Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Scotland and History

Certain countries put themselves on the right side of history and thus earn our eternal praise and gratitude.  Canada comes to mind, as does Denmark after 1848.  Germany obviously with serious qualifications, and Russia only inasmuch as it utterly destroyed the Third Reich (and gave us Tolstoy, Chekhov, Tchaikovsky, et al.).  The United States from the emancipation of the slaves through the civil rights movement, and not ignoring our contribution to the defeat of the Axis powers.  We paid in blood.  (And, again, to hammer the point home:  the Russians paid a far higher price in blood, and have therefore earned our eternal respect.  Simply utter the word "Stalingrad," and any Westerner should bow his head.)

Scotland has a deservedly stellar reputation.  Home of a disproportionate number of great philosophers.  Brewers of great beer.  (Do not be fooled by today's "Scottish ales."  Back in the day, Scottish brewers were second to none in their deployment of hops.  Anyway, even today's Scottish ales are tasty and capable of being enjoyed in great volume.)  Makers of great whisky.

And I'll add another distinction to the list.  Since the time of Gladstone, Scotland has been a steadfast supporter of enlightened, democratic, peaceful policies.  Scottish voters were the most enthusiastic Liberals, the most reliable Labour voters, the least supportive of Margaret Thatcher's adventures in the Falklands.  (That said, if Thatcher contributed to the end of the Dirty War, then she deserves our thanks.)  The least swayed by Queen Victoria's anti-Gladstone imperialistic bullshit.  (Did you know that Kaiser Wilhelm II was Victoria's grandson?  Seems surprising until you realize that he basically embodied her jingoistic horseshit.)  Sober, rational, humanistic, and tolerant.  Scotland has earned its place in history as one of the truly great nations.

It is a shame that the Scottish National Party is going to throw all that away in a quixotic and misguided quest for independence.  Show me a member of the SNP, and I'll gladly give him a Glasgow kiss.


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