Thursday 18 September 2014

let's talk about it....

How's my evening going?

Oh, you know.  The usual.  Arguing with a friend of a friend on Facebook about Scottish independence.  As you do.

I got sucked in at the point she said:

"Well, the one thing I will say is that if past is prologue and "Aye" carries the day, there could well be outbreaks of Loyalist violence not just in Glasgow/Edinburgh, but in Belfast and adjacent areas as well. I hope that doesn't happen- but that community doesn't like it when uppity Celts insist on their Independence"

Loyalist violence, "that" community, uppity Celts.


When I suggested that this referendum was a triumph for democracy and pointed out that the history of the English in Scotland is hardly the same as the situation in Ireland; that the Scottish king became the king of England in 1603; that the acts of Union a century later were passed by the Parliaments in England and in Scotland; that the Scots had hardly been subjugated by an invading force....

I was wasting my breath.  She put up a wikipedia link to the Highland Clearances, which proves everything.

I pointed out that, in all the coverage I've seen of the campaigning, I've not seen a single mention of sectarianism or the threat of violence over the result.  The campaigning has been passionate and occasionally fractious, but the issues under discussion have largely been about the challenges facing a modern Scotland, and not so much about the past.

But what would I know?  I only live in Britain and have visited Scotland in the last month or so, where I saw largely Scottish crowds in quintessentially Scottish arenas like Hampden and Ibrox chanting for England and English athletes.  I'm a citizen of Great Britain and could easily wake up tomorrow with the map of my nation literally redrawn.

How could my insight on this subject possibly compare to that of a Californian? (who is, of course, entirely entitled to her opinion).

If you've got 15 minutes to spare, I would encourage you to watch this clip of John Oliver on the subject. "Scotland and England have been involved in something of a 300-year arranged marriage... and I will be the first one to acknowledge: England has been a little bit of a dick since the honeymoon...."

Very funny.

People, eh?  Fascinating.  As my friend said in her original post that started this little disagreement, whatever our views on Scottish independence, let's celebrate that we can settle this kind of question without bloodshed.  You're very wise, Kari.  Apologies that I seem completely unable to bite my tongue.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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