Thursday, 8 April 2010
Your Equality or Mine?
Scotland and England, completely united in 1707, was a union of equal sovereign nations under one monarch and it soon transpired that the condition of equality had little meaning as England, or Great Britain as the merger was named, exercised control over Scottish Affairs. It is only recently that the Scottish Parliament has been restored to the people of Scotland. The disbandment of the clan system, the banning of the wearing of the tartan and the enclosure of lands were all decided and enforced by the government in London and Scotland became a virtual colony of England ruled by London. Even the Stone of Scone on which the Scottish kings had been crowned was taken to London as a symbol of British dominance over its neighbour to the north.
Despite the efforts of the British government to dismantle the structure of a separate Scottish state and destroy the unique culture of Scottish society, along with the connivance of elements of the Scottish gentry, the spirit of nationhood survived and now it has become a force to be respected and reckoned with. As in Ireland, the aspiration of Celtic peoples for autonomy and self-government cannot be stifled and in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall the movement towards a distinctive and separate national status with their own institutions and governments continued to gain momentum. The outcome will be the formation independent nation states, certainly in Ireland, Wales and Scotland, in the context of a European federation of nations.