hms iron duke

hms iron duke

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Be Britain Still to Britain True

Alphen, the Netherlands. 25 January. Tonight is Burns Night, beloved of patriotic Scots the world over as they commemorate the 1759 birth of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, the poet Robert Burns. It is for this reason the Scottish First Minister and romantic separatist Alex Salmond has chosen today to outline his plans to hold a 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, the seven hundredth anniversary of the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn. If Salmond has his way he will endeavour as much as is possible to limit the referendum to those who agree with his plans to dismember the United Kingdom, thus denying all expat Scots the right to a vote. Salmond also avoids the irony of citing the Bard; Burns was no Scottish nationalist. As the Bard wrote, “Be Britain still to Britain true, Amang oursels united; For never but by British hands, Maun British wrangs be righted”. As for Bannockburn, it was indeed a decisive 'Scottish’ victory over the English and Welsh and for a time victory strengthened King Robert.  However, Salmond's concept of medieval Scotland is pure romantic fiction. Nice story though.

Julian Lindley-French

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