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No Great Mischief

Dear Boris,

I hope you are keeping well.

I just watched today’s speech during which you railed against the inherent injustice of a parliament that people didn’t vote for having control over another country’s domestic legislative freedom. “This”, you say, “is completely unacceptable to an independent country”.

Yep. Welcome to Scotland.

I can report that, when you made this comment,, fifty-eight percent – and rising – of Scotland’s population rolled its eyes, shook its head and smiled wryly. Welcome, we say to you, to the last three centuries of our experience as a sovereign nation yoked to an alien democratic culture that we have rejected for sixty five years.

My hunch has always been that you have long been been a “Yes” man – but not in the way that my fellow Scots would understand it. There was a poll some months back which suggested that Brexit voters in England would happily cut Scotland loose if it meant achieving the sunny uplands of Brexit, and my hunch is that this has profoundly informed your thinking of late. For you it is always power at any cost. I mean, a Conservative party free of what you once called the “verminous race” of Scotland would probably be in power for a couple of decades and you’ll have rightly figured that there’s no support or votes in “Northern Britain” anyway. And you’d be right. And it’s ironic and slightly pathetic that your appointed branch office party members in Scotland – like the linesman and the Baroness, useful idiots at best – care more about the continuation of the existing constitutional arrangements than you and the visually challenged Dom – their and your actual boss – at HQ, who would happily ditch them at the fast approaching point where they ceased to serve your purposes. “No great mischief should they fall”, wrote Wolfe, dismissively, of the Highland soldiers at Quebec. Little changes. We are expendable. For Scotland it was ever thus. As a historian you will know this.

It’s hard not to conclude that you are anything other than a British / English (and the terms are interchangeable) nationalist. In your and many other minds these are one and the same thing. Given that when facing a sixteen point deficit in support for the union, you chose today to threaten Scotland with a no-deal Brexit and economic chaos, instead of trying to shore up support, how can anyone possibly reach a different explanation? You don’t care. You never did. You have essentially just told us we’re on our own. That’s fine by us, incidentally.

To be fair, I actually enjoyed your biography of the man you think you are the modern incarnation of – Winston Churchill – so credit where credit is due. For the now unassailable majority of the people of Scotland, this – today – is your Finest Hour.

Going back to your speech today, you describe outside constraints as: “completely unacceptable to an independent country”.

Spot on. For once, you and I are on the same page.

See you later, big man. Good luck with the Australia style deal. Give us a shout if you need any whisky. Or seed tatties. Or oil. Or renewables. Or any of the other stuff that you don’t make but happily take the revenue from whilst giving us sweeties back in return and telling us we should pool and share and be grateful and that we are better together and that we are too wee poor and stupid to be a normal place. Scotland is not leaving you. You are leaving Scotland.

You didn’t deliver us our independence. This is a three centuries long and arduous journey and as you were never a passenger you can have no concept of the journey. You were, at best, an accidental tourist. You just happened to be the Prime Minister when the Rubicon was finally crossed, so take no credit. But thanks, anyway, for giving us the final push to the promised land. But don’t flatter yourself. We would have got there anyway, with or without you, and probably quite soon.

There will be no hard feelings.

Good luck with the day job. Looking forward to welcoming you, next year, to a newly independent Scotland.

We’ll meet you further on up the road.

Yours aye,

Alec.

8 replies »

    • Wolfe said it at the Plains of Abraham. He argued that Scottish soldiers should be sent first into battle because “they are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and no great mischief if they fall.”. I think it is revealing insight into how those who would lead us see us.

  1. “I should imagine that two or three independent Highland companies might be of use; they are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and no great mischief if they fall.“ this is the full quote …….there is a nice piece of scholarly research from the University of Florida on this
    https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5375&context=etd…Which speaks to how Highland troops were used in “ Empire” as expendable shock troops suited to the terrain and to unconventional warfare . Wolfe had personal experience of the Highland charge at the sharp end.

  2. Look in the orders of the day issued by General Wolfe before the battle of the Heights of Abraham to capture Quebec.

  3. Wolfe might have won the day but no great mischief for him, a busy roundabout now circles the spot on the plains of Abraham where French fire mortally wounded him. A parallel somewhere with Brexit?

  4. Don’t forget the sentence which comes next in General Wolfe’s orders. “How better can you employ a secret enemy than by making his end conducive to the common good?”

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