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January 14, 2007

Defend the Union? A bit late isn't it Mr Brown?

In a major historic move England and Scotland became a United Kingdom exactly three hundred years ago this year. Scotland had been bankrupted by various "adventures" in colonialism led by ambitious Scottish merchants and politicians attempting to compete with the English merchants instead of working with them. National pride, led to national catastrophe with the Darien Adventure bringing about the final collapse. England drove a hard bargain for the Union, demanding the cessation of the rivalries and the closure of the Scottish Parliament in return for paying out the debts accrued in these failed ventures. Scotland, for its part retained its unique legal system and gained a powerful voice in Westminster - a voice I might add, that has over the years become ever more powerful as more and more "Scottish" MP's have risen to the Cabinet and to the office of Prime Minister.

Yes, there have been negative issues, not least the land clearances, initiated by Scottish landowners and not, as is often taught in Scotland and among expatriate communities, by the perfidious English. Overall, Scotland has done rather well out of the Union, not least because a very disproportionate amount of the tax revenue has always found its way north of the broder, but because the number of Scottish MP's has always been dispropoirtionately larger than the population there merits. By and large, the system has worked to the benefit of both nations, as it has benefited the Welsh and some would argue the Irish, although that depended to a large extent on how you view it and whether or not you do so from within the Pale or the Province! Now Labour, having fostered the politics of envy, is in danger of destroying the Union completely because it has contributed to the feeling that Scotland has in some way been "deprived" by the Union of their wealth and status. So, enter the Scottish Nationalist Party, determined to end the Union and create a Republic of Scotland, independent of England, but a member of the EU so they can still keep milking the English tax pot for funds.

Gordon Brown is now alarmed and has written an article defending the UNion in his Scottish newspapers. Well, the prospect of an independent Scotland is bound to alarm him - after all he would lose his seat in Westminster (He represents a Scottish constituency) and all hope of being PM. He would also lose (or Labour would) some seventy seats from their majority. It is no secret that it is the Welsh and the Sottish MP's (both now with their own Parliaments or Assemblies) that keep Labour in power and ensure that the English are forced to accept the will of the Scottish and Weslh Labour majorities.

While I accept that this should alarm those, who like me, were born and raised to believe the Union was what made us as a people "Great" in the way we shared and supported each other, I have to say, that with the current tax spend North of the Border being some six times per head what it is South of the Border - and the vast majority of that is raised in England, I am of a mind to say, let them go it alone. Let them have the bloated bureaucracy they have built in England and elsewhere as well. We English may well be a nation of shopkeepers, and we may well have been those who benefited from Scottish ingenuity and so on, but we have funded it as well. Perhaps it is time to let Scotland and her peoples have another Darien Adventure. It will bear no better fruit than last time.

As for Gordon Brown's defence of the Union, well the stench of hypocrisy from him and his party is nothing new. They have sown the seeds, it is now a bit late to discover that they have sown a crop of dragon's teeth. Its a bit rich of him to now blame the Right when it has been the mantra of his own Party for almost a Century to play the envy card in Scotland and in Wales in order to whip up anti-English feeling. The BBC article on Gordon Brown is in the extended post below.

The Union of England and Scotland is under threat 300 years after it was formed, Gordon Brown has warned. The Chancellor has set out his fears of a "dangerous drift" to separatism in an article to mark the tercentenary of the two parliaments merging in 1707. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Brown defends the idea of Britishness amid signs that the Scottish National Party will perform well in forthcoming elections north of the border.

He praises the former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for her consistent support for the concept.

He also rejects calls for English laws to be decided by English MPs alone, now that devolution has been brought in.

The Chancellor's intervention will be seen as further evidence of his concern over being seen as "too Scottish" if, as expected, he succeeds Tony Blair later this year.

"It is now time for supporters of the Union to speak up," Mr Brown writes.

"The failure to defend and promote the United Kingdom is now becoming more a feature of the thinking of the Right."

Mr Brown insists: "Of course it is healthy to recognise the distinctiveness of each nation.

"But we will lose all if politicians play fast and loose with the Union and abandon national purpose to a focus on what divides."

Posted by The Gray Monk at January 14, 2007 10:40 AM

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