From Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh 2007
I didn't want to write this until the results were in, but my hope still was, that Scotland would stay within the union.
The results are now in with 55.3% voting NO for the question of Independence and 44.3% voting YES. Congratulations to the people of Scotland in this proud moment. That there was an 85% voting turn out, and, 16 yrs old being allowed to vote, were the amazing notes to this democratic process and the general civility of debate and discussion between both sides was appreciated. Alex Salmond's concession speech brought tears to my eyes when he said we are all Scots men and women and we move forward together.
There are other separation movements, like the now much set back Quebec referendums and ongoing noises in Catalonia and the Basque regions of Spain. From a previous life, and a book I wrote 40 yrs ago so my feelings are constant:
"Yes, he was a Catalan, he thought. And at school, he had seen the map and heard his teacher say, This is Spain. But though he had been born a Spaniard, he belonged to an even greater world. How small a place must we cling to, he thought, remembering how Catalonia had looked on the map of the world. Can we then go on and say of even smaller things, say, this is my village and I am different from the man in the next village? Our village should declare its independence from the rest of Spain, he said laughingly."I visited Scotland twice in 2007. Once with my family as we travelled all over including ferry trips to the Isles, and once, when I was helping friends set up a healing center in the North of England but also made a trip to Edinburgh where from the mount known as Arthur's Seat I took this picture looking out over the city and castle. Looking and knowing there still was much ahead for these proud people and history to be made.
I've written about my feelings for this place called Great Britain formed by the Act Of Union 1707 Rule, Britannia
but should tell you that my feelings for Scotland from Robert the Bruce's time and The Declaration Of Arbroath 1320 have also, been constant.
"For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."From the Declaration, here, are principles laid down then that define those of us who care for justice:
- "Firstly, it set the will and the wishes of the people above the King."
- "Secondly, the manifesto affirmed the nation's independence in a way no battle could, and justified it with a truth that is beyond nation and race. Man has a right to freedom and a duty to defend it with his life."
But I still feel its place is within the Union, for it is in union that we can become whole, if I may use a spiritual metaphor. England has lost its way. I saw that when I was there in 2007. And now, still bombing Iraq and crooks from around the world driving up London housing prices and buying football clubs? A system in which pedophilic networks are covered up? PM David Cameron's speech this morning was just, more of the same, jockeying for stasis.
But the problems are real. Aside from issues of unemployment, a stagnant economy, privatization of public resources and closing down the social safety net, there is a spiritual malaise sad to observe from afar.
With the extreme weather and other reminders being sent your way, I say this: watch out for shocks ahead, if you will not change.
Yet, there is much magic in these British Isles. And, within you.