to me as we Americans come out of a revolutionary background. Tell me, QJ, did’nt England profit greatly from your N. Sea oil ? Or do I misremember? In any event, having traveled extensively in the UK it is obvious the Scots have a distinct culture and one that shouldn’t have been subsumed by the English. Now, I’ll butt my nose out and hope other Scots can be persuaded of their own identity as well as you.

  6. Patricia (Pat) Wright
    October 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Oh, by the way, when we first traveled down to England, the hosts” looked askance at our Scottish notes!

  7. October 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Have to agree 100% with Patricia. I have friends scattered throughout England. ( I usually wind them up by saying that, as a Nation, England was like the rest of us Celts up until 1066 when they got involved with all these folk called Norman Then overnight they became cold blooded, cold hearted and arrogant.)
    On a serious note, for the majority of Scots, that impression of arrogance and rudeness that seems to emanate from a large number of little Englander type folk overshadows the genuine warmth of the people from other parts of the country..
    To link this post with the previous one re the Scottish football team, I also think there is a touch of the Pavlov Dog Syndrome about Scotland at the moment.– If you continue to tell them that they are an oversubsidised, valueless crowd who cannot survive without the protection of England for long enough and often enough then eventually they’ll accept it as a fact and end up having little self esteem and no self confidence..
    Up to you Quintin to instill some self-belief back

  8. October 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    PS…Sorry should have said ” Agree 100% with Patricia and Alison”

  9. David Birkmyre
    October 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Well, that was very eloquent

    Well put

    I’m one of the ‘fearties’

    Every time Scotland tries to ‘go it alone’……………we fail

    Think of Ally Mcleod and Argentina

    He said: “I know that we’ve not trained enough – but – when ‘we’ put on these blue jerseys everything will work out just fine”

    ………………It didn’t!

    Every time we(Scotland) want to ‘go it alone’ we fail (and need the strength of England’ to bail us out)

    Salmond (used to) state that we would be in an ‘Arc of Prosperity’ (Ireland / Iceland / Scotland etc)

    Well – after ‘our’ banks went bust – we would have had to go (again) to England to bail us out

    However – I do like the idea of a ‘Scottish Passport’ – it might prevent us from ‘assault’ abroad?

    I suspect that, over the next 2 years – this debate will become ‘focused’ – but – on what, I’ve no idea (Nuclear Deterrent?)

    Talk quietly and carry a big stick?

    Who knows?

    Only time will tell

    I wish you a nice day

    David

  10. October 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Fairly eloquent yourself, David, but I would like to think that ‘our’ banks will be a bloody sight better regulated that they were by Westminster.

    Funnily enough I think quite often of Ally and Argentina. As I said to someone in another post string, If Johnny Repp hadn’t potted that speculative second goal late in the Holland game, we’d have gone through at their expense and history woud look different. That’s how close it was. However I concede that our history is littered with ‘if’s. The biggest of those may be, ‘if the parcel of rogues in our nation hadn’t sold us out in 1707, how different would Scotland be today?’

    As for the nuclear issue, George Robertson is quoted as saying that a non-nuclear Scotland would lose ‘its global reach’. I’m for that. Why, exactly, do we need such a global capability? To fill body bags in Afghanistan?

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