The Battle of Bannockburn was one of the most spectacular and significant events in British history and, for the Scots, also had a major impact on the outcome in the Scottish Wars of Independence. The physical battles may be long past however; there are still elements in Scotland who seek to perpetuate these ancient struggles. The question is why?
That Scottish victory at Bannockburn may have secured the throne for Robert Bruce but now, hundreds of years later the natives are revolting again. But, are the Scots getting hot under their kilts out of genuine, all be it historically subdued, anger with the English?
Perhaps the heat results from a genuine desire for even greater devolution or the desire to achieve full independence, once and for all? Or maybe, as I suspect, is it simply the result of all the sunshine of political rhetoric and spin, being blown up those kilts by self-important politicians?
The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour at Westminster are all opposed to the Scottish independence plans. The party leaders of all three political groups in England are drawing up their battle plans, ready for a fight of political ideals and social supremacy against those espoused by Alex Salmond and his Scottish National Party at Holyrood. Unlike any previous Braveheart type confrontation, this modern-day reenactment is (hopefully) unlikely to result in any significant bloodshed.
Nick Robinson, political editor at the BBC, suggests that Salmond and Cameron have a high-stakes fight ahead of them in their Braveheart v Lionheart battle. That’s probably right however, as James Naughtie of BBC Radio 4 pointed out, on these arguments over Scotland’s future in the United Kingdom; “the politically paradoxical is more interesting than any legal furore that might flare up over the coming referendum” (see here).
I can’t really get my head around the ultimate advantages the Scots seek to realise, at least not over and above the ones they have already achieved? Their local taxation, social services, health services and education systems already appear to be far better than those provided in England. Their legal system (in particular their police service) would seem to be far more efficient and more true to its original purpose than ours. That’s before you even start to consider the undoubted natural advantages of their beautiful country.
More than half of Scottish voters want to remain in the United Kingdom, according to a poll released today (10/01/2012)…According to the survey, voters north of the border are slightly more enthusiastic about preserving the Union than people in England or Wales…(huffingtonpost.co.uk)
To me this would suggest these continuous but mostly recent wars of attrition are simply political struggles. They may only be designed to harm the respective ‘opponents’ in a lot of small ways, so that they become gradually weaker however; the end result is likely to be little more than, just another nail in the coffin of our once ‘Great’ united nation!
There’s one thing for certain, if their political desires actually come to fruition, I’ll be telling the wife (born in Scotland) to apply for a Scottish passport. I’ll also be crowing more about my Scottish ancestry and visiting the Scottish members of my family far more often… Always assuming I don’t finally grasp the claymore and emigrate that is!
No matter what my opinion, I feel sure my old mate the Portree Kid will have a few choice and select words to offer on the matter…
- Spirit of Bannockburn thrives north of the border (independent.co.uk)
- Scottish independence referendum: why autumn 2014? (guardian.co.uk)
- Interviewing Alex Salmond, the man who wants to break-up Britain (economist.com)
- An independent Scotland might have to join euro, says George Osborne (guardian.co.uk)