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Showing posts with label dual identity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dual identity. Show all posts

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Scaremongering or legitimate points by NO Campaign–and questions of identity

The Unionist Tory/Labour/LibDem Coalition against the independence of Scotland when accused by the SNP of scaremongering and debasing the great debate, respond by saying they are raising legitimate points.

Here are some of them –

Claims by Lord Fraser, the former Tory Solicitor General, that England could have no choice but to bomb Scottish airports in order to defend itself from attack if Scotland became independent.

Claims by Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove that an independent Scotland would no longer have a National Health Service.

Claims by Home Secretary Theresa May that passport checks would be issued at Scotland’s border with England.

Questions published by the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee querying if people could still buy wine from The Sunday Times Wine Club or whether the school curriculum would include ‘English’?

Claims that the Westminster Government would seize custody of the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo post-independence.

I hope that any Scottish voter listening to this nonsense gave a loud horselaugh. Only Iain Davidson’s Scottish Affairs Select Committee could have come up with the Sunday Times wine club one. (They’re currently considering Scotland’s defence, God help us all!)

Picking up on the last one – could someone on the NO Campaign “seize custody” of its spokespersons’ common sense before they debase this vital debate any further? It’s a difficult choice, but faced with either Alistair Darling boring us to death or the ********* who came up with the above rubbish making us laugh ourselves to death, I must, in the interest of the dignity of the great debate, resign myself to being bored to death.

QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS ON IDENTITY

I asked a question on Twitter yesterday – I ask it again here.

What do people of other countries think of prominent Scots who argue against the independence of their nation?

I also now ask the supplementary question -

What will Scotland think of them after independence is achieved?

If I turn the questions around, as in fairness I must, we must ask -

What do people of other countries think of prominent Scots who argue for the independence of their nation?

What will Scotland think of them if independence is not achieved?

I think I know the answers, but those in this great debate must find their own.

There is much talk again today of dual identity, i.e. “I’m Scottish and I’m British” (and they don’t mean geographically resident in the British Isles – they mean the UK.)

I have no problem with dual citizenship of two different, independent countries, nor with a shared sense of values and common purpose with other independent countries. But when it comes to country – and the independent state either achieved or aspired to across the globe, there can be only one identity.

AMERICA AND INDEPENDENCE

We are not far away from the 4th of July, Independence Day in America. Remember what America secured its independence from – the British Empire, the rump of which is the present United Kingdom, clinging desperately to what it has left of that empire. I’m certain there were politicians – and ordinary people - in America before independence who claimed a dual identity, and who claimed to feel at ease as both Americans and subjects of the British Empire.

What I’m equally certain of is that no American would make such a claim today. They will happily celebrate their country of origin – as Scots, as English, as Welsh, as Irish, as indeed every country of the world that sent its people to the great melting pot – but their identity, their loyalty, and their heart is American.

I acknowledge and celebrate my Irish roots, I acknowledge and celebrate my shared history and cultural affinity with England and Wales, but my identity is  Scottish, my loyalty is to Scotland, and my heart is Scottish.  And when people talk of dual identity, the words of a great Englishman, Frances Bacon, in another context come to mind - “a heart that is double and cloven, and not entire