I am not proud of where I was born.

I am not proud of where I was born.

Another Saint’s Day is around the corner and I will yet again seem many people posting that they are proud to be soemwhere-ish – Scottish, Welsh, Irish, English or whatever. Most of these people will not be immigrants, indeed many will tend to harbour hostile feelings to newcomers to their country. However, surely it is only migrants who have the right to proclaim themsleves proud to be Welsh, French, American or whatever.

I am not proud of where I was born. I had no say in the matter and played no part in the choice. There was not one ounce of effort on my part in this acheivement, nor was it any evidence of any special skill or knowledge I had acquired.

Being proud of where you were born is just one step up from being proud in having been born. Being proud simply because you exist, a smugness and fuzzy warm glow of knowing, just like everyone else knows, you are not dead. A positive feeling born out of nothing whatsoever. A life’s acheivements must be exteremly meagre, and success paltry, if this is something to shout about.

Someone who navigated the globe, uprooted themselves and their family,moved and mastered a new culture and life, has something of which to be proud. They could honestly proclaim their nationality as a badge of some success. Those of us that never moved might correctly feel content and happy, possibly even feel lucky at our stroke of fate, but surely not proud. Indeed, if we face difficulties perhaps we should feel a degree of shame that we never tried to escape and make a better life elsewhere.

In the days of kings and commoners there was a use for this  phoney, national sentiment – it helped the common herd rally behind the flag and give their lives for the wealth of the aristocracy. It still can be the source of violence and can still be used to dupe the population. It allows our leaders to fool us that our interests are best served by allegiance to a flag rather than looking at our present situation. It is an idea which should be discarded as out-dated and odious.

So, while we have borders, let the new arrivals celebrate their mastery of a new culture and life. Those of us who were just born lucky will have to find some other way to boast. Those with no aceivements, the really needy and insecure can be proud of their hair colour, or the number of their fingers, if it helps. We will try not so show our disdain.

 

Will Venezuela vote for change ?

Will Venezuela vote for change ?

Whatever happens, Scots working for independence would be well advised to look at the recent history of Venezuela to avoid the mistake of believing an oil rich economy can by itself avoid the disaster of socialist planned economics.Whatever happens, Scots working for independence would be well advised to look at the recent history of Venezuela to avoid the mistake of believing an oil rich economy can by itself avoid the disaster of socialist planned economics.

SNP Independence is dead – start again or shut up

 

This is a very interesting and well written piece by Alex Bell in Rattle. He had been the Head of Policy for Alex Salmond for 3 years and his criticism is thus very revealing. He is quite clear that, on the economic arguments the SNP offer at the moment, their model of independence is broken and will not work. He describes the problems in some detail and it is clear that the numbers do indeed not add up. It is very surprising that this has had relatively little attention as it deserves more. His last paragraph is worth reading even if you don’t open the article :-

SNP Independence has become the cocaine of the politically active, fun to join in but dulling the senses, jabbering on at a hundred words per minute while disconnected from self awareness. It is for another generation to do the hard work of thinking through all the implications, and then deciding if independence is the right thing to do. By that point Britain will be different, Europe will be different and the world will have fundamentally changed. Perhaps there is no harm in all of this: some political misdirection; ultimately settling for a better deal than before; nobody shot in the process. But it serves neither devolved Scotland nor the people who wish for independence.