The True Meaning of Being Scottish 58



I became deeply ashamed of being a British Ambassador when face to face with our complicity in torture and involvement in extraordinary rendition. I am ashamed of Britain’s acquiescence in the genocide of Gaza. I am ashamed of food banks and benefit cuts, of tuition fees and the massive and growing gap between rich and poor.

This morning I am deeply ashamed of some Scots.

I have no doubt whatsoever Scots will be economically better off in the short, medium and long term in an independent Scotland. But that is not the point. There is more to life than money. Those people holding pikes at the battle of Stirling Bridge were not rich men – their lives were harder than we can easily imagine. They fought for “freedom, which no man gives up except with life itself”.







Now’s the day, an now’s the hour:
See the front o battle lour,
See approach proud Edward’s power
-Chains and Slaverie.

‘Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha will fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave




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58 thoughts on “The True Meaning of Being Scottish

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  • David S

    Yes, I know most of us feel more Scottish than British, but that’s not the point at all.

  • Tony M

    So where has my lengthy comment, posted before that one gone to?

    I can assure you the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” message appeared at the foot of my comment, once posted and now having refreshed the page the whole comment is not there.

    I’ll repost it below.

    There is just no getting away from the fact that just enough people (in any country) can have their heads deliberately filled with broken bottles and can be easily and wickedly manipulated enough to act against their own and their country’s best interests. Though there are always exceptions and Scotland is the exceptional nation bar none. It would be distressing to contemplate Darling’s post-No Scotland, as with every day that passes the young will come to despise what older generations have bequeathed them, a festering legacy of despair, neo-liberal impotence and corporatism, aka fascism. There are younger generations too, living in a coherent-thought free nether-world of video-games and escapist fantasy, slumped before some frivolous gadget executing a monotonous loop, excitement, variety the product of some random number generator function, for whom taking responsibility for their own lives and futures, seeing, tasting touching the real world stripped of media misrepresentation, is too hard they blubber, never thinking of fundamentals, only of labels, conditioned uniformly to conform, mindless robots of flesh and repaeting flickering images. Others too are simply bought by the ton-load, egregious conspicuous consumption their measure of worth and only functioning outlet for their strait-jacketed and caged jumbled thoughts, ineffectually compensating for their negative spiritual worth and inner darkness.

    I think people should take a few weeks break from such influences before voting in September, to interact in the real world with real people and see that any doubts they have been fed and harbour are just insubstantial psychic vandalism, that they aren’t credible objections, but symptoms of their learned dependence. Real democracy some forbidden fruit, some taboo thing which would destroy us with just it’s scent, outside our remit and comprehension.

    I’m glad I don’t have a TV and haven’t missed anything by such trivialisation of the singlemost important opportunity any Scot has ever or ever will have to change things, to take Scotland forward against a grim backdrop of the rest of the UK stumbling backwards, recoiling from progress, back towards a darker age, dragged by the soaraway London city state’s criminal supremacy and recklessness towards utter economic, moral and social ruin.

    You can if you like call it Freedom, to me it is normality, the inherent inviolable rights of every human being, including the right to self-determination, the expectation of democracy of capable, incorruptible benign rule and so much more. A no vote is a Tory vote and all unionist parties, including ‘Labour’ are Tory parties in one form or another and to them you are indentured slaves, to labour for their enrichment and the ruin of your own health and spirit.

    Independence or slavery. It’s seemingly a tough choice for some and they’ll hang their childish irresponsibilty, their self-negation and self-flagellation, on some insignificant detail or other. They are few (and loud and darling media luvvies), we are many. We prevail.

  • craig Post author

    David S

    I am happily in Spain at the moment. Nowhere on the EU feels “foreign” in the sense you mean.

  • Tony M

    As happened with that first one, so again a line reading “Your comment is awaiting moderation” has been appended to the end of my comment which appears in my browser, though closing it and re-opening the page the comments made are not there.

  • Tony M

    So am not permitted to comment, except to comment on the fact my comments are being expunged.

    I may contact the police.

  • craig Post author

    Tony M

    I found them both in the works. No idea why – it doesn’t do that to anybody else! (actually one other comment had gone into moderation from “Just Saying.” They were apparently not selected on length as his was short.

  • craig Post author


    I don’t think so. I think it is more likely just some quirk in the software. With all due respect to you and justsaying, I can’t imagine someone would take over the blog just to stick your comments into pending.

  • doug scorgie

    Abe Rene
    6 Aug, 2014 – 11:52 am
    “…I would be wary about making too much of North Sea oil. What happens when, inevitably, it runs low? A long-term viable energy policy is necessary.”

    A very interesting article that backs-up the case that Scottish renewables could eventually supply cheap, clean, energy to households and industry in Scotland and reduce the dependency on oil and gas.

  • David S

    Few people in the UK have got even euro-denominated bank accounts, so they lose money changing money even when they go to Ireland, France, or Spain, let alone Denmark or Sweden or outside of the EU to Norway. If Scotland and rUK have different currencies, that is what they should expect when they go to England. In fact, that may well be another reason (other than international financial market response) why the YES side are clinging on to the idea of using the GBP even if there’s no currency union, i.e. ‘doing an Ecuador’.

    Ecuador is a better example than Panama, since Ecuador’s currency is the USD, whereas Panama uses two currencies, one of which is the USD and the other is pegged to the USD at par.

    Previously, Alistair Darling called Alex Salmond ‘a man without a plan’.

    All these references to Panama, eh? 🙂

    Panama crisis
    End of union
    ‘Panama’ crisis?

  • doug scorgie

    Help. I’m hopelessly lost in economic gobbledegookism.

    “Without Scotland, sterling would be liable to massive outflows at times of high oil prices.” (Craig)

    A genuine question from a non-economist: Why would that be?

    Alex Salmond and the SNP think it is best to have a currency union with rUK (i.e. Sterling).

    So why Craig do you say? “It is a good deal for rUK. Actually like you I think it is a very bad deal for Scotland.”

    If it’s a bad deal for Scotland why is the SNP pushing for it?

    I failed my economics “O” Level.

  • doug scorgie

    David S
    6 Aug, 2014 – 1:47 pm

    “Currently most supermarkets south of the border all take “Scottish” money.”

    Not my experience in London.

    In a supermarket if you tender a Scottish note you have to wait until a manager comes to verify its authenticity; as for pubs don’t even bother.

  • Ed

    @Doug Scorgie –

    Great questions. I’ll try answer in lay terms.

    “A genuine question from a non-economist: Why would that be?”

    [It’s not necessarily the case, I don’t really believe it would be the case, but I’ll present an argument where it would happen].

    rUK would be a net oil/gas importer. That has to be paid for in foreign currency, so rUK would be selling GBP and buying foreign currency to fund the imports (even if it were paid in GBP, the net effect would be the same). If that were the only factor at work, then the value of GBP would fall.

    “If it’s a bad deal for Scotland why is the SNP pushing for it?”

    Personally, I think Salmond is pushing it for political reasons. “Leaving GBP” as part of the independence platform might well be regarded as too big a risk.

    If he genuinely believes it is in Scotland’s best interests, he needs to hire a new economics team.

  • doug scorgie

    David S
    6 Aug, 2014 – 1:55 pm

    “If you want to be a foreigner when you go to England, vote for independence.”

    David, it has always been the case that if you are not English you are considered a foreigner in England.

  • doug scorgie

    David S
    6 Aug, 2014 – 1:55 pm

    “The truth is that most Scottish people do feel British…”

    David S
    6 Aug, 2014 – 1:56 pm

    “Yes, I know most of us feel more Scottish than British, but that’s not the point at all.”


    David, would you like to explain those contradictory statements?

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    Nationalism, like patriotism, is a terrible thing. Look at what was wrought from American Independence. Be careful what you wish for.

  • doug scorgie

    6 Aug, 2014 – 3:47 pm

    Thanks for your reply Ed.

    I may need to pick your brains a bit more later.


    Tony M – The word “psychic” in your post triggered the spam filter. A lot of spam posts recently using that word. I have removed it from the spam filter for now.

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    Mod; It would be helpful to have a list of proscribed words. That would make for less outrage and assumptions about moderation.

  • Kempe

    ” Your figures show that overall Scotland’s net import of food amounted to under 10 pounds per persom per year!

    Please give an equivalent figure for the UK. ”

    I wasn’t claiming that the UK is a net exporter of food.

  • DavidFromScotland

    Hi Craig,

    You have an image of the 1776 declaration of independence. How many states in the USA are seeking to break away at the moment?

    Love and kisses

    Your Tory Friend.

  • Tony M

    Bah spam filters! If they’re tripping so easily they can really kill spontaneity and lead to all sorts of suspicions and fears awakening.

    It is a reasonable explanation, and accepted red-faced. I think I have seen one or two of the ‘psychic’ spam posts, though I have never seen a YCIAM message before on this site and the blog’s owner himself thought it unlikely. Even when the troll word was banned it was strangely much more reassuring to simply have the comment float off into the ether leaving not a trace, suggesting a bug than some all-seeing seemingly partisan anonymous moderator or some m-i-t-m jiggery-pokery. I still reserve the the right to flounce off in a huff as and when inappropriate.

    You really need along with the blog-roll a short list of still active topics/posts in order to help keep commenters contributions on topic. I’ve posted an interesting link in the most recent flight MH-17 thread.

  • fool

    Jimmy Giro said:

    “All the illustrations of ‘freedom’, were after bloody conflicts; where one bunch of power seeking cuckoos displaced another.

    Does changing landlords really equate to freedom, if it is not validated by bloody conflict?

    If you are free to vote, then you were not really subjugated in the fashion indicated by your ‘historical’ references. Therefore Scottish independence is more about the greed of the bureaucrats; in the same way that the wars of the 13th century were civil wars between the Norman nobility: William Wallace, John de Balliol, Robert de Bruce, these were all Norman names….”

    Interesting point you agree and I agree revolutions and new countries are easily stolen, but I am only posting to query whether William Wallace was a Norman – surely he was Welsh from the days of the Old North / yr hen gogledd when Welsh was still spoken around Dunbarton.

  • guthrie

    I do wish people wouldn’t quote the declaration of Arbroath so much. The ‘freedom’ it refers to is freedom for the nobility and royalty to use the peasantry in the feudal system. It’s not freedom in any way similar to the modern period. So using it these days is a little blind to the history.

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