Remember back during the referendum, when a hundred New Labour MPs came up to Glasgow to encourage the people of Scotland to make their own democratic choice and vote No like good Britons? A wee Glasgow man in a rickshaw played John Williams’ Imperial March from Star Wars? “People of Scotland, bow down to your imperial masters!”?
That’s what came to mind when Queen Elizabeth chose to celebrate the day she became the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch – and the 502nd anniversary of England’s most crushing victory over Scotland, as it happens – by spending it with the First Minister of Scotland.
It’s all over social media, and it’s pretty clear why.
HEY HEY HEY NICOLA STURGEON I SEE YOU’RE BOWING DOWN TO YOUR QUEEN NOW AHAHAHAHAH https://t.co/PgwqeXMFOE
— mxbcktt (@maxbeckett22) September 9, 2015
Watching Nicola Sturgeon having to sing “God save the Queen” right in front of Her Maj gave me unrivalled joy. #ShoveYourIndependence
— Andrew Wilson (@Mr_Wilson) September 9, 2015
Love the fact the Queen is spending today with Nicola Sturgeon. She’s basically trolling the SNP. — Dan Hodges (@DPJHodges) September 9, 2015
Must be killing Nicola Sturgeon to stand up there and sing god save the queen 😂😂😂 — Callum Cross (@cross1872) September 9, 2015
How brilliant to see the wonderful words of praise about HM Queen&the monarchy coming from the mouth of the wee Scottish hypocrite Sturgeon.— Undercover Toy (@WelshToy) September 9, 2015
Frankly, I think the First Minister did only what her office commands – represent the people of Scotland. The majority of Scots still support retaining the monarchy despite the wishes of the rabid republicans (myself included amongst said republicans), so she represented the people of Scotland ably and admirably regardless of her personal feelings. Even though she sang “God Save the Queen” – which, you’d think, would be like William Wallace pledging allegiance to Edward I – it’s something that the majority of Scots would approve. For the present, at least. Remember, she is the Queen of Scots – she had a lavish separate ceremony for the occasion.
But that’s not the important thing: the important thing is the First Minister was apparently humiliated. She is apparently two-faced in being polite to Queen of Scots, even though it’s her job to be polite to the Queen of Scots. She is apparently a hypocrite for cosying up to a woman she campaigned to be independent from, even though the SNP’s policy on independence was to keep the Queen of Scots as the head of state, just like 15 other Commonwealth countries. Never mind that simply being polite to an 89-year-old woman on a trip to Scotland is apparently a deathly blow for “the most dangerous woman in Britain.” This commentary about the visit is all about the First Minister, and us Scots, showing respect and knowing our place.
This is one of the strange quirks I’ve noticed in a lot of unionists: they simply cannot understand the difference between independence from the UK and hatred of the UK. The British Empire threw its weight around for centuries, to the point where there were a few years where the sun literally could not set on lands controlled by Queen Victoria, and no less than a quarter of all humanity paid homage to the monarch of an island off the coast of Europe. And through it all, there was the pervasive belief that the UK was civilising the barbarians and savages of Africa and Asia – where would India be without the Raj, what would Africa be without Manifest Destiny, what would America be if it was Spain or France who dominated rather than the Thirteen Colonies? Even Monty Python couldn’t really get away from the pro-imperial mindset.
So when a nation decides they would rather take control of their own affairs, perhaps even choose another head of state, the reaction is “what, do you think you’re better than us?” Any challenge to the United Kingdom’s authority over a nation is viewed as indistinguishable from saying the United Kingdom is inferior to that nation. Hence how the desire for Scottish independence is twisted as “anti-English.” Wanting your future to be decided by the people you elect, rather than decided by people you didn’t elect, is tantamount to saying the people who elected the government you rejected are inferior to you as human beings. It’s ludicrous, and belies the great delusion at the heart of British nationalism – that your worth as a nation and people is not dependent on your superiority to other nations.
So let’s set the record straight. I, as a Scottish person, would not think any less of the people of England because the MPs they elect no longer have any sway over me. My esteem of them would not diminish knowing that the politicians who legislate for Scotland are accountable to the people of Scotland alone. My appreciation of the good people of England would not falter knowing that David Cameron, George Osborne, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith wouldn’t be able to do a thing about Scottish defense, finances, spending, education, or welfare. I do not think any less of France even though the French Government don’t put the Tricolore on our driving license, nor do I think the people of Spain are subhuman because our broadcasters don’t show The Great Spanish Paella-Off. Even the people of tiny countries – really tiny ones that you could fit in one of our lochs and they’d still be islands – I don’t think Scots, or Brits for that matter, are better than them just because there’s fewer of them on a smaller spread of land.
Is that really so bad?
So lap it up, Unionists, as you see the Nationalists’ “Queen” humbled and humiliated, paying homage to her Imperial Master, made to look awkward and meek next to the person who really rules the people of Scotland, incurring the wrath of her Republican supporters, making a fool of the SNP and Scottish independence. Just remember – that’s all in your own minds. Meanwhile, the latest poll shows that excluding undecided voters, 53% of Scots would vote Yes in another referendum. It’s the latest of several polls since the referendum to show a majority of Scots would vote Yes. It isn’t even a year since the referendum. This isn’t in our own minds – this is real.
Lap it up. All this royalist browbeating and triumphalism is only hastening the day the 17th nation declares itself independent from Elizabeth Windsor.
…we have been set free… by our most tireless prince, King and lord, the lord Robert… Yet if he should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy… and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King.
The people of Scotland are content with Elizabeth, Queen of Scots. For now.