History of the Union isn’t so clear-cut
PAUL Scott’s article (Perspective, 27 June) strikes me as rather glib and selective. My own reading on the subject shows that many other historians do not agree with him.
He states that most Scots were against the Union (of 1707); well, most Scots seemed to be against an incorporating Union, but in favour of some kind of further union (there had already been one in 1603). The Union of the Crowns, in effect, meant that Scotland was already governed from London (at least until William and Mary).
As for the bribery debate – evidence please. There were payments made, but many worked for the government in London, and many historians give little credence to the bribery thesis.
He finishes by saying, “the modern world is the age of independent and contented small nations”; as we are already in the age of European Union integration, what world is he talking about?
Bo’ness, West Lothian
PAUL Scott is letting his Nationalist fervour deafen him to what Johann Lamont was actually saying. “We, as a nation, were never conquered” – a plain fact. “The United Kingdom has not been imposed upon us” – we have lived in the UK for over 300 years since 1707 (or, if we allow for current Nationalist thinking, since the Union of Crowns in 1603).
So, regardless of what pressures were exerted in 1707, if we had felt during all these centuries this was something being imposed upon us, is Scott suggesting we would feel so bound by the decisions of an unrepresentative, tiny minority who held power then, in England as well as Scotland, that we would do nothing about it?
It is a plain fact that we have only had a full adult franchise for less than a century, but in that time there has not once been a majority for breaking away. It clearly is the choice of Scots.
As a historian, it is remarkable that he makes no mention of the Industrial Revolution, in which Scots played a major role.
James Watt voluntarily chose to work with Matthew Bolton – he wasn’t dragged in chains.
A FAIR summary of leading Nationalist Paul Scott’s article (Perspective, 27 June) would be this: it is perfectly proper for the SNP to make the most outlandish and absurd assertions about what everyone else will do were the UK broken up, but when Johann Lamont makes one of her own it is “wrong on every level”.
I would think the vast majority of neutrals would accept the Lamont line before being taken in by fantasy Nationalist predictions.
Mr Scott uniquely claims to have got inside the minds of the people of Scotland many centuries ago, and, surprise, surprise, finds that they were all fervent nationalists, despite evidence to the contrary.
His assertions should stretch the gullibility of even the most fervent member of Mr Scott’s party.
New Cut Rigg
LETTER writers such as C Hegarty are always whingeing about unionist “scare tactics” and claim to want to hear a “positive case for staying in the Union” (26 June).
On the contrary, I’ve yet to hear a positive case for the insane idea of breaking up the United Kingdom. Clearly, it is the separatists who are full of negativity towards its great potential.
In any case, where a road leads off a cliff, it is not scaremongering or negative to put up a sign saying, “Danger: Road Leads off Cliff”.
No doubt, people like your correspondent would prefer a sign saying “Keep Driving”.
HUGH Mackenzie (Letters, 26 June) will vote for the continuation of the Union because of his children and grandchildren in England.
Many of us have children and grandchildren in other European countries or other continents and do not feel that they are “foreign”.
I intend to vote for the termination of the Union bearing in mind the economic future of my family in Scotland and the self-respect of those elsewhere.
I READ with surprise Hugh M Mackenzie’s recent contribution to your pages.
I shall be voting for the Yes option as I believe that the future for my three daughters, two sons-in-law and two granddaughters will be better in an independent Scotland.
Perhaps Mr Mackenzie’s family may all come home after independence and he will see much more of them?
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