Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 1 May 2007

Happy Birthday to the United Kingdom!

Today is the first of May 2007. It is also the 300th anniversary of the coming into being of the United Kingdom. The Acts of Union passed by the English and Scots Parliaments in 1706 and 1707 respectively resulted in the creation of a united country styled the United Kingdom of Great Britain; almost a century later a further Act of Union created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland which came into being in 1801. The current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dates only from 1922 as the culmination of the Government of Ireland Act 1920 (which partitioned the island of Ireland into North and South)and the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.

I am British first and Scottish second; I am happy to be identified by either label of course, but I am British. I hope my fellow Scots do not set in train a process in two days time which will lead eventually, perhaps, to the separation of Scotland from the rest of the UK. Both Scotland and England benefit from the Union. Both would suffer were the Union to be dissolved. Both would survive of course, but that is not in my view the fundamental issue - I simply do not want not to be British. It seems that at least one English person wants this happy state of affairs to continue, too.

I have already made my choices and returned my Postal Vote pack yesterday. Please don't further the aims of the SNP through apathy - please get out and vote, however you choose to vote. At the very least a high turn-out will provide a more credible indication of what most Scots want.

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