Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's with all the hullabaloo in Scotland?

Some of you may be following closely the noteworthy events currently unfolding in Scotland. Some of you may not. Having married a Scot and having almost daily dialogue with family and friends living in Scotland, these events are a constant subject of conversation and debate.

So, to bring everyone up to speed, tomorrow is a pivotal day in Scottish history. Residents of Scotland have the opportunity tomorrow to vote "yes" or "no" to breaking free of the 300 year tie to Great Britain (specifically England) and having an independent country of their own.

We are all familiar with William Wallace (aka: Braveheart) and his fight to bring freedom to the Scots. (This is the only movie during which my husband has ever cried.)

And we cannot forget Wallace's warrior poets led by the changed Robert the Bruce:

That victory at Bannockburn is immortalized by Rabbie Burns in his poem of that name (which you can find here). It is definitely worth a read as well.

Unfortunately, despite Wallace's efforts, Scotland has had to keep fighting the English to remain independent. The last time Scotland was a free nation was in 1707. Even after that unification of Scotland to the United Kingdom, folks like Bonnie Prince Charlie were not pleased about it and caused quite a ruckus.

Today, however, everyone is far more civilized. The William Wallaces and Prince Charlies who formerly bludgeoned people to get their way are instead seated decorously in the Houses of Parliament and using words rather than broadswords to make their point. And there constant is a debate raging about whether Scotland should, in fact, break free from the UK. Voters, according to polls, are split right down the middle. When I was in Scotland last May, I was constantly barraged with badges and pins and billboards and signs supporting one party or the other.

So now it's down to the wire. Tomorrow is the Day of Decision. Some say it's a matter of principle: Scotland has always wanted to be free, so now is the time. Others say, speaking pragmatically, that Scotland lacks the resources and revenue to survive on it's own.

Here's a great synopsis of the complexity to this decision:

While this clip is a humorous approach to the issue, I would say that once the decision is made, the humor will stop. Because Scotland is potentially at the point that the US Colonies were at in 1776. They are on the cusp of declaring--choosing--their independence. Fortunately, and hopefully, it will be a decision that doesn't result in bloodshed. However, I do think they have the rare opportunity to, in essence, recreate themselves. They can establish their own government, their own legislatures, their own international commerce, even their own money system. The reality is that, just as the American Colonies didn't know if they would succeed in establishing a unified and sustainable independent nation, technically neither does Scotland. They won't know until it's tried. 

So, while I am always in favor of freedom for a people who desperately want it, I also recognize that it will be a long, difficult, and at times tedious road for Scotland should they gain their independence from England. So my prayers and thoughts and well wishes go with the voters of Scotland tomorrow, and I eagerly await the results of this epic vote!


  1. Thanks for the synopsis! Looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow. We went to Scotland for our honeymoon almost ten years ago, and the beautiful land holds a special place in our hearts.

    1. I'm so glad to hear you have experienced the beauty of Scotland - I haven't found anywhere else on earth that I would rather go. The edge of my seat is where I'll be as I wait to hear the outcome of the vote. Thanks, Allie!

  2. I am interested to see what happens with the vote, too. The Last Week clip is hilarious, but you are right--there will be a boatload of problems with independence. That is not to say I don't think the Scots shouldn't dive right in if they want to. In my experience with the Scots blood running in my family, they will do whatever the powers-that-be command them not to do. :) And I LOVE the pipes, btw.
    Great post, Anna!

    1. Ah, yes, the not so passive aggressive Scots. I continue to admire the fierce stubbornness these people have, which is why independence might have actually worked. We'll see what happens next. Glad you enjoyed the video--had me cackling :) Thanks, Danni!


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