Lib Dems' Scottish leader dismissed the creation of the director of
external affairs post by the Scottish government as 'farcical'
Scottish news: Time for Scotland to stand out on the international front
Comment by John Fitzpatrick
One of the most annoying moments of my life occurred when I was entering the US and
an immigration official crossed out “Scotland” which I had written as my country of
origin on the registration form and replaced it with “UK”.
I clenched my teeth and let it pass as I had no desire to end up in an argument with the
Miami airport authorities but I was furious.
I have travelled in many part of the world over the last 30 years and have never had any
problem in stating that I was Scottish as opposed to “British”.
I recognize that there are Scottish people who do not mind being classified or seen
as “British” but I am not one of them.
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In my experience “British” means “English” in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of
most English people too.
The international media uses “England” and “English” to describe the island of Great
Britain and the state of the United Kingdom and the people who live there regardless of
whether they are English, Scots, Welsh or Irish.
The UK media usually goes in the opposite direction and uses “Britain”, “British”
or “Briton” when it means “England”, “English” or “Englishman”.
The English have adopted the flag that is supposed to represent the four constituent
parts of the UK as their own and they sing an anthem that is insulting to Scots.
They impose “Britishness” on us by imposing a Great Britain football team to play in
the Olympics against the wishes of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland football
They cherry pick a Scotsman – Chris Hoy – to carry their flag when he leads
the “British” team at the Olympics.
I recall Hoy appearing in a video promoting the Homecoming a couple of years back yet
I also recall him saying that he could not have achieved such success if he had stayed
in Scotland as the training facilities were not as good.
Scottish Unionists will be lapping this up just as they lapped up the sight of Andy
Murray reaching the final at Wimbledon playing in front of the English aristocracy like
a faithful ghillie serving his landlord.
The fact is that Unionists do not have any faith that Scotland can face the world
without the “protective” screen of “Britain” or the union flag.
Check out an article in today´s Scotsman (July 24) headlined “Ministers ‘planning
a Scottish foreign office ahead of referendum” which describes plans by the Scottish
government to set up a team to represent Scotland in various countries, including China
and the US, should Scotland vote for independence.
See the reaction of the unionists such as Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie who
is so afraid of Scotland stepping from under the shadow of its English neighbor that he
calls for the plan to be repealed.
“The permanent secretary must reverse farcical plans to create a new foreign office
within the Scottish Government. As part of the United Kingdom, we are served by the
world’s biggest diplomatic network, yet Alex Salmond will use our taxes to set up a
foreign office outfit for his independence campaign.”
This is one example of a brainwashed mind-set that supporters of independence will
have to deal with this in the coming two years.
John Fitzpatrick is a former journalist who now runs his own communications business in Brazil.
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It’s been almost 35 years since I ticked that box but it stuck in my mind then. I have no Idea if its still the same
I have always stated Scotland as my country of birth in documents. I have allowed the addition of UK, I’m the same way that US cities routinely add the initials of the state (Duluth, GA versus Duluth, IL).
I have found that (Scotland, UK) is often sufficient to defang any protest.
Regarding the establishment of a single office to represent Scottish interests abroad: isn’t this already a necessity when dealing with global bodies in areas of devolved interest (such as policing, law, health, education, and others)?
I am looking forwards to Scotland being recognized geopollitically as a sovereign, republican nation! I won’t hold my breath on the elimination of the monarchy, but a man can hope, can’t he?