|The Union Flag, made up of the flags of each memeber nation|
There is in Scotland a desire by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to set up a referendum to ask the Scottish people if they want to leave the United Kingdom and become an independent nation once more. Historically Scotland was separate from England and still is a separate nation, but one that shares the British parliament at Westminster under one flag and has done so for the last three hundred years. Prior to that both countries were independent kingdoms, each having a separate royal family and military arm and were at war with each other on and off, until some of the English rulers decided the Scots were a bit of a thorn in the side being a bit too independent and annexed Scotland and got rid of their king. This at the time naturally created a lot of resentment which has never entirely gone away but under the flag of the United Kingdom, Scotland became part of a world power helping create the British Empire and becoming both rich and prosperous. Whilst I and my ancestors alive at the time, as far as I am aware, had nothing directly to do with this, I can quite understand why there are many Scots who feel resentment towards the English. However, it is not so clear cut. My mother’s paternal family tree goes back to Scotland, so some of them may have been active on the Scottish side but we will never know. Mixing of Scottish and English families could cause some issues with a division, because where do you stand if your family came from Scotland but live in another part of the UK? Which citizenship would you go for and would you have a choice?
The UK currently consists of England Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and whilst Imperial ambitions have become somewhat non PC, we have remained one of the major players in world politics. Whilst not always loved by everyone, we have retained a degree of prestige and many peoples know who we are, particularly knowing the names Mrs Thatcher and Manchester United.
Also much of the world speaks English as its first language.
Now certain Scottish politicians want to try to change all this and are campaigning for independence, so quite correctly are to put it to the Scottish people if they want to opt out of the UK.
However, what about the English, Welsh and Northern Irish, do we not get a say in what after all will change us from a united kingdom to something else entirely. Do we want to become the united non-kingdom? Only England is a kingdom, Wales is not and Northern Ireland is a principality.
Has the SNP asked us? The answer is no they have not and whilst they see it as a purely Scottish issue, it will affect all the other three nations almost as much as them. Currently they have a separate Scottish parliament and whilst Scots politicians can vote in either their own parliament or Westminster, all non-Scottish UK politicians are forbidden from voting in the Scottish parliament. That seems a bit lop sided, but for some reason none of the other members of the UK have voiced any objections to this and it is not a surprise to find that silence includes all of the Scottish MPs.
An important question is what will Scotland become? A republic, revert to being a separate Kingdom or what? If the latter, they will have to revive the old Scottish line of monarchs, no doubt there are still some around who can claim lineage from Bonny Prince Charles, but would this sit well with the leader of the SNP who is behind this movement and does not seem to be a royalist? Likewise if they become a republic or other any other kind of state with no royal family, would there be a move by closet royalists to produce a bona fide descendant of the Scottish royal family and campaign to get them crowned? A situation that historically has not been unknown to lead to a civil war. In Scotland there are already well defined divisions which lead to open hostilities, Glasgow v Edinburgh, Catholic and Protestant communities. How would they decide which king to select, Protestant or Catholic and where would the throne sit, Edinburgh or Glasgow or somewhere else entirely?
If Scotland did become separate and started to do all those things a sovereign state has to do, what currency would they use, the Euro, Scottish dollars, Scottish Pounds or Sterling, or something entirely different. Scotland already has two Scottish banks which print their own notes, Scottish versions of Sterling, but one bank has been nationalised by Westminster’s parliament and is no longer the property of Scotland.
|Some Scottish banknotes|
Would they stay in the European Community or become separate altogether and finally how much would all this cost the poor old Scottish tax payer, because all these changes would cost money and they would no longer be able to tap the Westminster treasury as they do now, with their NHS funding, schools, universities and other aspects of the daily running of a country.
I always think of the old saying ‘divide and conquer’ whenever I see countries breaking apart into smaller states, something generally ignored by the people making these changes. There may be internal differences but banding together has always been a great way of staying strong.So I say, give the rest of us a say in this, it is after all it is our country they want to change and diminish.
|What no Scotland?|