Tomorrow is the Scottish independence referendum. The issues are arcane and the outcome far from certain. I personally don’t know where I stand on the issue, though my family history reaches deep into this tiny country/part of the United Kingdom.
I kind of like the idea of the split. I have the Scottish saltire hanging in my front room. One of my cats is named after the Apostle St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland. The other is named Douglas, as Scottish a name as it gets. Both have the middle name “James”, a family name that traces back to the Scottish king who became the English king known for a Bible translation still used to this day. Most of the family photos hanging on my walls show proud Scots who migrated to America for economic reasons but were proud of Scotland.
I like Scotch whisky. I doubt I’d look good in a kilt, but I don’t discount the possibility of appreciating the freedom of movement one affords. Things I like about myself I can trace to my Scottish ancestors: my pig-headedness (resolve, tenacity), my quirky sense of humor (often in evidence), my love of justice for all (which often puts me at odds with others), my insistence on fair play (damn those [blankers]…), my hopeless idealism (which makes me argumentative, I fear, in this dog eat dog world), and my impossible great looks (I did mention quirky sense of humor…).
But I have nothing against the party on the southern end of the United Kingdom. Other than that last naughty business in 1814, when they burnt down a town or two in America, including Washington, DC and the White House (then called the Presidential Palace), we’ve had a productive relationship with “those people”. Of course, “they” are a big part of “us”, with many Americans tracing their family history to England. (I have some English ancestors among all those Scots, Welsh, Dutch, French, and Irish on my father’s side; on my mother’s side, it’s 100% Scottish.) I like the English I know or have known. They are standup people. I love their quirky sense of humor! I like their propriety.
Whatever the Scots voting tomorrow decide, roughly half of the rest of the country won’t agree with it. So far, that’s a fact, and the gap between those against and those for an independent Scotland suggests the referendum will be a photo finish. Scotland the Brave. However they vote, I hope the Scots consider this wee bit of wisdom from Benjamin Franklin:
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
I hope they chose the right way for their future, though what that course might be is to be determined. I just hope they don’t burn too many bridges in the process of asserting their will.