Saturday, September 20, 2014

On Current Affairs Past and Future


Susan Anderson said...

This perfectly reflects my mood of grief and relief for Scotland. It was such a stunning idea, taking control of a nation's destiny, but so impracticable. Done with humor and verve, and showing up the stupid southrons. Thanks.

Bernard J. said...

Steeleye Span - Eli has found one of my favourites.

I think that the story of the world could be told with their title list.

dave said...

D'Bunny likes and recalls Steeleye Span and their fondness for Jacobite propaganda songs, including Parcel of Rogues and Cam Ye O'er Frae France which is rather more fun and robust.

Various rather ironic relations to the referendum (now being trailed as a neverendum or inurrection by Salmond & Co.) which made such a play of Scottish dislike of current Tory policies, with Yesists promising to rid Scotland of Tories.

For all their adoption by the nationalist cause, the Jacobites were of course Tories, believers in the absolute rights of the monarchy to determine the religion of their subjects and opposed to the relatively democratic parliamentarians.
Hence their denouncing of the Commissioners who voted for the 1707 Act of Union, many having lost heavily in the Darien Scheme hoping for compensation, the "English gold".
This time round, the Darien scheme was the likely "Panama solution" of using Sterling as a currency without currency union, and the probability that this would severely damage the Scottish economy.

The jibe about "stupid southrons" is rather like the common abuse hurled by Yesists at their Scottish opponents, "get back to England". To add to the irony, Steeley Span were an English folk group, not very welcome unless they toed the Yesist line.

So, a relief that, for all their wrapping themselves in the saltire flag, the Yesists were only supported by a minority. With the same sort of large turnout seen in other referenda on national separation, a clear mandate for staying in the UK.

At least on the referendum day Yes supporters thought that the turnout gave a definitive mandate of the "will of the Scottish people", even if the result was only marginal rather than 55/45. Of course at that time they thought the marginal lead would go their way.
A day later, their representatives kept harping on the need to take the views of the 1.6 million minority into account, but didn't seem very interested in accepting the views of the 2 million majority. Jacobites always did have rather arbitrary views about democracy.

Hope we can expect some cheerier songs this time, "Flower of Scotland" is an overused dirge. Another song by a Scotsman, "Rule Britannia", is much cheerier but has rather sectarian overtones these days. The referendum has certainly succeeded in bringing out division.

dave said...

D'Bunny would wish to add a link to one of the better versions of "Rule, Britannia!" with lyrics apparently from 1751:

This is not the version sung by the Huns. D'Bunny prefers the newer marr-ay-ed to a mer-may-ed option, see for one set of the lyrics.

EliRabett said...

Without looking Eli would suppose that is the stomp on the Scots version which is still Alex Salmond's very favorite

dave said...

Eli may be thinking of God Save the KIng (known in the colonies as "My Country, 'Tis of Thee") which notoriously had a verse (apparently added later) –

"Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save The King."

Tradition holds that the original version was presented in 1745 in the context of the Jacobite rebellion of that year, which featured rebellious Scots on the Jacobite side, and loyal Scots on the Hanoverian monarch's side. No doubt a Jacobite version of the song reversed the roles, giving fealty to "the King over the water" exiled in France or perhaps Italy.