Comment by John Fitzpatrick
Scottish News: Let´s Remember All the Scots Who Died in Battle
Remembrance Sunday has just passed and we have seen the traditional ceremonies as people showed their respect for those who fell in the many conflicts that the UK has been involved over the last century.
The event is marked strongly in Scotland since so many Scots were among the dead. While some fell in distant places on the other side of the globe, others died just across the water in Ireland, north and south.
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Of course, more Scots died at home fighting for Scotland´s independence against the English but the tributes are never for them. We don´t remember them on Poppy Day.
We have our own flower of Scotland and flooers o´ the forest, not mass produced poppies to be worn on lapels by everyone from news presenters to Argentinean footballers in the English league.
The military tradition is something that most Scots are proud of but many prefer to ignore the fact that not all these conflicts were as straightforward as the Second World War when the western democracies and their allies stood up against Nazism.
In many – if not most - of these other conflicts, Scottish service personnel were not victims but instruments of British power and were oppressing people who did not want to be ruled by a government based in London.
The Daily Telegraph recently reported that “at various times the British have invaded almost 90 per cent of the countries around the globe” and that of “almost 200 countries in the world .. only 22 .. have never experienced an invasion by the British”.*
One of those countries was Scotland, of course, and not just before the union of 1707.
Even during the union of the crowns, in 1650 when Scotland was still a sovereign nation, Cromwell´s army invaded after Scotland declared Charles II king, killed thousands of Scots at the battle of Dunbar and occupied Edinburgh.
The union flag hangs above Edinburgh Castle to this day – not the saltire - reflecting the fact that it is a British military base and no longer a symbol of Scotland´s sovereignty. Scotland is still an occupied country.
Unionists are always quick to point out that many of those who fought on the British side during the Jacobite rebellions were actually Scottish as though we should be proud of the fact.
Deep down they know the English establishment never regarded these Scots as equals.
Nor do the Tory, Labour and Liberal leaders in Westminster have any respect for today´s unionists like Gordon Brown, Alastair Darling, and the other “Scottish Labour Party” drones whose names they don´t even know.
One of the great tragedies in our history is that the Scots were so easily seduced by the English into using their military prowess and pride to help create the British Empire.
Within a few decades of Culloden, Highland Scots, whose ancestors had been butchered by the Hanoverians and their flunkies, were fighting in the British army against the American colonists who wanted their freedom.
Ironically, about one-third of those who signed the American Declaration of Independence were Scots or of Scots descent.
This is a difficult subject to discuss as many Scottish people feel deeply that Scottish martial bravery is to be admired regardless of the circumstances.
It is an issue that has to be tackled in the run-up to the independence referendum.
The SNP has taken a step forward by reversing its policy on NATO membership and is to be congratulated as it shows Scotland will still be part of a formidable defence system.
However, we have to go even further and show that the days when Scottish soldiers were available to be sent into the front line by a London government have gone.
We also need to get rid of UK recruiting centers in Scotland and the presence of the British army on our territory, waters and airspace.
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