Invisible Nation

“O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”

This is one of my favourite Burns quotes. I try to apply it to my own life and often feel I let myself down. Then I started to apply it to Scotland and got rather annoyed.

Travel the world and talk to the vast majority of people and you don’t need them to explain their countries’ place in the world, they don’t have to explain that they are not just a region of a larger neighbour, they don’t have to get bogged down on “we are British and we live in the United Kingdom, but we are also Scottish.”. We don’t have the recognition that comes with true nationhood.

How often do we have to listen as television news, entertainment or sport, use “England” and “Britain” interchangeably, blissfully unaware that A.) they are wrong B.) There is a whole nation seething every time we are slighted by this.

hitlerwe all know the next line- and that was the “British” Broadcasting Corporation. 

Even Adolf Hitler thought he was fighting just England: “England, unlike in 1914, will not allow herself to blunder into a war lasting for years…. Such is the fate of rich countries.. .Not even England has the money nowadays to fight a world war. What should England fight for? You don’t get yourself killed over an ally.” We went to war and helped defeat a guy who didn’t even recognise we were there.

Everytime, I try to register something on-line I search in hope for “Scotland” in the drop down box, I invariably have to keep going until I get to U.

Every house in the country must have had the tea-towel listing what the Scots have given the world (I won’t do the list, it’s ingrained in us all.) We sent Explorers, Pioneers and Founding Fathers the length and breadth of the globe as Winston Churchill famously said “Of all the small nations of this earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind.” Yet we left so little for ourselves when we joined a political union that has kept us sidelined on the world stage. We control 25% of Europe’s potential tide and wind energy, yet sit behind the UK representative in EU Energy Meetings, similar with fishing and defence (despite holding 100% of the UK’s nuclear stockpile.) We have no voice.

tea towel

So back to the Burns quote. The honest truth is that the other nations don’t see us, we are an Invisible Nation. Some may have a vague notion of who we are, but it most certainly does not match the vision we have of ourselves.

It’s time to take back what is already ours and claim our rightful place in the world.

If you liked this have a look at for more of the same.

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3 Responses to Invisible Nation

  1. Q says:

    You’re called universal service and appear to celebrate togetherness, yet you are committed to separatism and the irony appears to be entirely lost on you.

    You talk about the impressive contribution Scots have made to the world, yet are blind to the enabling factor that being part of Britain played in this, from the Scottish Enlightenment on.

    “We have no voice”. Really? What was New Labour then but a political force dominated by Scots that led the UK and left an indelible impression, regardless of the fact that Scots account for only 8 per cent of the UK’s population. Yet now it’s all about those dreadful English Tories – did you hear the English complain about domination by the Scots? Do you hear them complain that their children unique in Europe are forbidden a free education in their own country?

    On any objective basis it is extraordinary how the supposedly bullying English have bent over backwards to accommodate Scots difference, perhaps because they – who lost their own identity in Britishness on the part of Scots – appreciate the benefits of unity, and the Scots, alas cannot.

    There is an argument for independence, but it is not the one that is being made – not about Scottish achievement or resources or wot not – it is if Scotland does become independent it might finally grow up and realise what mum and dad have had to put up with all these years.

    • wrumbold says:

      Thanks for that, a lot of food for thought. Can’t agree with much of what you said.
      However, I find it interesting you cast Scotland in the roll of a child.

      • wrumbold says:

        Also, yes you did here people complain about being run by Scots and yes you do hear people complain about the unfair tuition fee system.
        However, I can only express my own opinions. Perhaps, you should write a blog of your own I’d be delighted and interested to read it. Be careful what you call it, you end up stuck with it and some folk use it against you.

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