A Land In Need Of Heroes

Unionists, there’s a saying: a hero is someone who is afraid to run away. It is nine months since the September War. We who have faith in Albion knew – believed – it was better to stay in union with our friends in Anglia, in Cymru, in Ulster, than to abandon them forever to the Oakmen into the Great Uncertainty of Separatism. Through it all, our heroes were telling us: our people were safe. The Rosemen would fight against Oak and Bird to protect our hospitals, our elderly, our sick, our children. Every monstrous decree issued from the Tyant of Eton would be challenged by the Red Champions. They would decry, deny and defy them. They would oppose them.

What happened to our heroes?

The Pauper Chancellor issued a limit upon gold increases for the next four years: a penny of every pound would be the maximum over that period. The workers, the labourers, the people all cried out: their income could not keep stride with the cost of living. They looked to the Rosemen to champion their cause. What did our heroes say?

“It’s difficult, and a lot more than public sector workers were expecting. We don’t deny that difficult decisions have to be made and we accept, and we did in the last parliament, that pay restraint is sadly necessary over this period. The only things that we would say is that they do have to be fairer to those on the lowest pay in the public sector and, secondly, I don’t think they should just casually disregard the pay review body findings if it says that you need a fairer public sector pay structure across the different levels.”

The Pauper Chancellor announced a decree to institute a “planned surplus law,” which would prevent future nobility seeking loans even outside the Age of Austerity. The people wailed: they were already suffering under the Austerity Cult in times of need, now they face its wrath in times of plenty? They looked to the Rosemen to challenge the law. What did our heroes say?

“We’ve got to be sure that it can defend our national security, so this business about 2 per cent increase, we’ve got to check that’s something that can be sustained under that new proposal, preparing for emergencies and so forth. 2. Can it protect the most vulnerable in society? If he signs up to this surplus rule, what’s going to be the effect on the automatic stabilisers in terms of helping people through a business cycle. The third one is the viability of public services.”

The Pauper Chancellor looked to the productive families of many offspring, and eyed the generous tax leniency his nobles granted such households. He decided they were undeserving of such a boon, and promised to ensure each subsequent child had a price. The families wept, many fearing they would be impoverished, cast out of house & home, forced to give up their own children. They looked to the Rosemen to reject this unjust and cruel act. What did our heroes say?

“We cannot simply say to the public you were wrong at the election. We’ve got to wake up and recognise that this was not a blip; we’ve had a serious defeat and we must listen to why.”

The Pauper Chancellor was not done: none were safe from his avarice. He looked upon those who relied upon charity and kindness, and believed even they were undeserving. The poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the wounded, already pushed to the cliff’s edge, feared a final shove will be their undoing. They cried to the Rosemen, begging, pleading for them to help. What did our heroes say?

“It’s difficult to say why those who should be in work, but are not, should get those benefits.”

The labourers, the workers, the people started to wonder if the Rosemen truly represented their interests. Those within the order begged their chaplains consider a levy for apprentices, one that even the Oakmen may adopt, to redress the balance between master and subject. What did our heroes say?

The labourers could not believe their ears: did not the Rosemen proclaim they would stand firm against the trade tyrants, not like those awful Nationals who sought to relieve the magnates’ taxes? They looked to those who would lead the Rosemen, who would reject the tycoons’ pleas to reduce their tribute. What did our heroes say?

Red Rose, Liberty Bird, and Hardworking Oak all attacked the Horde – all were crushed in their most devastating defeat in decades. There were those of the Rose, Bird and even Oak who realised that this did not crush or demoralise or even hinder the Nationals, but in fact made them even stronger. They turned to the Rosemen, urging them to reconsider their tactics not just for the good of the people, but for their own preservation. What did our heroes say?

There comes a point, friends, where one has to wonder: what if the roles were reversed?

What if the Rosemen were triumphant – would they be issuing these decrees? Would they plan on strangling families, starving the poor, draining the helpless, with the Oakmen welcoming their proposals, praising them for their “common sense”? Would we behold the deposed Tyrant of Eton smiling as he saw the Red King be little more than an echo of his own reign? At what point do we finally acknowledge that there are no Red Roses, no Oakmen, no Liberty Birds – simply one great order which has merely the illusion, the veneer, the pretence of distinction?

At what point do we realise that these people are not our heroes?

At what point do we say “hold, enough?”


When even the Rosemen of the Caledonian Chapter are crying out for the Nationals to save them, perhaps it’s time for those who believe in the Union to look for better heroes – and what does it say about our Union when our most valiant defenders are those who pledge to destroy it?


5 thoughts on “A Land In Need Of Heroes

  1. daviddynamo says:

    I like ‘Swords & Sorcery’, but unfortunately Scottish Labour, the Caledonian Rosemen, are more like ‘Spangles in Spandex’, or ‘Gardeners in Galoshes’.

    Their red roses are suffering from blight, infested with parasites, and have been neglected for years.
    On the plus side they got a much-needed severe pruning in May from the Nationalist Horde, so mayhap there is a chance for them to bloom once more, their grassroots refreshed with the blood of the vanquished.

    But…I just do not see Lady Kezia as the one true Guardian of the Greenhouse. She has uttered no plan for helping these first delicate shoots of the Rose Revival to survive the wintry blasts of voter discontent at the Holyrood Show, where only the best and strongest will be selected as custodians of our northern Eden.

    (Sorry Al, I got a bit carried away there. I was thinking of Charlie Dimmock dressed as Red Sonja. No idea why.)

    • alharron says:

      “Their red roses are suffering from blight, infested with parasites, and have been neglected for years” – I’m totally stealing that.

      • daviddynamo says:

        You are very welcome to use/borrow/steal it, Al, small enough return for all the great stuff you give us to read here!

  2. […] Orange literature. We never claimed that the Rosemen would never do a deal with the Nationalists. We never claimed our cause to be that of socialism, workers, generosity, empathy, compassion. The only thing we […]

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