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Go Scotland!

The Picts are back. Get your woad on.

In case you haven’t been following this issue, Scotland is having a vote on September 18 on whether to separate from Britain.  When I think back on how many centuries and lives it took to bring Scotland into the fold, it’s astonishing that the whole thing could be undone by the relentless pursuit of conservative policies over the last 30 years.  It’s almost like the Thatcherites and sons of Thatcher have been for years yukking it up in Westminster over Scotland, saying, “Riiiight, where are they going to go?”.  I’m not sure I would have been so confident, given that the Romans had to build a wall to keep the Picts from marauding and that William Wallace trounced Edward I’s forces at Sterling Bridge. Earlier this month, I had found a long post written by a pro-independence Scottish journalist but I’ve misplaced the link (neglected to save to instapaper. Grrr).  His argument was convincing but here is a list of pro-independence arguments from the Independent Scotland movement that are very similar.

Basically, the sentiment is that the Scotland that most people grew up in post WWII is rapidly disappearing under the policies of the conservative movement and the concessions that the Labour party has made to it in order to keep the peace.  There is a deterioration of public services and an alarming increase in the rate of privatization.  Along with that, the government in Westminster is becoming increasingly stingy, sending less and less money back to Scotland over the last decade.  The result is that Scotland is becoming a bit like, well, us.  There is more inequality, more mean spiritedness and less willingness to help others pull themselves up.

Scotland keeps sending Labour party representatives to Westminster but nothing ever comes of it.  The voice of the people is continually muffled.  Scotland also has it’s own parliament, by the way.  Think of it like a state legislature.  Anyway, they haven’t gotten anywhere in quite some time.  It would be like having the state of Massachusetts run by Rick Perry and his Texas Republican legislature, or the entire east and west coast and urban areas of the US politically at the mercy of a bunch of plantation owner wannabees from the South.  They’ve had enough.  They want to be more like Sweden or Iceland.

Since the latest polls have come out showing the pro-independence forces having a snowball’s chance in Hell, there have been boogie man “Oooo, don’t go down to the cellar!” posts in the last couple of days to try to keep Scotland in the fold.  Scotland says it wants to keep the British pound as its currency and still join the EU.  Krugman predicts disaster, the pound took a hit yesterday but Scotland carries on. Sometimes you have to accept a loss in order to have more control over your life.  It looks like England has pushed its harsh form of conservatism over the Scottish border one time too often and Scotland is now determined to reassert its boundary.

Meanwhile, Bank of England governor Mark Carney tells UK workers that may deserve a raise but first they have to earn it.  They’re not productive enough, to which I ask, productive enough compared to whom?  Scottish voters may be asking themselves the same thing.

Anyway, I find the whole thing fascinating.  It’s like watching the western world’s version of the Arab Spring.  Call it the Caledonian Autumn, or some such thing.

Maybe it will spread.

Be Brave.


It all came out right in the end.

By the way, Brook does the best Merida impression.  It cracks me up every time  she says “I want to change my feet!”

16 Responses

  1. This looks like a good movie, I’ll have to catch it.
    Kelly McDonald still sounds Irish to this semi trained ear.

    or the entire east and west coast and urban areas of the US politically at the mercy of a bunch of plantation owner wannabees from the South
    Thanks to gerrymandering, that’s exactly what we have. Look at the freak show we call the House of Representatives.

    • If the Democrats were not such eager freak show collaborators, the freaks would not have so much to show. A determined minority can grind the House to a halt and then take it over. The Democrats could get all Gingrich on the Republicans’ asses. If they wanted to.

      Whoever said “Impeachment is off the table” wasn’t a Republican.

  2. Go, Scotland.

  3. United States and England, two nations separated by a common greed.

  4. Sometimes, I think that the US is “Bernie” and we’re the pinheads who put an ascot and Ray Bans on it, prop it up in a beach chair and pretend it’s functional.
    In actuality, it’s deader than Joan Rivers and has been for a long time.

  5. So, Obama wants to arm the “good” Syrian rebels?
    I guess he didn’t catch last night’s “Frontline,” which after watching,I turned to my husband and said “good thing we don’t keep a loaded pistol in the house.”

  6. Indeed. We want to keep the weapons flowing to our proxies of course. Even if there was such a thing as moderate Syrian rebels wouldn’t one think ISIS would just steal the weapons we gave said front/ pretend moderates? It’s been our policy to arm the pretend moderates for 4 years now . How did that work out?

    The humanitarian shtick was played out and not working . So ISIS was sent into Iraq so we could 1 get back in ourselves. 2 finally get our Syrian war on and 3 arm the Kurds without the US peon public bellyaching about more war .

    Mission accomplished.. .

    When Cheney ( who has run things for 15 years now ) goes to the Hill to order congress to rubber stamp a war, it’s not to get the war on , that’s a done deal…it’s to have the US public pay for the ginned up war …again

    Just where did ISIS get all those matching white pickups? I haven’t seen that many matching white vehicles in a line since Elvis’s funeral

    • paper doll:
      I posted this on another blog.

      I will think and pray for the Americans who were murdered thirteen years ago, today.
      I’ll also think about the what-at least- one hundred thousand Iraqis who have been killed since Bush (“I’m the Decider”) decreed that Saddam had to go.
      Thirteen years ago, young women in Iraq were unveiled, if they wished to be, and attending university if they were qualified to go.
      Yes, we heard stories* about rape rooms, but no disinterested party can deny that Iraqi women were better off before the US invaded their country.
      There are some countries that function better off in the hands of a ruthless strongman, whether we approve or not.
      Yugoslavia, Egypt, Libya, and, yes, Iraq and Syria come to mind.

      *We also heard stories about Iraqi soldiers snatching Kuwaiti babies out of incubators, which turned out to be made up by Washington think tank fabulists.
      As a woman, I’d prefer my fate to be in the hands of one maniac who can control his young, rogue male population, rather than in the bloodied hands of one million maniacs.

      • Indeed…it’s always worse after we bomb and show up somewhere .

        It’s no longer 1945 and we are not
        in the business of liberating Paris

        For some reason we are in the nation destroying mode since 2003… the better to control these areas I guess.

        On a similar topic,( the lives of woman ) I was disgusted tonight when I saw many wearing Ray Rice’s jersey number this evening’s Raven game.
        to show their support for his right to woop his wife’s ass unconscious

        To many people , Mr. Rice is the victim in the story and wife( property) beating is his right. They feel he is being unfairly penalized for excising his right

        No one should wonder she stays with him, it’s actually safer for her to stay with an abuser . The chances of being killed by an ex-husband / boyfriend when you leave goes up 75%…and she would find very little support out there for such a move imo .

        • At the very least she would need to be armed and very well trained and practiced in distance and close-in shooting up to a serious profficiency level. And then she would need to keep a loaded weapon ready-to-fire within easy reach at all times.

          • Yes, but if she shoots through a wall to warn him off, she’s likely to be sentenced to twenty years in prison like Marissa Alexander.
            “Stand Your Ground” only works for white men.

          • …and not just for the ex husband either. A good number would be gunning for her..

          • I am dimly aware of the case which you cite. Is it being re-tried or challenged in any way? Or is that judicial result permanent? Because if permanent, it would indicate that if the goal is self-preservation of targeted life, then any warning shot is wasted. The first shot must be the counter-assailant kill-shot. It raises the existential question of whether life-in-prison with the satisfaction of knowing the assailant is properly dead is better or worse than death at the assailant’s hands.

            I can’t remember O J Simpson’s ex-wife’s first name, or the first name of that Goldman person either. And while I may have my own feelings about “who” the perpetrator likely was, it is a fact that O J Simpson was found Not Guilty by a jury of his peers. So all I (and others) can or could really say about that is that if the former Ms. Simpson would have had a loaded handgun and abundant serious training in its effective use, there might be one less perpetrator and two less victims in the world today. Colonel Lang and others have discussed at his Sic Semper Tyrannis blog sometimes the technical issues of gun features, functions, and usage. Colonel Lang himself is old and physically weaker than a young assailant and any handgun good enough for him ( and he has described what he carries and why)
            might well have been good enough for the former Ms. Simpson. And might be good enough for other people in Ms. Simpson’s situation today and going forward.

  7. Of course Hitler’s Germany is but one exception to my strongman theory.
    You know, no matter what the Lane Bryant tag says, one size does not fit all.

  8. Anybody, here, besides myself, watching “Outlander?”
    I love it and not for its bodice ripper/kilt lifting elements, but because it’s a really interesting adventure with an intelligent, brave woman as its narrator and heroine.
    Some young fool at Vulture keeps recapping it like it’s a Barbara Cartland novel and that makes me want to spit.

  9. I wish my dad had lived to see this, when Scotland reopened their Parliament it was a big deal at our house. My fathers paternal grandmother was Scots and his mothers grandfather was Scots. When I read this the other day at the Guardian, I couldn’t believe this actually may very well happen in my life time. Let’s just say that the British where not well liked in my household. I remember in the 70’s and 80’s in Northern Ireland, where we still had relatives. My great uncles would raise money for the troubles. My great uncles,which only a few left, that are living, still don’t sound like they grew up in Chicago. Once the beer or scotch flows ya think they never left Europe. Good memories of being a kid with a family on both sides that never forgot where they came from. Or the fights, but I have been told that both sets of great great grandparents would fight like cats and dogs, and one living in Scotland and the other living in Northern Ireland, and ended up in Chicago is beyond me!

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