Old Scottish dilemma: lonely or bad? – Comment

Old Scottish dilemma: lonely or bad?  - Comment

Has been in Scotland since 1998 A Parliament of its own, With 129 deputies (thanks to Tony Blair who wants to be good to everyone) whose election takes place the day before the British municipal election. So, the Scots vote twice, once for the deputies in Edinburgh and once for the mayors and municipal assemblies.

Before moving on to the present, it must be remembered that the relationship between Scotland and England has a very rough history; For centuries the kings of London sought to annex the northern highlands of “Great Britain” (now an island that includes England, Wales and Scotland). They faced stiff resistance from local tribes fighting each other, but they all came together when the English were forcibly defeated. Attempts were also made to reconcile through royal marriages, which was not always easy as Scotland did not always have a king who was accepted by all tribes.

To summarize a long history of many wars, betrayals, and coups, finally, in 1603, King James VI of Scotland inherited the English crown, which already included Ireland, and moved to London. From this time on, the English Red Cross overlapped with white X on a blue Scottish background and Red X on a white background from Ireland – the infamous “Union Jack” who conquered seven oceans. However, the union was not peaceful until 1707 (three hundred years ago) when Anna, the first real queen of the United Kingdom, appeared.

Followed a period of more or less peace. The Scots fought their own battalions during the imperial wars, and to this day claim to be of great English intellectual descent – James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine, Alexander Fleming, the scientist who invented the penicillin, and Alexander Cummings on the Flash list, for example. The fact is that in the two centuries leading up to the beginning of the twentieth century, the majority of Scots considered themselves British and formed a London-based English society. Edinburgh has always been a provincial capital. It has good universities and lots of cultural activities, but nothing comparable to London, not far away.

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History records the first internal setback for the United Kingdom when Ireland gained independence by force of arms in 1922. At the time, Scottish nationalism was anesthetized and the majority claimed a minority of Esgroviados without repercussions. Scotland voted on the left against the backdrop of Westminster, with representatives from two classic British, Labor and Conservative parties. The SNP (Scottish National Party) emerged in 1934 with the merger of two regional parties, with a few deputies winning over the years. This situation began to change in the 1960s, but it was not until twenty years later that it gained critical acclaim, thanks to the leadership of Alex Salmond, who began to pass on the labor vote to his party.

The question has always been the same, and now with Brexit it is much clearer: whether the Scots are doing well to drag Westminster Parliament to the left, or would it be more interesting to secede from London’s interests and defend their country? In other words, is Scotland better off as part of the United Kingdom (UK) or as a member of the European Union (EU)? Although the UK is from the European Union, the problem did not arise, and SNP nationalists have always faced voter skepticism.

Salmond led the party as a deputy, and after the 1998 reform, was prime minister until 2014. He was the undisputed leader of nationalism and the Left, eventually overcoming the SNP Labor and the Conservatives – that is, the issue of Scottish independence in UK management issues. Since 1994, the SNP has had an absolute majority in the Edinburgh parliament. Until that year it was impossible: a referendum to decide whether to secede from the Scottish Union. By a small margin, but lost.

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In its place came Nicola Sturgeon, a faithful disciple and natural heir. Nicola, who speaks effortlessly, has always said that she owes her career to Salmond – it only suits her. Immediately after the allegation of sexual harassment by several associates, the counsel did not agree.

Nicola was in a difficult situation; If she justifies Salmond, she will be accused of being irrational on the subject of harassment, too much on the agenda, but also as a woman; If he does not take his side, he will be considered ungrateful and a traitor to the values ​​that Salmond has represented for decades. He decided to avoid the problem, which did not suit him well.

It is against this backdrop that last Wednesday’s election took place. Not only did the SNP win, it also won three more seats. Elderly and unaware of how to respond to the allegations, Salmond hastily formed a party in February 2021, and Alba (Scottish name in Gaelic), could not even win a deputy. It was over, and he just didn’t recognize it.

It is clear that this victory will prompt Nicola Sturgeon to hold a new referendum. The request was made shortly after Brexit, but Boris Johnson did not want to hear about it. Legally, Scots need the approval of the Westminster Parliament to accept their situation. What happens if they do it illegally?

The pressure will definitely increase. Johnson has an argument that is not legally correct, but it is very important: 60% of Scotland’s exports go to the UK and 25% to the European Union. Does the European Union hate to buy another dispute with the British who would help Scotland if it gained independence? Brussels has so far wisely kept quiet so as not to be accused of inciting riots against “our London friends”.

Anyway, here’s another imbroglio to distract us from the people at home and a good thing. Scotch In hand. Oops*!

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* Aye, an archetype of many linguistic sources, but remained in Scotland with the meaning of yes (aye, aye, aye, Scottish poetry, Carlos Oliveira Santos, December 2020, author’s edition)

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