The Sun Has got His Hat On

What a day I’m having…I had my belly laugh at Johann presenting herself as stateswoman of the year (she’s been watching Borgen) and then Alistair Carmichael entered my territory by reminding us that the real choice is not between independence and devolution but between Scotland and Britain – which is your country?

And then one of my contributors, Grahamski, the Impaler of Nationalists, does the same thing by stating: “I put Scotland first and believe it is in our best interests to maintain political union with the rest of the UK.”

Exactly. And what does that union mean in practice? That Britain not Scotland runs our affairs from deciding our budget through the votes of an overwhelming majority of English MPs, telling us when we can go to war, representing us on the world stage and taking command of our natural resources. They can still remove our parliament whenever they choose and they’re now dictating to us which currency we can/can’t use. They’re threatening to take away our defence contracts if we don’t do as they say and make (more) shipworkers unemployed. We now have 4 per cent representation in the Palace of Westminster. We’ve even had to fight for control over airguns.

Britain retains all the power over us and is the nation state while Scotland is an administrative region within that state. If you vote for that continuing then, whether you care to spell it out or not, Britain is your country, Scotland your second choice. Only a country standing shoulder to shoulder as an equal with every other country on earth can truly be called a nation. That is the definition applied by every other country in the UN. Voting to keep your homeland a region of another in a straight choice is never putting your country first, it is acknowledging that you are second best and either unworthy or ill-equipped for full statehood. You can of course engage in self-justifying comfort statements about being better together but there is no escaping the reality – and that which will be seen by every other country after a No vote – that the Scots didn’t think their country was worth its own independence. They didn’t put Scotland first. They put their membership of the UK ahead of their own independence.

(This is quite a different question from Would Scotland be better off or Is it in our best interests.) But we’re not being asked those questions – important as they are. We are being asked for the first time in 300 years  if we want to be independent and run our own affairs or do we prefer to play a subsidiary role in Britain. Yes is for Scotland. No is for Britain. No amount of sophistry and bluster can hide the hard truth confronting every Scot in the voting booth.

(I got a great deal on my wine at Tesco Maryhill and now the sun’s come out…Happy New Year to you all)

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28 thoughts on “The Sun Has got His Hat On

  1. Hey Derek it reads as if your day has come together very nicely indeed.

    Happy new year and all the best for 2014.

  2. Aye Derek, a fine day indeed.

    Mair pow’r tae yer pen.

    Here’s to you and yours for 2014.

    It’s going to be quite a year.

  3. All the best Derek, and keep up the good work.
    I would stop going abroad if it was a No vote, How would you answer if asked where you were from?
    I couldn’t handle the laughter if I answered ‘Scotland’.

    • I was employed in Holland for over 10 years in the shipbuilding industry after all the Scottish yards were flattened… as Holland and Germany and Belguim and France kept their yards and their surrounding infrastructure…. whilst skilled Scots were thrown to the misfortunes of less & less in living standards …. unless they immigrated…. BUT…. I bought and converted an old fishing boat as my residence…. which was flagged with the ST Andrews Cross….. with the home port of… Glasgow….no one laughed…. when entering any port and asked my nationality I naturally replied Scottish…. no one laughed…. they certainly smiled as they recognised I was not another arrogant well heeled Southern yacht tourist…. But…. I will always continue to state my nationality as Scottish should the rats who can not see the forthcoming UK depression… and decide to stay with the status quo…. by voting no!

  4. Sounds like you have everything ready for the bells Derek.

    Awe the best to all, particularly Grahamski, I disagree with you but I do wish a safe and prosperous New Year to you and yours.

  5. I can just imagine it.
    At the moment, it often goes like this when abroad.
    English?
    No, Scottish.
    Ah, Braveheart. (big smiles)

    After a No vote.
    English?
    No, Scottish.
    Ah, wanker. (tears of laughter and chicken noises)

    • Lachie Macquarie

      Why the chicken noises? Sad day as Rosie the hen was horizontal and stiff as a board but she had a Viking funeral.

  6. I wonder whether Tesco etc have begun to estimate the annual Scottish rake-in awaiting them each September 19th from 2014… Great stuff.

  7. I’m glad you enjoyed visiting Tesco’s in Maryhill, Derek, I’m just back from being dragged to Asda in Clydebank and you’d think they where giving away free single malt! Never seen anything like it!

    Just wanted to throw a question out, apologies if it’s been asked before:

    Are Grahamski and Terry Kelly the same person?

  8. As far as I know,the only people who have ever voted not to manage their own affairs were the Inuit people of Greenland.That is what the world will compare us with if we bottle it.Talking of which,Tesco wines OK.
    Good wishes for New Year to all.

    • They did leave Denmark and the EU. It took them about 2 years to negotiate all the treaties to do so.
      They still have a special relationships with Denmark and Denmark acts for Greenland on foreign affiairs and negotiations on oil reserves and polar sub sea rights.

  9. Fear, uncertainty & insecurity causes us to seek out guarantees that in reality do not exist. We allow our neighbour to collect our wages (unknown value) allow them to skim off (unknown amount) to spend on what we know not. They skim off their expenses (amount unknown) and hand us back a pittance and we call that guaranteed security, (Better together).

    We have been accused by our caring next door neighbour from his large expensive castle, of being SUBSIDY JUNKIES when they are in fact robbing us blind, short changing us and bad mouthing us when we ask any questions. It’s a protection racket set up by Westminster for the benefit of Westminster and just because they speak the queens English wear expensive clothes, drive fancy cars, have large expensive houses and large expense accounts (we pay for it all) they have elevated themselves from servant of the people to masters of the people. If we question their action or motives they talk down to us and threaten our pittance that they pass onto us from our earnings.

    It’s a racket from start to finish, it stinks, they spread fear through the Westminster managed press tv etc to keep us manageable and cowed.

    There is only one guarantee, that is this system is one of use and abuse by Westminster of the poor people of Scotland. It’s time to show these THUGS AND GANGSTERS, with the nice accents expensive suits big houses and large expense accounts the door and manage our own lives. They are the ones who are spreading fear and uncertainty to create the belief that we need them to protect us. For gods sake it’s them we need protection from!

  10. didn’t notice your name in the New Year’s Honours list …. surely some mistake? … not that anyone would want to rub shoulders with those flawed UK ‘regulators’ and dodgy British Council wallahs who really should have a separate list to themselves to prevent cross-contamination to the meritorious …. of course British Council DOES actually have its own ‘Honours Unit’ separate from the FCO. Not a lot of OSCR registered charities in that privileged position i humbly suggest …. apparently when British Council applied to join the Scottish Charity Register ‘legal advice was taken’ … but not written down … oh and um … somebody threw away the fag packet? or so i was told when i used the FOI to ask if a state-sponsored UK propaganda organisation which will be running a Scottish International Culture Summit apparently on the eve of the referendum on independence is in breach of “the charity test” ….. arise Sir Martin Davidson … KCMG ….. happy new year! 🙂

  11. Reading this in a street cafe in Montevideo. I am in a small country and I know it’s new year but the people here are engaging and smiling and proud of their independence and their unique contribution to the world. There is a few million more of us Scots and I hope that one year from now I’ll be freezing and smiling under the Edinburgh fireworks, engaging with those around me from near and far, proud of my country’s independence and hoping we can build our own unique presence in the world.

  12. All the best when it comes Derek – looking forward to reading more of your work in 2014.

  13. URGH! This reminds me of a small battle, many years ago now, to save a social work post in Inverness. London explained patiently, as if I was aged about three that the allocation in question was too small to warrant a worker all to itself. It could, explained the serious young man on the other end of the phone, be shared out between the remaining workers without any difficulty after the post was cut. Because they were also, by London’s definition, under compliment and all would be right in the garden then because the numbers would work out. I asked how they figured the remaining workers would be able to cover the work load, the young man explained very patiently that they needed to “pull up their socks – why only a week earlier a case worked had spent a whole day visiting only two clients, AND they only lived four miles apart as the crow flies!” I would seriously have had more success lunching on Gabro than I had trying to get through to the thick little twerp that not only was there no direct road but also the width and depth of Loch Ness as well as a small mountain in between the two clients and that the journey between them was not comparable to a stroll across Peckham but rather two long trips both of which had to start from Inverness itself because the two roads involved led out of the city in different directions.
    If London had EVER demonstrated that it understood even the most basic day to day problems faced by Scotland then I’d be all for Union but the reality is that they don’t have a clue and ANY Scottish politician siding with them can only be kissing a**e because deep down they know better!
    It is high time that we did away with the slightest suggestion that politicians are ‘celebrities’ in any way shape or form, reminded the whole damn lot of that, (uncle Alex included) that they are public servants and started to take a long hard look at what all the countries which make up Great Britain really need.
    I’ll give you a clue – it is NOT ‘growth’ at the top end either!

  14. To vote yes for Scotland to manage its own affairs, is putting Scotland first. To vote No, is say that Scotland should be dependent on Britain to manage its affairs. To vote no and claim you are putting Scotland first, is the same as claiming that we are as the Tories have claimed we are, nothing but scroungers living off the fruits of others. Its Alistair Darlings Magic cloak of Britishness. Something to hide our wretched Scottish identity, something to ensure that the ever generous English keep paying for our cheap ready meals at Tesco. We are a proud resourceful and rich nation, but the Unionist claims that it is being British that makes it so. Without the Magic Cloak we would revert to woad wearing savages that no one would take seriously.

    The question you have to ask yourself come the day in the poll booth is this: Is there anything on Balance makes the price of Union acceptable to you. For me seeing what the UK is becoming, the answer is no. Not at that price, not at any price.

  15. Outstanding post Derek. Couldn’t agree more.

    Have a very happy New Years and all the best for 2014.

  16. @ayrgael: “And they only live four miles apart as the crow flies” many thanks for that wee snippet.

  17. ayrgael, to his utmost credit, “uncle Alex” has never needed reminding that he is there to serve the people of Scotland.

    It is a typical British Nationalist ploy to give the false impression that ‘they are all the same’.

    Don’t equate the SNP with the Labour – Tory – Liberal Democrat – UKIP scum.

  18. Happy and peaceful New Year to you, and your family, Derek and to all contributors!

  19. Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year in an Independent Scotland.
    Thanks for all your articles . Keep up the good work.

  20. Derek, yet again your wonderful writings have made me smile. Just nine and a half months to go until the real argument begins. The international court in the Hague is going to be busy. Westminster will stay true to form and argue every item on the divorce settlement.

    The main thing is that one day, we’ll be shot of them and Scotland will be free to make its own mark on the world. What’s not to like? Scotland will become a small, rich, normal, fairer, more equal, independent, European nation. And one Derek Bateman will take his rightful place in charge of the Scottish Broadcasting Corporation. We’ll keep all the staff of BBC Scotland in place so that you can have a bit of fun Derek. There are some good folk in there. I’m sure your choice of who was booted would be fair.

    And talking of our dear old british establishment, did you know that the MoD blocked an oil boom in the Clyde Estuary in the 80’s to prevent their submarines being inconvenienced? It’s absolutely true and we’ve got all the declassified documents to prove it. One newspaper picked it up, just one (the Sunday Post). We feel like people that have discovered the location of Lord Lucan sitting on top of Shergar and no one’s interested. Think of the economic implications for the folk living on the Clyde and the surrounding area if that oil boom had been allowed to go ahead, you’d have bought your wine from Harrods in Maryhill instead of Tesco’s.

    I hope this year will bring us many good things but a yes vote is top of the tree.

    Happy New Year Derek, to you and your family.

    Kindest regards,

    David Milligan Lvss

  21. Happy and prosperous New Year Derek, and to all your many readers. I miss your radio programmes, but your on line blog is a much better substitute, unshackled as it is by what I consider a very pro union BBC. More power to your elbow.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with David McCann. At the moment we look forward to a new year but soon we hope to embrace a fresh, new Scotland thanks to committed patriotic countrymen (and women! ) like Derek. A good New Year to all.

  22. Happy New Year Derek. Keep up the good work.

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