Sunday, September 7, 2014


“Should Scotland be an independent country?” In less than two weeks from now the residents of Scotland are being asked to answer this question. What do you think? Well, here is what I think. I think that this is a redundant question. I think that that this question is merely rhetorical! I think that this question is simply a device being used to awaken the residents of Scotland. I think that there is a lot of wisdom behind this question!
How so? Well, because we now see that the tide is turning on the polls in favour of independence as the question works its way into the hearts and minds of the people. The question has certainly been working its way under people’s peely-wally and freckled skin! However, the question is wise in that it is far from establishing any sort of racial superiority of Scots. For, the credentials needed to vote in this referendum are proof of current residence in the geographical region of Scotland. Therefore, ethnicity is a non-issue. However, as a non-resident I am excluded from casting a vote either way.
Perhaps the downside is that as one who was foreign born but raised in Scotland I, like many others of a similar situation, feel as if I should have a say in this referendum. Why? Well, I have been an unofficial ambassador for Scotland and all things Scottish for over a decade throughout Canada and now over two decades in Australia. I have promoted the food and drink of Scottish culture, her dance and music, her other languages, both Gaelic and Lallans. I have spoken highly of her geographical location and her topography. I have promoted the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and her attendant Ben, not to mention Loch Ness and her “monster!” I have written stories and have written and sung many songs about Scotland in clubs and at events. Alas! all this and more still does not qualify me to vote in the referendum on 18 September 2014.   
Should the current residents of the geographical region of what used to be Scotland vote against becoming a country again then I and those like me will never be able to become Scottish. I know that this must sound strange to those residents who are waging the NO! campaign. I am sure this is because they have not yet fully thought through the issue as whole. I say this because I have seen countless video clips in which those who are campaigning against Scotland becoming a country again say things like, “I love Scotland. I was born here. I am Scottish and I am British!” I have no reason to believe that these people are not trying to be truthful but they are clearly not in tune with what is going on! The whole point of the referendum is about the current residents of Scotland becoming Scottish! Clearly many in the NO! side are missing this! There is still time for the penny to drop. In for a penny, in for a pound, (Sterling that is!)
As any passport holder will attest, presently the residents of the geographical location that used to be Scotland (i.e., the place pre-1707) are British not Scottish! One cannot become Scottish unless the residents answer in the affirmative the question being put to them on 18 September: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
The question answers itself. To ask it presupposes that Scotland is not presently a country and will remain as a non-country until and unless her current residents democratically vote that it should once again be a country! Until the vote and the resultant changes based on it are subsequently effected the residents of the geographical location that used to be Scotland will remain British (regardless of their food and clothing, music and languages, highlands and islands, hills, lochs and lowlands). Independence means that you become like Canada, Australia, America, New Zealand, Jamaica, ad nauseam.
I do not have the vote but Scotland I have breathed your air. I have eaten your food. I have drunk your water (and your whisky!) I have studied both your languages. I have played the side drum in your pipe bands. I have studied your bagpipes. I have walked on your hills and I have swum in your lochs. I have rowed in your rivers and lochs. I have listened to the patter of your peaty burns. As a wean I have climbed your trees. I have sledged down your snow-clad hills. I have been pricked by your thorns and your thistles. I have scars on my fingers, knees and elbows from falling off bikes and bogies going down your braes. As an adult I have drank in your pubs. I have eaten in your restaurants. I have been educated in your schools. I have worked in your industries. I have married one of your daughters. I have studied your history. I have read poetry and stories from your best writers. I have studied your philosophy and your theology. I have read about your long list of inventors. I have seen your vast and positive contributions to the (now) independent countries of Canada and Australia.
Residents of Scotland realise your greatness! Realise what you have and who you are! Then condescend long enough on 18 September to put your mark on the ballot paper where it says YES! In answer to the wise and rhetorical question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” It is almost an insult to common sense to be asked this!
(The following is a link to a wee song I wrote about Scotland while I was living in Canada. Please excuse its amateurish production. It’s called “Bonnie Scotland: Here To Stay") -

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