What now for Scotland?

My congratulations go to the Scottish National Party who won an outright majority in the elections last week. I would probably not have voted for them myself but I am optimistic and wish them all the best.

Author: julie_t

short story writer

51 thoughts on “What now for Scotland?”

  1. In reply to comments from JM and Ferret in an earlier post: yes I am a Scot. Ma faither wiz a bairn in Fyfe. His hame wiznae far frae Leuchars,if he tellt me reet.

  2. England and Scotland have been joined at the hip since 1603 (and I don’t mean just after four o’clock). Surely it’s well past time for this silly concept of British apartheid to be tucked up and put to bed.

    “Home rule for the Isle of Wight” – makes more sense than treating the cold northern reaches of the British Isles as a different country. People are bloody stupid over non-issues, and this must be the biggest non-issue since Cnut got his feet wet. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  3. I don’t think my fellow countrymen will vote for independence, Bearsy. But at least Salmond will keep his word and give them a referendum. Then the whole question can be shelved.

  4. I wonder why the English aren’t being given a referendum to see if they still want to be united with Scotland…

    Rebuild Hadrian’s Wall! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I don’t like nationalism as such, but I am all for decentralising power. Generally, Scots have very different views from South-East Englanders on how public affairs should be managed.

  6. We live in a Federal system – all one gets is more money spent on duplication of services. More pollies for less action – they all pass the buck and nothing gets done.

  7. Boadicea :

    We live in a Federal system โ€“ all one gets is more money spent on duplication of services. More pollies for less action โ€“ they all pass the buck and nothing gets done.


  8. Since this affects England, Wales and N.Ireland as well as Scotland, I agree with Boa, let’s see what everyone thinks – also, let’s remember that, absent the Scots labour MP’s…

  9. Julie

    The Scots do indeed have different ideas about how public affairs should be managed -and some of them are very, very good ideas.

    But, I do wonder whether Scotland would be able to finance those ‘ideas’ were they to become truly independent. I’m a great believer in giving people and / or countries autonomy if that’s what they want – providing they realise that independence means standing on one’s own two feet and not relying on others for financial support.

    As Bravo says – get rid of Scotland and England might not find itself overwhelmed by the ridiculously small electoral constituencies that cause such an imbalance in the way MPs are elected to Westminster.


    The wretched Scots took the English Throne by underhand means in 1603 in the person of James Stuart, and they now seem to have taken over the Houses of Parliament. Why are they complaining – what more do they want?


  10. JT – I think everyone outside the SE of England has different ideas on public affairs…alas only the SE of England can afford independance!

    I’d really rather not have NI as part of the UK, but together we are better than the sum of our parts. As Bearsy says – a non-issue to 45 million of the UK residents!

  11. I’d be delighted to see them leave and the cessation of the excessive capitation allowance through the Barnet formula will of course be immediate!
    A likely bloody story!
    Reminds one of turkeys voting for Christmas.
    We’ll never get rid of them that easily.
    Rebuild Hadrian’s Wall and give ’em all passports and visas.

  12. Zen – Why not? The buggers hate us anyway.

    Boadicea – “I wonder why the English arenโ€™t being given a referendum to see if they still want to be united with Scotland.” Quite so.


  13. OK zen, no right of entry at all if that makes it better!
    One could have indelible woad sprays mounted along the wall to make sure they don’t slide in unannounced.

  14. Harrumph!

    The sweaties aren’t the only ones. I would glady dissolve Geordieland from gubmint control if I could. The picts think they own the oil in the north sea, they will quickly pee their kilts when we lay a new pipe and bring it ashore in Blyth instead of Aberdeen.

    JT – I lived in Leuchars for 3 years in the early 90’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Not at all sure about the underhand means in 1603, Boadicea. After Elizabeth I’s disgraceful treatment of Mary, naming her son as heir seems reasonable. Who would you have preferred? As I see it, the real problem was that Charles Edward Stuart stopped at Derby!

    Speaking as a Scot, I can assure cherished colleagues that I don’t hate the English – I married one. I think England has suffered from Labour’s dirty tricks, that government having bought itself a a client state in the central belt. This client state now seems to be deserting Labour though. Certainly Scottish MPs at Westminster have no business legislating on anything that affects only England. What about Welsh MPs?

    CO, I like your idea of the woad sprays, but I think we have to start them closer to Calais to begin with.

    So if there were a referendum in England on the question of staying united to Scotland, would Scots living in England get to vote? Because all the English people living in Scotland will get a vote in Salmond’s referendum but I won’t.

  16. sheona, good idea but woad wouldn’t show up on the average Congolese! Have to use indelible white wash instead.

    Trouble was that the Stuarts really went a bit effete and the son was an alky! Wouldn’t have been much of an improvement on the krauts. How many more burnings at the stake could you bear to smell? I suppose we could reintroduce it but ‘public BBQ’ seems just a little outre to sell as a concept!

  17. Is it possible for me to email you, Boa, or Bearsy? Sorry this is off topic.

  18. Sheona

    Under Henry VIII’s will – endorsed by Act of Parliament – the throne should have gone to the heirs of his younger sister, Mary, (the Greys). The Scottish descendants of his oldest sister, Margaret, were specifically barred.

    That Act was ‘quietly’ repealed after Cecil and Co gave the throne to James. There is no evidence that Elizabeth ever named James as her heir – indeed there’s no evidence that she ever named anyone as her heir.

    As to the treatment of Mary – she was one of the first of the ‘enemies within’, and it’s always amazed me that she kept her head as long as she did!


  19. Boa; I have just tried to email you but it got sent back. I wonder if I wrote down the correct address…

  20. Christopher

    No it wasn’t – but that was Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots was the Scottish queen that the Scots rejected and now complain about how the English treated her… ๐Ÿ™‚


    I’ve taken this down – I don’t like to leave it on open display for too long.

  21. Would it be callous to say that the Greys had a go at the throne of England, albeit very briefly? So if it was the Cecils who gave the throne to James VI & I, then it was the English who gave their throne away. If Elizabeth didn’t want Mary as an “enemy within”, she should have sent her back to Scotland, where she might not have been welcome but that would have been her problem. The execution of Mary qualifies Elizabeth Tudor as a regicide, doesn’t it?

  22. Come on Julie! You have to admit it’s a bit ironic that English kings spent centuries trying to conquer Scotland and then the Scottish monarch, with all his entourage, waltzed into London and took over!

    Hmmmm… perhaps an excellent argument against both hereditary monarchy and primogeniture ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I don’t call that takeover ironic, Boadicea, just very satisfying. We give you English a perfectly good Stuart dynasty and what do you do? Then you end up importing Dutch and German products.

  24. Sheona

    The Greys did indeed have ago at the throne in the person of Jane. Her crime was that she tried to do it ‘out of turn’ – we English do believe in queuing… But, there were another two sisters.

    I agree, Mary should have been sent back. But, I honestly believe that Elizabeth did not want Mary’s blood on her hands – even second-hand.

    I doubt Mary would have survived long in Scotland. The woman was a natural schemer and there’s no way that she would have lived in Scotland and not been involved in plots to undermine the Scottish Government. Elizabeth probably did you all a favour by keeping her out of Scotland!

    It is sometimes forgotten that Mary was in England nigh on twenty years, plotting and scheming all the while to take Elizabeth’s throne, before she lost her head.

    Certainly the execution of Mary makes Elizabeth a regicide, and that’s one of the main reasons Mary lasted as long as she did. But Mary was also a traitor…

  25. The problem with your ‘perfectly good Stuart dynasty’ is that they refused to know their rightful place!

    They may have thought they had some Divine Right to do as they wished, but they should have read a more detailed account of what happens to English monarchs when they overstep the mark according to the ‘ancient laws and customs of the land’. Charles and James weren’t the first English kings to be removed…

  26. Boadicea and Araminta, you English still don’t accept that Scotland is God’s own country and our rightful place is top of the pile. We all know this; it’s just taking so long for the rest of the world to accept it. Of course there are exceptions to every rule – and Gordon Brown is the prime example. Why couldn’t the English have executed him? No one would have complained.

  27. I’m not sure to whom Mary Queen of Scots could have been a traitor, Boadicea. Did she actually swear allegiance to Elizabeth?

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Schiller’s “Maria Stuart”. Untroubled by historical fact, Schiller has the two queens meeting face to face. The production that a colleague and I took some pupils to in London had Isabelle Adjani as Mary, who apparently did speak English with a French accent. The confrontation between the two queens is a very stirring scene. Colleague was worried in case I started shouting encouragement.

  28. julietee :

    Thank you, everybody. We Scots just love being shat upon.

    Hi julie. Well met and well said. It’s what we are good at.

    Removed – unnecessary sniping comment. Boadicea.

    And, in passing, the ‘Stuart’ spelling is a French affectation introduced by Mary Queen of Scots after her sojourn in Frogland. They were Stewarts. Not a lot of time for them personally, but also know full well that we were wrong to sell Charles 1 to the English so that they could cut his head off, that we were not wrong to seriously upset the man Cromwell by offering the Crown of Scotland to Charles II after they had decapitated his Dad and that we were seriously right to kick James VII and II into touch and give the gig to Billy III.

    Nothing to do with Divine Right. Never a concept that we had in Jockland. A Covenant and contract between Monarch and People. Worked then and still works for me now.

  29. ‘O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day; if I forget thee, do not thou forget me.’

    Jacob Astley – prayer before the battle of Edgehill, 1642

  30. Sheona

    Iโ€™m not sure to whom Mary Queen of Scots could have been a traitor, Boadicea. Did she actually swear allegiance to Elizabeth?

    Now, why did I guess you’d come back with that argument! It’s a nonsense ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mary entered England of her own free will. She had already claimed that she was the rightful Queen of England, and she never relinquished that claim. That, in itself was treason – she was breaking the law of the land and, whether or not she sworn allegiance to Elizabeth, is quite irrelevant. Or are you claiming that no ‘immigrant’ is liable for prosecution if they break the law of the land in which they have chosen to live?

    Mary spent the next nearly twenty years plotting and scheming – not to merely escape – but to bring down Elizabeth’s Government and take her throne. If that’s not treason, I don’t know what is! Are you telling me that all those immigrants who plot and scheme in the UK should not be prosecuted – just because they have not taken British Nationality…


    I’d forgotten that your lot sold Charles I to us – touch of the Joan of Arc there. The French blame us for her death, too…

    Covenant between Monarch and People was fine by the English, too. The Stewarts were obviously not very bright since they forgot the lessons they learnt in Scotland. I really can’t understand why they thought we English would put up with their notions of grandeur.

  31. Let us not forget that the Tudors ruled before the Stuarts. They were Welsh!

  32. Well, if the English could put up with the Tudors and their notions of grandeur – “L’รฉglise, c’est moi” – why not the Stewarts?

    As regards Mary’s treason, Boadicea, would it not be true to say it was based mainly on forged letters and confessions extracted under torture? Perhaps I’ve been reading the wrong books.

  33. Sheona – Boadicea has retired to bed, but I am (almost) certain that she would say, “No it wouldn’t” and “Yes, you have”. I have heard this debate so often over the years that I think I could reproduce Boadicea’s assessment in my sleep. Seriously, I’m sure she’ll answer as soon as she wakens tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  34. Sheona: Divine right of kings, I think that may have had something to do with it, plus the fact that whatever their faults, at least the Tudors could organise a whelk stall. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. FEEG

    Welsh? Well only sort of! Henry VII’s mother, Margaret, was a Beaufort – good English stock back to her grandparents, John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford. Should I say good bastard, English stock! Great-grandmother was from Hainault. His father, Edmund, was probably born out of wedlock as well. Grandfather, Owen, was certainly Welsh. Bit of mixed ancestry there – mainly English with a smidgeon of Welsh!

    Henry VII certainly liked to play on his Welsh connections, it gave him a legitimacy that he didn’t really have. By designating himself Welsh he could insinuate that he was the true heir to King Arthur – hence giving his first son that name. The Tudors were excellent propagandists!

    The Tudors, especially Henry VIII and his son Edward VI, certainly had notions of grandeur. Monarchs were expected to be Grand and well – Regal!

    But, and this is the big but – they all played within the rules, and they, generally, took the ruling classes with them. Henry did not ever declare โ€œLโ€™รฉglise, cโ€™est moiโ€. He didn’t declare himself Head of the Church overnight – it was a long drawn process undertaken over quite a few years. He slowly ate away at Papal authority – bit by little bit – and every bit was backed up by legislation passed in Parliament. He didn’t try to side-step Parliament’s authority – he used it.

    When Mary I wanted to marry Philip – there was rebellion. OK put down, but the ruling classes expressed their opinion pretty forcefully.

    Elizabeth was just a natural politician…

    The Tudors had the sense to know that they had to keep all of the ruling classes happy. The Stewarts, like Richard I and Edward II, believed that they could ignore huge numbers of powerful people and rule by ‘favourites’. Charles I’s attempts to by-pass Parliament were, I think, his downfall. But, I’ll await Araminta’s judgement on this – she knows far more than I do.

    Mary Queen of Scots has had a ‘Good Press’. Poor tragic woman, lost a few husbands before losing her head to that evil woman Elizabeth.

    She was, in my opinion, a fool. She had no political nouse whatsoever and let her hormones dictate to her head. She was a fore-runner of the ‘English’ Stewarts who thought that simply because she had been anointed Queen she could do what she liked and the rest of the world would simply obey. Sure she would have had a hard time in Scotland with that noxious man Knox… but marrying Darnley and then Bothwell – she was committing political suicide!

    The Babington Plot, which was the cause of Mary’s downfall, was not the first she had been involved in. It was a very real plot, and not based on forged anything – torture was not actually legal in England, but it was used frequently for crimes against the State – rings a bell somewhere!

    I think Sheona, you probably have been reading those books who see Mary as a victim – she brought most of her problems onto her own head.

  36. Thanks for all this, Boadicea. I think we Scots are brought up in the belief that Mary was a martyr, even though she was a Catholic and many Scots are not. I know that Henry VIII never said “L’รฉglise, c’est moi”, but nevertheless he ended up as head of the Church of England. In Scotland the monarch is simply a member of the Church of Scotland like the rest of us. It is, as has been said, this Divine Right thing. I expect if you are brought up to believe that you are God’s annointed, you would find it impossible to accept another way of thinking because that would be blasphemy and abdicating your responsibility. And Mary was a queen twice over, as it were. This reminds me of Alphonse Daudet’s story “La Mort du Dauphin”, where in the end the little lad realises that being King means nothing.

    I actually feel sorry for both Mary Tudor and Elizabeth as well. They both had awful childhoods and their insecurity lasted throughout their lives.

  37. Thanks Sheona !

    The last book I read about Mary said that she wasn’t that wonderful a Catholic to begin with and that the only really identified herself with the ‘Catholic Cause’ after she had been imprisoned some time!

    I rather thought that Mary had a pampered childhood (as much as any royal child was pampered!) in France – I’ll look at that again.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this – I enjoy the discussions with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. I think you’re right about Mary’s comfortable childhood in France, Boadicea. So when her husband died, she found herself suddenly nobody. If she’d even been pregnant, she could have continued in France. Of course she was a great asset to the Catholics in England once she was imprisoned, and probably found some comfort in religion, which I suppose had just been taken for granted before. When I mentioned the “awful childhood” I was thinking of the other Mary and Elizabeth. Compared with them Mary Queen of Scots had a pleasant time, but she was nevertheless a pawn in political games.

    I must see if I can find a translation of Schiller’s “Maria Stuart”. The scene between the two queens is marvellous. I’m sure you’d enjoy it, even on the printed page and in the full knowledge that it never happened.

  39. Look forward to it, Sheona. I’ll keep an eye out here – unless you want to start another post. I’m away shortly for a weekend with my daughter – catch you later!

  40. Sorry I missed the Mary Tudor bit, and misunderstood you. Far too many Marys, Elizabeths, Catherines and Henrys around. At least I don’t get too confused with the French lot!

  41. Have a good weekend – as the lady at the supermarket check-out said this afternoon.

  42. Boadicea, I have finally got a copy of Maria Stuart. Tomorrow we’ll try the scanning and sending process.

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