i. Terminological Confusion

An Attempt To Alleviate The Establishment Media’s Terminological Confusion Over Scottish Self Determination And The Fate Of The United Kingdom.
(now there’s a right mouthful)

How often have you heard the following comment in recent political debates on the esteemed BBC?
“When Scotland becomes independent” (well they got that part right. At least they didn’t say, if) “we shall have to refer to Scotland… and the ‘rest of’ the United Kingdom”.
This ineptitude can easily be alleviated with a brief history lesson.

The United Kingdom Of Great Britain consisted of the union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1603. Wales, a Principality, was annexed by England in 1301. In 1801 Ireland was incorporated and the name changed to the United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Ireland. But then another problem arose in 1922 with Irish independence and this forced yet another name change to the United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland.

So my point is this… as only Scotland and England are the actual kingdoms referred to in the original United Kingdom Of Great Britain, when Scotland exits this outmoded alliance the United Kingdom will simply cease to exist and cannot therefore be referred to as the ‘rest of’ in any way, shape or form. There simply is no ‘rest of’ to refer to.

Now. Therein lies yet another problem to consider. For some strange reason English people seem unwilling to take pride in England and insist on calling it Britain…why? Why have they not got the self-confidence of the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish? Although it must be left to the Irish alone to determine their fate and to which “Union” they would wish to adhere to.
Having said all that, here’s yet another problem to consider… many folk in Northumberland, for example, do not consider themselves to be English as their heritage and culture is as different from Southern England as is that of ours here in Scotland, so would these Border Countries be more at home aligned to England or to Scotland? (ah, that age-old question).

I’m beginning to feel that I’m raising more questions than answers… and here’s yet another for good measure. What should we call this post independence landmass which will still require some degrees of political cooperation between the four nations? Perhaps it’s time to revisit history once again and look to Oliver Cromwell and his Commonwealth. We could replace the United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland with the Commonwealth Of The Four Nations… or Three Nations, depending on the solution to the afore mentioned, Irish question?

But all of this could be academic if nations like Germany and France get their way for there may well be no national borders at all and we may be just a state in a United States of Europe?

And then again, we could just scrap the Commonwealth idea along with the United Kingdom and simply refer to each nation by its name… Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. Even with internal cooperation between the nations, do we actually need to have some “super-state” name at all?
Oh dear, yet another question to ponder over. I guess the debate will just have to go on, confusion alleviated or not? Ah, yet another question.

If only JamesV1 could have foreseen the confusion he’s caused with his United Kingdom idea. Would that we had never entered into it in the first place. I wonder how many questions he had on his referendum? Ah, forgot, he didn’t hold one, did he? Was that another question?

So… here endeth the lesson. You simply cannot have one question to determine our nation’s constitutional future. There can be no one… Yes/No option. Scotland’s political future is too important to be casually dismissed in a single question. But that’s another question!

Don Smith
Branch Convener.



Leave a Reply