Not wishing to flatter myself, I would hope, after almost 8,000 tweets and over 630 blogs, that I am known in the smallish hothouse of political social media in Scotland and, despite some lively querying and debate, that I play the ball and not the man when advocating my unswerving belief that Scotland evolving into a full member of the family of nations is the most beneficial future for its 5.25m inhabitants AND their 58m friends ‘dahn saff’.
Where I have waxed venomous has largely been at the smug assumption (coming largely from the unionist fraternity) that the UK is the best thing since sliced bread and a beacon of enlightenment in a world full of terrorists, dope-smoking commies insatiable euromonsters and loud-mouthed ex-colonials who can’t spell ‘honour’ or drive on the proper side of the road.
So I compressed my critique of the history of Greater England (which is what the UK has always been) into seven 140-character tweets and challenged UK apologists to deconstruct their argument. I am still waiting for an acknowledgment, let alone a response. So, I repeat them here, along with the same challenge: debunk my analysis and make the positive case for the UK such that reasonably neutral people (i.e. not Labour MPs with a season ticket on the Westminster gravy train) would see the Union in a similar positive light as that in which I see independence.
- The UK state has been overcentralised since Henry VIII threw his considerable weight around and thought he could legislate on people’s souls
- The UK state got greedy when Elizabeth saw what riches Spain stole from colonies, regretting any Armada galleon lost before it was plundered
- The UK state put finance before governance to fund empire; a shoddy sale of baronetcies enriched the treasury but not the basis of nobility
- The UK state eschewed full democracy—taming royal power into fiction allowed a loyalty that let élites get on w/getting richer in private.
- The UK state’s globespanning achievement was driven by merchant greed and paid for with blood by some redcoats & many more who opposed them.
- The UK state’s Finest Hour was geopolitical reality visited on a bankrupt empire doomed by overreach—rescued only by superpower entanglement
- The UK state in the 21st © is a power base nostalgically trying to recall why it became one, a playground bully grown doddery and forgetful.
The above may be short, verging on glib, an disrespectful of the global might that was once the British Empire. But where is it essentially wrong as pocket analysis? Answers need not restrict themselves to 980 characters.