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As a Scot living abroad, I recently watched the entire series of the “History of Scotland” produced by the BBC and was frankly horrified.
Where to start? How about the official Scottish Presbyterian sense of self:
“We are the direct descendants of Noah, Gods chosen people.”
These were the same nobles who were previously requesting Papal sanctioning of the “Romes special daughter” status (by way of Noah again) who then went on to outlaw the Catholic mass when they decided to embrace the Reformation.
You’d think historians would try to gloss over these embarrassing things wouldn’t you? The Scots should have a special shelf allocated in the historical section of bookstores where they would sit unabashed alongside those of Israel, apartheid South Africa, and the Church of Scotlands own little gem, The Menace of the Irish Race to our Scottish Nationality.
Other historical absurdities include the Stuart dynasty as the bringer of the Renaissance to Scotland and as the inspiration behind the American Declaration of Independence. Wow!
Let’s not forget the ever present line being touted throughout the series either, that the Gaels were pretty much mere immigrants to the country. No, the authentic Scots are of course todays mixed population of Pictish (probably descended from the Basque region) Viking Norse/Danish & the Britons (Saxon & Angle/Norman, or German, English & French for all you nationalists out there)
So that’s our official history then. Gods chosen people? Really?
No wonder the Roman policy of Conquer & Civilize was abandoned only when they got to us. They just built a wall and declared nothing existed on the other side. Wether by Colonial arrogance or some divine premonition, they were of course spot on. Morally & ethically, we’re a bankrupt nation. Eternally crying victim on the international stage on indefensible positions anywhere from Ireland to Iraq. This stance would be somewhat more credible were it not for the tradition of serving (with child-like enthusiasm at times, such as in Ulster) on the front line of the British empires continental whims since their taking of the kings schilling in 1763. A tradition now superseded by its own unforgivable actions carried out in the name of empire. The “ethnic pacification” role played by the Scots has left a lasting legacy on the world stage. As the independence movement grows louder, the immortal line “you’ll never take our freedom” will no doubt be belted out with ever more frequency. Redundant though it is, I never once heard any lament about them taking our morality.
Maybe that’s why we’re comfortable with any number of atrocities such as the massacres in Malaya or India, the building of concentration camps in Kenya, bombing civilian villages in Sudan (the colonies of Palestine & Iraq were also approved) and any number of atrocities in Ireland and probably helped blow away any remnants of moral decency. Its not all bad though. At least the Scots only hold partial responsibility for the estimated 8million deaths alone through famine in Ireland & Bengal and possibly up to a further 10million across India . 18million indigenous deaths while under British control & guardianship! There is general agreement today that most if not all of those lives could have been saved but government policy prevented it. In Ireland there was never going to be much sympathy for the deaths of those rebellious Catholics. The Indian subcontinent, in collusion with the East India Company (ran chiefly by Scots) refused to spend in order to distribute the existing grain & rice stocks because it wasn’t in the budget for that year. Lieutenant-Governor Sir Richard Temple didn’t help much either by proclaiming to have “the famine under control”. Author, journalist and humanitarian William Digby wrote “a famine can scarcely be said to be adequately controlled which leaves one-fourth of the people dead”
The sooner we vote YES in the referendum the better and stop signing up to assist in Brit atrocities.