Friday, 19 October 2012
he Tartan Tories are on the march to freedom behind their leader - that contradiction in terms, a Scots Comedian -who is the very model of Harry Lauder.
The SNP denies any hard feelings towards the English, though they have chosen as Referendum Day the 700th aniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the last time the Scots beat the English. Ten years later the Scots were roundly thrashed at Dupplin Moor and Halidon Hill, a pattern which repeated itself until the rout of Culloden Moor in 1746.
With his insistence on a vote for school children, it might be more accurate to describe it as "The Children's Crusade" which, like his dreams, has an uncertain provenance. Much is made of the fact that you can join the army at 16. Indeed you can but you have to be 18 to get your licence to kill. You can get married at 16 but few do and none recommend it.
The gaffed Salmond cocks a snook at Nato and is booting out nuclear submarines but he rallies his Rob Roys by offering to take the Scottish regiments under his protective wing. Perhaps he was unaware that the Highland rabble at Culloden was trashed by the Scottish regiments, which in those days were Scottish to a man. Today the majority of Scots are so reluctant to join the infantry, now that we go to war to please America and the English no longer fill their ranks, that they are falling back on former Colonials. He blithely ignores the polls which say that only 30 per cent of Scots want to be independent and the revelation that 70 per cent of the Scottish population takes more money from the state than they pay in taxes. Thirty/seventy, the soixante-neuf de nos jours. He builds his Castle in the Ayr on being gathered to the money-laden bosom of the EU. Is he serious? If Spain and other countries are fighting nationalists in their own lands are they likely to welcome a nationalist from Britain who is hardly their favourite ally?
My Scottish friend Neil Marr puts it better than anyone. He writes in his always readable Facebook:
"To be Scottish is a fun state of mind; it's a quirky, eccentric cultural thing to be toted lightly in company and worn as quietly and humbly as a beloved, tattered Tam o' Shanter bonnet, a wee identifying tattoo cheekily hidden 'neath the kilt. It's about getting more blotto than anyone else at the party as the bells ring in a new year.
"Being Scottish is about deifying Robert Burns, ridiculing Mel Gibson, swapping harmless insults in good spirit with the benighted English, celebrating glorious but invariably lost battles forgotten centuries past, eating the unpardonable, being endearingly stubborn, starting emails with 'Och aye the noo' instead of 'Hi', knowing Nessie personally, walking through blizzards in your underwear, tossing telegraph poles in the air as a national sport, and speaking in tongues."
Just off the coast of Wales there is an inhospitable rock called Bardsey island and I am sure Salmond would feel at home there. Two centuries ago an eccentric Lady Newborough spent the family fortune proving she was the rightful Queen of France. Her husband owned Bardsey and gave it to her to play with. She had a tin crown made which is still on show in a Liverpool museum and she crowned one of the local farmers King of Bardsey. It went to his head a bit. When the UK declared war in 1914 he let it be known that did not include Bardsey.
The custom was still observed when I lived in Wales. Bryn Terfel turned down an offer to be king. I expect Salmond the King Maker will offer the crown of Scotland, which is on show in Edinburgh Castle, to Sean Connery. I reckon he would graciously accept and Scotland would have a king. I suppose anyone is an improvement on that dreadful Bonnie Prince Charlie. But hold your foot up. He would be King Owe Owe Everyone.Idi Amin claimed to be King of Scotland and he was barking mad.
Group Captain Sir Richard Kingsland was a daredevil Australian Air Ace who defied the Vichy French to rescue a general and a party of VIPs in World War Two. On June 25 1940 he flew Field Marshal the Lord Gort, the commander in chief of the British Field Force, and Sir Alfred Duff Cooper, the Minister of Information, to Rabat in Morocco to rally French Resistance there after France had quit the war.
After his passengers had landed he received a coded message to alert Lord Gort that the French in Africa were siding with the pro-German Vichy Government. The local French authorities denied Kingsland permission to go ashore from his flying boat so when darkness fell he rowed to shore in a dinghy, only to be intercepted by the police. He threatened them with his revolver and was able to deliver his message to Gort. After an exchange of shots he re-embarked with his party to join his flying boat. Armed police surrounded the aircraft but at first light Kingsland started all four engines, taxied at high speed out of the harbour and managed to take off. It won him an immediate DFC.
Subsequently he was posted to New Guinea to fight the Japanese where, he used his lumbering Catalina flying boat as a dive-bomber, in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire, to destroy the wharf at Rabaul.
He was a jew
After the war he changed his name to spare his daughters the humiliation he had suffered in his childhood. He was born Julius Allen Cohen. . I wish the Lauder clone and his Tartan Tories joy of their new Ruritania, the Home of the Bigot made flesh. But the flowers from my forest are for Julius Cohen.