Friday, May 28, 2010

The Scottish Conservative and Jacobite Party?

The Scottish Conservatives continue their idiosyncratic search for a post-election identity:
THE Scottish Tories last night attempted to shed their image as an English party by calling for the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn to be put at the heart of the 2014 year of Homecoming.

Murdo Fraser, deputy Tory leader, urged the Scottish Government to spearhead a funding drive for a new Bannockburn Heritage Centre.
Mr Fraser goes onto explains his case for commemorating Bannockburn:
"The Battle of Bannockburn was where Robert the Bruce led a significant Scottish victory against the English during the Wars of Scottish Independence. It is of national importance to Scotland… It will be fitting for Bannockburn to have a new and ambitious Heritage Centre that can retell the story and events of that era, which can be the centre piece for a second Homecoming."
Two obvious (to anyone outside the Scottish Conservative Party) questions:

Why would a Unionist wish to celebrate the victory of one part of the modern-day United Kingdom over another?

Murdo Fraser is also presumably (although the way the Scottish Conservatives are heading you wouldn't bet your house on it)opposed to Scotland splitting from the rest of the United Kingdom, why then is he proposing to commemorate an historic event which emphasises Scotland's "separateness"?

10 comments:

Bugger said...

O'Neil

Your last paragraph says it all

"Murdo Fraser is presumably (although the way the Scottish Conservatives are heading you wouldn't bet your house on it)opposed to Scotland splitting from the rest of the United Kingdom, why then is he proposing to commemorate previous attempts to do so? "

There was no United Kingdom 700 years ago, except in your Unionist head. It was two countries, one against the other as one kingdom tried to create a vassal state of the other.

We are on our way to redress that one and, the sooner the better

andrewg said...

Why would a Unionist wish to celebrate the victory of one part of the United Kingdom over another?

Because in the world outside Northern Ireland not everything is about Unionism.

Seymour Major said...

The Scots love to talk about Bannockburn as if history ended there. They dont like to talk about their failed attempt to invade England at Nevills Cross.

However, I would not wish to tread on the symbolic importance of the battle to the Scots. It is seen as a triumph in the struggle for freedom from Dominance by the Anglos.

It, however, that the Scots Conservatives digging themselves deeper into a hole.

Already, the Scottish Conservatives have a very serious problem dealing with an entrenched prejudice in the average Scottish mind that the Conservative Party is dominated by English. Identifying with this battle is simply going to make them look even more "dominated"

The Conservative high command really needs to get to accept that a Scottish Centre right party needs to be totally independent if it is to make advances in Scotland. The time has come for independent conservative party in Scotland giving them the right to even change their name.

O'Neill said...

There was no United Kingdom 700 years ago, except in your Unionist head.

Of course. In that one point you're right, post has been ammended.

Andrew,

I had a surreal "debate" with someone on twitter about whether or not the Scottish Conservatives were also Unionists. The UK Electoral Commission registers them as "Conservative Party - Party description(s) Scottish Conservative and Unionist, Scottish Conservatives". Now, if you accept that Unionism can exist outside NI, then the questions raised with this particuliar question are everything about Unionism and the Union.

Seymour Major,

Identifying with this battle is simply going to make them look even more "dominated"

Bearing in mind what Fraser actually said, i'm not sure I get you- surely it's the opposite?

But yes, their "muddle-headedness" needs to be sorted out asap

andrewg said...

O'Neill,

Let me ask you this - is it possible to be a Scottish patriot and a Unionist? And is it possible to believe that Bannockburn was a good thing at the time and also that the Union is a good thing now, given that times and circumstances have changed?

Bugger said...

Ta

O'Neill said...

Let me ask you this - is it possible to be a Scottish patriot and a Unionist?

Most definitely. You want the best for your country and you feel the best for country is to stay within the UK, so no contradiction there.

And is it possible to believe that Bannockburn was a good thing at the time and also that the Union is a good thing now, given that times and circumstances have changed?

Times do, of course, change but even so, there is an inherent contradiction in someone believing in the nation's unity whilst also celebrating an event in the past which pit two parts of that nation at each other's throats. It would be akin to a Congressman from one of the Southern States saying that he is a fervent believer in the principles that hold the US together whilst simultaneously also expressing a nostalgia for the Confederacy

thedissenter said...

Of course into the 1960s the Scottish Conservative Party was the Unionist Party. I know some who were around at the time of change, though given their attitude to the present day party I doubt if it would be an objective historical commentary.

andrewg said...

Bannockburn and the Union are not comparable - the first was clearly an attempt at conquest, while the second is (in theory at leat) a union of equals.

O'Neill said...

Andrew,

I can't put it better than this from one of the commentators on the original article in The Scotsman:

"Murdo, I'm a wee bit confused here, but how can you want to celebrate what you call a victory in the war of Independence when, er, you are NOT in favour of Independence"