My 2 cents on the Scottish Indy Ref, for what it’s worth…

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I’m an American citizen. I have an American father and an English mother. That being said, I’ve always had a fascination with the history of the British Isles. Although I have English blood, I will not shy away from the fact that the Scottish have endured a great deal of hardships and injustices under English rule–dating back centuries. All displays of Scottish national identity were outlawed after the Battle of Culloden and the fall of Jacobite rule in Scotland. In modern times, Scots are free to display their national identity in ways that would have been restricted during the 18th and 19th centuries, yet they are still part of the UK.

I guess Americans are known to romanticize the situation, given our own story of independence from England. I won’t contest this, and at the same time, I would like to say that I do not presume to know about the intricacies of politics in the UK. (In the times I’ve been to England and from what I hear from family there, most people in the UK are weary of being part of the EU and disapprove of what the EU does. I won’t presume to have an opinion on that, but there it is. They also don’t seem to be too fond of people from other EU countries coming in and ‘taking jobs’ as Americans would say here about Mexicans–a view which I don’t have, but I digress.) As an American, I don’t have direct stakes in the Indy Ref the same way actual Scottish people do (obviously.) But–and I think a lot of Americans would agree, given our own history of independence, we are inclined to support the vote for Scottish Independence. If for nothing else, historically speaking–Scotland deserves to vote on having independence once and for all.

The opposition to the Yes campaign has spouted similar rhetoric to conservatives in the states, in that that argue any risk would jeopardize more of the same.recently, “no thanks” campaigns have(not surprisingly) been sexist in regards to the vote of women (http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/patronising-bt-woman). The bottom line for the opposition is – why take a risk when things are “fine” as they are? I’m sure loyalists during the American Revolution thought the same thing, and moreso that the colonies could not survive without the support of Great Britain. But we have. And perhaps Scotland can too. In a recent debate ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTF0sj1O8xw ), a Scottish man from the audience contested the “Better Together” sentiment by brilliantly saying, “If we are better together, why are we not better together already?”

Given all the history between Scotland and England, Scotland is more than within its rights to finally hold a vote on the matter of independence. After centuries of fighting against unwanted English rule, now is finally the time to potentially throw off the yoke of England once and for all. Doesn’t any country or group of people with a strong national identity, history, and heritage deserve to choose? Especially after being ruled by an outdated system of colonialism and imperialism (in my opinion, of course. Same goes for Northern Ireland, but that’s a whole other can of worms.)

What country are you from and what do you think of Scotland’s Indy ref?

For more information on the Indy Ref, please visit http://www.yesscotland.net/

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5 responses to “My 2 cents on the Scottish Indy Ref, for what it’s worth…

  1. HI Nicole!

    In regards to Culloden and the Jacobite rebellion, it is simplistic to say it was purely about England vs Scotland. It was led by Bonnie Prince Charles, grandson of James II of England and VII of Scotland who some argue was the true heir to the British throne, rather than the German Hanoverian dynasty which ruled Britain at the time. It was in fact also a Scottish civil war, where many lowland Scots fought with the English army to put down the rebellion, which was largely composed of Highland Scots. There many English Jacobites, who at the time, were hoping that Bonnie Prince Charles would succeed as they disliked the German dynasty ruling over Britain at the time.

    The backlash and repression that occurred against the Scottish Highlanders and their culture, by the Duke of Cumberland (or ‘Butcher Cumberland’ as he was also known) was not admired by everyone especially at the top. Frederick, Prince of Wales, in one painting of his, defiantly wore a piece of tartan, probably to show his anger at the repression of the Scottish Highlanders by his brother, and to spite both him, and his father, George II. Frederick, unfortunately died in 1753, 7 years before his father, so he was never able to become king. It was in fact, Frederick’s grandson, king George IV which was the main impetus behind the introduction of the Tartan and some other HIghland customs, as shown by the one of the famous portraits of him wearing tartan and the kilt.

    • Hi Chris,

      I studied history in college so I am aware of what you are speaking. And yes I am aware of the US declaration of Independence…contrary to stereotypes about Americans…saying England instead of GB was just habit for me, so of course I meant GB. Again, I know everything that comes with that since I studied history in college and am still an avid history buff and reader. My interpretation of it, however, is perhaps a bit different than yours as I like to focus on the general populace and their views rather than the disconnected royalty

  2. HI Nichole!

    I also studied British history in college and hold two degrees in history. Although I disagree, I accept your opinion as this is part and parcel of the subject. Historians always disagree I am afraid lol. Sorry if I came across as a bit harsh earlier, and sorry for this. But be aware a lot of Scottish nationalists here base their version of history on Braveheart.

    My view is different to yours, probably due to the fact as I live in Britain and I am descended from both English and Scots, and we, including myself benefited from the Union. Unfortunately, and you may agree with me on this, this island was constantly at war with itself and heavily divided before 1707. Eventually post 1746 it succeeded in bringing peace and stability to this island.

    This referendum unfortunately is beginning to bring this same pre 1707 situation again. Both Unionst and Nationalist Scots are openly at logger heads with one another up here, and some now bitterly hate one another. There are many nationalist Scots now openly hating the English also, and in response, although still in a minority, there are some English who want to cut all ties with Scotland forever, if there is a yes vote (and this may increase post yes). This is a great shame and saddens me as people like me are caught in the middle This country is now becoming a mess and I can imagine the whole of the island of Britain will be a mess after this. I feel nothing good will come out of this for both Scotland and rUk. ,

    • That’s okay, thank you for your input. It is interesting to me too learn what people from other countries think about this situation. P.S. Although Braveheart is a good movie, there are also a lot of historical inaccuracies :p

  3. Thank you for your input re referendum. It is a sad day for Scotland when the majority vote to keep a Union which at this time Uk as a whole has families having to go to foodbanks, and full-time workers having to claim Housing Benefit because their salary is so low. At the same time as Politicians are keeping the working people of the UK’s salaries down whilst prices rise, they have awarded themselves a handsome 10% salary rise on top of their lovely salaries and many perks. As the No campaigners say the majority have voted, all of Scotland will have to live with the outcome.

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