Thursday, 18 September 2014

born of frustration

I have to confess to being more than a little frustrated by the Scottish Independence Referendum. It seems to me that whatever happens decisions will be made which directly affect my family and community and yet I will have no say in them.

If Scotland votes 'yes' to independence then that will have an impact not just on Scotland but on the whole of the United Kingdom in all sorts of ways. If you don't believe me take a look at what happened in the financial markets when the first positive 'yes' opinion poll was published.

If Scotland says 'no' then the political leaders of the mainstream parties have already made vows
(they can't use the word pledge after Nick Clegg so spectacularly broke one over tuition fees) which again will have a huge impact on all of us. They have done this without any consultation with the electorate. I would suggest that their complacency and then horror at the prospect of the break up of the U.K. led them into panic promises which they had no right to make and have no mandate to deliver. If you doubt this then ask yourself why they left it until the last minute to publish their prospectus for Scotland, and for the whole of the U.K., so late in the campaign.

I am not saying whether the Scots should vote yeah or ney, though I find it ironic that a 17 year old French schoolboy studying in Edinburgh gets a vote and Sir Alex Ferguson along with many other Scots doesn't, but let no one suggest this doesn't affect the rest of us in the U.K..

Then this morning I read the opening canticle from Morning Prayer and it put things into a wider perspective. The canticle is Psalm 67 and it is a healthy reminder that ultimately politicians and the electorate including Salmond, Cameron, Clegg, Miliband, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, you and me are accountable to a higher authority.

God be gracious to us and bless us • and make his face to shine upon us,
That your way may be known upon earth, • your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; • let all the peoples praise you.
O let the nations rejoice and be glad, • for you will judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; • let all the peoples praise you.
Then shall the earth bring forth her increase, • and God, our own God, will bless us.
God will bless us, • and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.


James said...

I find it ironic that a 17 year old French schoolboy studying in Edinburgh gets a vote and Sir Alex Ferguson along with many other Scots doesn't

There is no irony. You simply don't understand that narrow ethnic nationalism (England for the English, Scotland for the Scottish) isn't the only game in town.

Historically people defined their identity within where they lived - so after 1918 you had Jewish Lithuanian, Ukrainian etc communities in Poland - but they were all Poles too. Much the same applied across central Europe. The recasting of states as mono-ethnic entities after 1945 led to division, distrust, and ultimately to war in Yugoslavia - yet still people persist with it. Why?

Philip Ritchie said...

Well thanks for the lecture James but nowhere do I suggest a narrow ethnic nationalism and you've loaded onto a passing observation a whole set of assumptions about my views which are false. My point was not that the French schoolboy (in the country only until his studies are completed before returning to France) should not have a vote but that other Scots who happen not be be living in Scotland at the time of the referendum have been excluded. And I suspect excluded precisely because they have a much less narrow nationalistic outlook because of their experience of living in another country.

I am well aware of the scourge of narrow nationalism across Europe, I spent a good deal of time studying it and abhor it's consequences. You will not find anywhere on this blog views expressed which support your accusation. I frequently argue that we should show a much more generous attitude to others seeking asylum and residency in this country and am critical of the narrow appeal to an ugly nationalism that the main political parties frequently resort to as elections approach.

Oh and by the way, if I believed in England for the English It would be rather ridiculous given that my family are from another country.

Archdruid Eileen said...

To be fair, you do a good job of pretending to be East London overspill.

But we know the truth.