Questions arise: should the English ever forgive the accursed Normans for 1066? Should the English ever forget the injustice of fate allowing their braveheart hero, Harold, to be slain after completely routing the Vikings then making a forced march the length of England to face William and his thugs on horses at the battle of Hastings? Should the English just dismiss the ruthless dispossession of the Saxons? Shouldn’t the English go on shaking their fist at the papacy for giving its blessing to the invasion and unleashing feudalism like the pox from Europe onto the shores of Albion? Should the English even now tolerate the remnant of those usurping thugs who call themselves ‘nobility’ to go on occupying their ill-gained castles in England’s green and pleasant land? Why—a halfway respectable claim could even be made that no English monarch has sat on the throne of England since the black year of 1066. Germans, oh, yes, Scots, Welsh, French and those damned Normans, of course. Should the English just let that go! Why aren’t we feeding the grudge in our schools, the very best place for it to thrive?
Listen t’ me, Jimmy! My doctor’s a wee Scottie and she’s luvvly. I love the Scots (except for that Shorn-bloody-Connery), I love the Welsh and—how dare I, I love the Irish, too. Whatever the Celts might feel about me as a born English, that’s how I feel about them. Pure sentimentality, of course, part of the British culture that, south and east of the border, has been evolving out of English culture over three hundred years (and no, the Irish aren’t Brits). Sentimentality is headweak, impervious to sense and is where Scottish First Minister, Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond makes his pitch to stay-at-home Scots.
Whether an Independant Scotland is a good or a bad step is impossible to predict, no matter how assured ol’ Alex likes to appear, but the crux is, that once that path is taken there is no way back. What can be predicted is that Scotland, just like Britain with or without her, or Tibet or the Ukraine (who aren’t being offered an independent choice) will have its ups and its downs and, like the rest of the political map, disappear in a hundred or a thousand years and who will care then? So then? Athough I view it as a potential step backwards, independence is—rightly in this Union—Scotland’s choice. However, a few thousand years of tribes into nations and on earth we are no further on than the Montagues and Capulets.
What I like to imagine is the emergence of a will to transform our cultural fervours into a higher ambition for global cooperation and goodwill(!). But to open your mind and your heart to ‘foreigners’ is unendingly hard, voluntary work with no thanks and no perks. Anything less though will not do. The position at this point is that one species with a rapacious demand for energy and resources and perilously guided by small-minded sentimentality, overpopulates every square metre it can utilise until circumstances—war, pestilence, famine—will cull it, or its habitat is destroyed in an acid bath. Might we, please—if it’s not already too late—direct our energies into preventing that happening; act more like the guardians than the squabbling brats of this precious and vulnerable world that I love far more than any of the world’s lilliputian nation?
[BTW, from the opposite perspective, Britain must commit itself to making Europe work, not be forever threatening referendums to opt out every time it doesn’t get its own way, even if that is our choice in that Union.]