The Curmudgeon


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Scottish Independence Podcasts

Americans, Conservatives and other aliens may not be aware that the Great in Great Britain is a measurement of size rather than a judgement of history. When the fiend Salmond stalks the land, belching the brimstone of Scottish independence, he is not seeking to destroy Great Britain, nor even to sunder a union which has endured since the days of King Alfred (whose own sobriquet "the Great" does represent the judgement of history, and who probably deserved it). At the moment, England and Scotland are part of an unwieldy and horribly dysfunctional political entity called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which has existed in various forms since the early eighteenth century. Scotland and England have shared monarchs, for whatever that may be worth, since the beginning of the seventeenth century; before that, according to what I learned in school, nothing much happened between the two countries aside from Wallace, Bruce, some Edwards Plantagenet, Macbeth and Hadrian's Wall.

The debate over Scottish independence might do something to widen this perspective, but not if the mainstream media have anything to do with it. Political debate in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland essentially consists of dog-whistling and hand-wringing, and with a permanent seat on the UN security council at stake the independence issue is no exception: the Starving Scotlandistan faction yaps from the true blue corner while the Regrettable Ingratitude sorrowers whine in the pale pink one, or else self-proclaimed pragmatists on both sides try to outdo one another in pushing Imperial rah-rah or social-democratic utopia.

Fortunately, Michael Greenwell, who admits to a certain Scottishness himself, is here to help, in a series of podcasts featuring interviews with people who take a slightly broader view than the average Westminster press release, or even the average Guardian editorial. The first two of these interviews can be downloaded and/or listened to here and here; they are informative, interesting and well worth your attention, and hopefully there are plenty more to come.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home