Published: January 18, 2007

Cap in hand?

So polls show that most Scots and most English would like to see an independent Scotland. Freakin’ right, I say.

If you don’t have your independence and a right to a national identity, what do you have? I’ve admired Ireland forever, well before the whole Celtic Tiger phenomenon. The Irish were proud enough to fight for their independence, and they won it. They paid dearly through 60-odd years of economic squalor, but a happier and prouder race you’d never meet, money or no.

My Dad was a card-carrying Scots Nationalist (even though he didn’t live there and was way more Russian than Scottish). When I went to Stirling University for a year in the 1980s and was disappointed to find there wasn’t a local chapter of St. Louis Cardinals supporters, I of course signed up with the University SNP Club.

Bizarrely, within a few meetings they tried to draft me as President. I shite you not. It was then that I decided I could use the time better practicing pipes not politics, so I quietly stopped attending meetings and all the whistful student reminiscing about the time the Queen was pelted with eggs when she visited Stirling Uni in 1972.

I still believe in Scottish independence. I also believe that, economically, it would bring a lot of problems. But some things you just have to stand up for on principle, dang the consequences.

Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory!
Fareweel ev’n to the Scottish name.
Sae famed in martial story!
Now Sark rins over Salway sands,
An’ Tweed rins to the ocean,
To mark where England’s province stands —
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

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