Showing posts with label european. Show all posts
Showing posts with label european. Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Letter to the EU


I hope those in Europe understand why Scots seek indy now. Brexit is not about the EU: its about English nationalism and about a UK creaking that’s not fit for purpose. The UK today is a disunited kingdom – all 4 nations are not working well together. Both Ireland and Scotland are on different trajectories: and many in Ireland are seriously considering and debating reunification for the first time.  I strongly believe an indy Scotland will be outward-looking nation and a voice for peace making and ounity in Europe.    

Only 10 years ago the SNP had only a few MPs, now it has 80%. The SNP is socially democratic and progressive and not about racism in any shape or from and in fact totally opposite to other nationalist parties in Europe. Scottish nationalism is civic, inclusive and outward-looking: it is empathically not narrow, elitist or exclusive. For centuries Scots heritage and ideals have been ones of travel on our seas to distant lands  (Its English nationalism that is right wing.) Perhaps it is in essence the Scottish democratic party? Scotland’s ties to Europe are deep and centuries old.

After decades of UK prime ministers blaming the EU for their own failings, the consequences have come back to haunt them. Who will they blame now - the Scots, the Irish, the EU for not being nice enough to them? They have employed populism, telling the people what they want to hear. 

We need to change the narrative, particularly with those who dislike and fear Brexit. The UK establishment surrounded Scotland’s independence with negative language – words such as warning, catastrophe, too poor, too small, dependent. And instead offer positive words – opportunity, self-determination, vast resources, bright future, innovative, freedom, fair, make our own decisions, success, hope. Scotland urgently requires it own TV channel, film studio and media.

Scotland can be compared to other highly successful economies in the European trading block. The EU offers economic stability and lower mortgage rates for young families. Small economies are more adaptable and progressive. How can we re-imagine our future Scotland with greener and well-being policies? A new Scotland that doesn’t make the mistakes of the UK by de-centralising and by not having only a couple of major cities, and with improved infrastructure. 

Plus why would we accept England’s deficit: they squandered our oil reserves, with billions spent on trident and other vanity projects and on London infrastructure projects. These  produce the false GERs figures. This is not against the English people, a successful indy Scotland can be more supportive of the other 4 nations, not less. Its against those neo–liberal elites, with their off-shore tax havens. 

Indy is a process. And a journey. This failing Brexit is fooling people with a Tory government, who don’t even believe in it. Some of us might be thinking that federalism is an answer for the UK crisis – but England’s too big and has little interest. Although it might be an answer to England’s Brexit crisis. 

What’s truly scary – do people believe they have a free press or believe what they are told on tv, radio, online or in the press. Obviously it requires effort and time to search for any honesty and it’s confusing as we have so many media outlets now. The truth is not found in foreign owned press that peddles gossip, propaganda or downright lies. In fact it appears many across the UK don’t trust the media or their politicians. Figures show that trust in the UK media is far lower than in other European nations. This is surely extremely concerning for a country that portrays itself as democratic. 

Boris wants to diverge with regulations. This will mean non-alignment with the EU, and that any deal will be complex and take years with transitions or no deal. Northern Ireland will remain in the EU (and UK) which means not the UK, but Great Britain is leaving the EU. The question for Boris is: how can he take Scotland on this Brexit journey it didn’t vote for? How can he explain how Westminster works for Scotland?

We need the EU protection. ‘A small country with big ideas.’My vote’s for real democracy. Are we running out of time, as some argue – with the Brexit take over by ever richer oligarchs and the threatening climate crisis? Norway with a population the same as Scotland’s and similar resources, is one of the worlds most developed successful, democratic nations. One thing is clear – people in Scotland have voted against Brexit and they want to stay in the EU, hopefully emulating other successful independent nations. 

*Sweden Dagens Myhater  ‘Openness to the outside world made modern Britain what it is today. Now the fog lowers across the English channel. The continent is isolated.’   Kate Devlin


Saturday, 30 June 2018

Island Nations



Scottish indy is about bringing our island nations together in a more united and stronger way than ever, in an equal partnership. 

By contrast to the Faroe islands the beautiful island of Barra faces a crisis. Barra has the only scheduled flights to a beach airport. Imposed restrictions on non EU workers mean fishing boats are idle and this will effect the major employer, fish processing firm Barra Atlantic. Fishermen from the Philippines islands are desperate to come, but cannot get visas. While exceptions are made for Australian sheep shearers. I recently visited the Western isles and it struck me to have a healthy economy we must care about all our remote regions. 


Respect for diversity is good and we benefit from rigorous debate and co-operation. Why does one culture have to be repressed, to benefit another? Equality and fairness does not mean we are all the same – we are actually very different. What it does mean is equal opportunities, which can’t exist alongside patronage and elitism. After the Grenfell fire and the fight for justice, Carillion and more disasters do people still buy into this fake system …. 

The Scots language has been protected within the EU by a European charter. One third of today’s population speak a modern version of the same language used by Burns. Will old Scotia’s heritage, laws, rights, language, culture and arts be protected once we leave the EU? Will our wildlife be protected?

Indy means freedom of choice, being mature, regaining confidence, and adaptable in our wee nation - not to suit bankers. Why don’t the Highland and islands set up their own small, non profit banking system, or mobile broadband (as in the Faroes). Indy will enable change as we build a country best suited to Scotland individual needs, geography, immigration and resources (for example farming is opposite to England’s)   
Indy isn’t about Edinburgh or London, but about more local decision making and much smaller councils. Indy is about finding our own way in order to make the most of our resources. 

The islands were not remote at all – and in those days of the Neolithic Brodgar of Ness as historian Tom Devine says – “the land divides, the sea unites.”

‘Fortune favours the brave. ‘
’To harness our unique potential.’
evening sun on Orkney

Scotland – 5.5m population 
Iceland – 350.000 population
Denmark – 6.5m population134.76/km2
Finland – 5.5m  population - 16/km2
Ireland – 6.5m: Population density ‎77.8 /km2

**Excellent series of programs by journalist Lesley Riddoch’s NATION and with Phantom River films,on successful small countries requires funding. The first program on the Faroe islands – 50,000 land mass,18 barren islands,  All makes Scotland look a substantial and not so wee place, as we’ve been fooled into believing, after all! https://www.youtube.com/NATIONLesleyRiddoch

Also highly recommend Allan Little’s ‘Friends in the North’ BBC - 

Harris beach

Friday, 19 January 2018

Jacobites: Myth and Legend

Bonnie Prince Charlie held court in Holyrood for a brief moment 

The last of the Stuarts. Three Jacobite Kings buried St Peters Basilica Rome. One dynasty, two courts. Three kingdoms. Four Jacobite kings. Five Jacobite challenges. Through the mists of time, romance, place, beliefs, tragedy…. I visited the excellent Jacobite exhibition at the Scottish National Museum. 

*Union of the Crowns  - 1603
James VI became King of England, Ireland and Scotland.
Gunpowder plot 1605
Charles I crowned 1633 - 1649
Covenanters 1638
Charles I executed 1649
Roundheads and Cavaliers. Cromwell. – Lord Protector 1653.
Charles II – crowned 1660 - 1685.
James VII 1685 – 1689
Bonnie Dundee
Mary of Modena


I was reading of our history over the past centuries – of our close ties, trade and involvement with Europe – well before the EU and well before the1603 Union of the Crowns.
If you read the monarchy entanglement over that century and into the 18th century, what a tangled web of intrigue, plotting, alliances, religion, war, deceit, royal marriage There were Roundheads and Cavaliers, Cromwell, 11 years of revolution and over thrown monarchy, Charles I executed, Bonnie Dundee, Jacobites challenges. 

Most histories are written by the victor and this is far crazier than any Game of Thrones!
 
King James VII
Basically(?)  William and Mary, and later Queen Ann (who were daughters of James VII first marriage) had no surviving children, and to have a Protestant monarch, the English parliament sent for George of Hanover (1714) – a descendent of James VI’s daughter). This meant the Stuarts (who had ruled in Scotland for 300 years) and that King James VII was the last Catholic monarch.
James Francis Edward
The wars were over religion and power in Europe. There was the alliance of the Dutch and English navys. Bonnie Prince Charlie held court in Holyrood for a brief moment in September 1745. Its’ a tragic story. The Jacobites made it down to Derby, but turned back and were defeated at Culloden.



Back in 18th century the British Establishment committed terrible crimes to protect their selfish interests – such as the massacre of Glencoe, repression of highland culture – the wearing of highland dress was forbidden punishable by imprisonment or transportation.
Then bizarrely in 1844 George IV came up to Edinburgh in a shot kilt and pink stockings! –first monarch to visit in 150 years -  and they would now ‘allow’ the kilt to be worn. It was an insult.

Charles I was the second son of James VI. His son was Charles II.  James VII Scotland and II of England was the last Catholic king of England, Scotland and Ireland. He took over the throne after the death of his brother Charles II. He ruled for 4 years and was over thrown in the Glorious revolution of 1688 when he fled to France. He was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange.
James attempted to reclaim his crown in 1689 when he landed in Ireland. The Jacobite forces were defeated by the Williamites at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690.

At the time of Union of the Parliaments in 1707, only about 5% of the Scottish population had a vote. It may have been a kind of union, as back then Scotland had a third of the UK population ! Since then the depopulation and wastage of Scotland resources means Scotland now has 8% of the UK population. Scotland is now a colony ruled from London (even though they have allowed use limited power Scottish parliament)
George IV

*1689 first Jacobite challenge
William and Mary 1659 – 1694
*1689 First Jacobite Challenge,
Viscount (Bonnie) Dundee and Battle of Killiecrankie 1689
Battle of the Boyne 1690
Massacre Glencoe - 1692

*Union of Parliaments – 1707
Ann 1707 – 1714
English Act of Settlement 1701
1704 Scottish (Act of security Scotland ) Articles of Union.
1713 Treaty of Utrecht

* Second Jacobite challenge 1708
GEORGE I crowned - 1714
*1715 Third Jacobite challenge
Battle of Sherriffmuir
* Fourth Jacobite challenge 1719
Rob Roy MacGregor
*Fifth and final 1745 Jacobite challenge, Bonnie Prince Charlie

George VI visit Edinburgh 1822. First monarch in 170 years!
Reformation 16th century.