By Alex Robertson

It’s all over.  The Diamond Jubilee of the Queen of England, I mean.  After four solid days of high jinks in London, I was left wondering when the celebration of 60 years of the Queen of Scots was going to start.

I declare an interest - in being a republican, but I am perfectly happy to mark a whole lifetime of service as monarch which has been pretty much faultless.  But having paid attention to what has been going on, I have some strong observations to make.

Firstly, I doubt if all the four days were designed by the Queen, but she was very badly advised.  If there was ever an occasion to celebrate the Union, this was it, and what we got was four days of London celebrations.

Scotland was firmly put in its place, as a region of England.  How difficult would it have been to have, at the very least, a leading member of the Queen’s family to lead Scottish celebrations, Princess Ann for example?  No word now of an equal partnership.

If it were, the celebrations might easily have been split between Edinburgh and London, or four capitals over the four days would have been a good idea.  But no, the mindset of Westminster, Whitehall and the Palace is stuck as if in amber in times around a hundred years ago.  So the Queen of Scots was airbrushed out.

Secondly, the whole thing was orchestrated as a spectacular piece of propaganda for a London-centric Union.  Instead of just a celebration of a life given in service, it became an opportunity to beef up Britain as a paragon of all things good and fine.  And in my view we could have done perfectly well with just the Queen being celebrated, with a bit less ... alright, a lot less, flag waving and ‘jingoistic’ tripe that was heavily larded over everything.

Thirdly, in case anyone thinks this is just a grumpy old republican trying to rain on the parade, I couldn’t help thinking how ‘London’ the nature and form of the celebrations were.  How differently we would have done it in Scotland, with more poetry, singing and dancing, and how much more in tune with Scottish culture and ways.

In England the monarch is set high above the people, to be bowed and scraped to, whereas in Scotland, the way is to treat the monarch as first among equals, dependent on fellow Scots for their trust and continued confidence in the head of state to continue as such.  Duns Scotus and all that.

Fourth and finally, Queen Victoria, the only other British monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee, is on record as prizing the Scot’s no-nonsense directness and candour, bereft of flummery and flattery so evident in the London events.

It seems the Palace courtiers didn’t like that then, and the current lot like it even less now.  Scotland has for three hundred years simply not had a permanent live-in Head of State.  And equally simply, and with characteristic candour and directness, I think we have had enough and I think we deserve better.

In summary, I think the jubilee celebrations were shabby and a massive missed opportunity from a Scottish viewpoint.  If anyone ever tries to tell you how much Scotland benefits from being in the Union, just remember the last four days, how Scotland was sidelined, that we have no live-in head of state and the portion of the one we do have is hopelessly lost to the Unionist and Westminster camp.

Talk of ‘respect’ rings hollower with every passing day, and I suspect that Westminster has just shot itself firmly in the foot as far as winning friends for the Union.  For that, at least, I am profoundly grateful.


# Leal 2012-06-05 21:52
Most folk gave me the opinion that this was a foreign event that was foist upon us. Apart from foreign owned retail chains forgetting what country they were trading in i would say that only 1% of sheeple actually took part in this Brit fest(only speaking for Aberdeen) The rest was pure propaganda.For me it was a very worrying picture of a possible future should Scots be duped into voting no in 2014.
# gt-cri 2012-06-06 09:09
Apart for those who needed little excuse to turn a normal drinking weekend into a three-day sesh?

A certain F/B "friend" stuck the Union flag bunting round their house purely to annoy their SNP-leaning partner...selfish sheeple know not the long term damage their actions can cause.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-06 11:28
Channel Four News reported that Scotland with circa 8% of the UK population held one percent of the street parties
# Siôn Jones 2012-06-06 20:57
I worked it out (not counting the Orange Order parties) as 0.04%!
# lumilumi 2012-06-06 23:50
The figure I heard was 10,000 in England and Wales, in Scotland, 100. A third of them in Edinburgh, apparently.
# megsmaw 2012-06-07 23:48
Maybe they mistook the places having their annual galaday as having jubilee parties? It was my town's galaday on the 2nd. Only seen a couple of people with union flags/jubilee stuff. One thing I did like was the big discounts all the shops had. Managed to get a new laptop with £200 off!
# naemairleesplease 2012-06-05 21:54
Please excuse me for being naive but why do we need a Head of State?
Is there anything they can do that can't be done by the leader of government i.e. Prime Minister/First Minister etc?
# Katerina 2012-06-06 07:39
Quoting naemairleesplea se:
Please excuse me for being naive but why do we need a Head of State?
Is there anything they can do that can't be done by the leader of government i.e. Prime Minister/First Minister etc?

It's the clothes!
# xyz 2012-06-05 22:04
Another nail in the coffin of the union? I found all the sycophancy nauseating. I could not watch it on British TV
# flyingscotsman 2012-06-06 00:25
Now that was the best 7 minutes of my week. Notice how the American show refers to it as England. That is how it is perceived abroad, we arent included.

I watched about 15 minutes of the flotilla and it was the most boring event I have ever witnessed. And the commentators trying their best to fool us that it was actually a wonderful day was nauseating. What was worse is BBC Scotland trying to make it look like Scotland was well involved when in fact the majority couldnt have cared less about it and the number of events were few and far between.
# Siôn Jones 2012-06-06 20:59
Very Ruritanian, I thought. Especially all those silly uniforms, complete with swords and Kellogs plastic medals, that the chaps were wearing.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-06 11:25
The link is not working
# xyz 2012-06-06 11:45
Your right .. very peculiar .. the page seems to have been removed.

liberalconspira seems to be down .. I guess we're all familiar with that situation .. but it may not be a liberal conspiracy!
I'll keep an eye on it to see if it comes back on-line.
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-06 12:29
Yes. Maybe they didn't get permission.

Could it be the same as this video
# xyz 2012-06-06 17:56
I thinks that's the one .. however 'can't view it from your location' .. so blocked for the UK .. damn shame.
# RevStu 2012-06-06 21:45
I've ripped and uploaded the full 8-minute clip here:
# jurist 2012-06-05 23:21
Around North Ayrshire there was a marked scarcity of union flags, bunting or street parties. Seems like the rest of Scotland was the same.

This is good ammunition to blast the no campaigners with. A much more accurate indication than any opinion poll could give of the lack of support of Scots for the union (or, at least, its symbols). A pretty strong indication that the no campaign has a mountain to climb that they were not aware existed.

Scottish apathy/hostility to all this Britishness is a good retort to anyone claiming that no vote support is higher than yes support.
# flyingscotsman 2012-06-06 00:28
In the Irvine Times, a poll said over 70% would not be celebrating the Jubilee. That says it all
# ituna semea 2012-06-06 05:25
The Jubilee celebrations ... were we even invited?
Mr Salmond was invited, the rest was open to all comers no invites required.
Sour republican grapes Mr Robertson.
# gt-cri 2012-06-06 09:49
Haven't you missed the point somewhat?

The festival did not reflect the nature of the milestone, nor the state of the country or institution it was celebrating. Why go to a themed-party where the celebration doesn't match the theme, or bear any relevance to you?
# scottish_skier 2012-06-06 10:13
Sour monarchist grapes Mr Semea?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
# Holebender 2012-06-06 06:46
Jubilee report from "North Korea".

There are some serious stories behind the embedded links.
# UpSpake 2012-06-06 06:52
My neighborhood exploded with Jubilee fervour. House after house was singularly devoid of decoration and try as I might, I could not find a street party to vomit over. After days of fruitless searching I did spot one balcony on one flat with Union flag bunting.
Phew, I thought for a moment that the joyous national celebrations had passed us by ?.
# hektorsmum 2012-06-06 10:32
Considering the many English people we have living in the part of Dunfermline we reside in we were hardly inundated with celebrations. I think much was half hearted or copy catting if you like and the ones displaying flags/bunting just looked silly.
# Macart 2012-06-06 07:09
Well considered article Mr Robertson. The Jubilee was indeed mainly a London centric event. Apparently the head count was some 9500 street parties in England all told and about 100 in Scotland, depending on whose newspaper account you read. But naturally and not unexpectedly the vast majority of cash, coverage and pomp centred around England's capital. The rest of the UK was not invited, more of a 'join in if you feel interested' approach.

I wasn't interested.
# CharlieObrien 2012-06-07 10:23
60 Jubilee parties in Scotland and 20 of them in Glasgow,were from the Orange Order,so really it was just 1=41 parties in Scotland,and maybe it was just for a p**s up some had a party.any excuse I heard.
# megsmaw 2012-06-07 23:51
Our excuse for a drink in west lothian was the galadays! We didn't need the jubilee.
# mealer 2012-06-06 07:11
There is very little enthusiasm for Britishness in Scotland.But there is a lot of tacit support left.Lets not be fooled into thinking our job is done.The Londonists have just had their best moment to extoll the benefits of union.And they pushed those benefits for all theyre worth.But the thing is,what London sees as benefits of union,the Scots dont.We are generally embarrassed by what they see as benefits of union (imperialism,nu clear bombs etc).So it'll be back to fear-mongering again.
# brh206 2012-06-06 07:32
Totally agree with the article, this just had little to do with Scotland. It was kinda funny seeing the BBC scrambling around trying to find a celebration and the reporting of less muted celebrations in Scotland. The following blog is a good take on the weekend:

# Caadfael 2012-06-06 07:40
Boy am I glad that boak-fest is over!
The Mrs watched some of the evening bit for the performers, I found it dire beyond comparison, especially a certain grovelling bloke muppet from Oz, and Lenny Henry was at best pukable.

On the other side of the coin was an excellent prog on ITV at 8.00pm, Incredible Stories ; Charlie's Army, about the Clanranald Trust, very watchable, entertaining and most interesting. Should be on i-player I would think.

Certainly put the beeb's efforts in the shade! :-))
# davemsc 2012-06-06 07:41
The last four days were some of the most vomit-inducing I have ever had to endure. It didn't help that my flatmates bedecked the living room in bunting on Sunday morning before sitting through the entire tawdry 'pageant' on the Thames. Still, I had a glass or two of bubbly with them before returning to my room to get some reading done in relative peace and quiet; but there really was no need for the lavish 'celebration' of a woman who lives in fabulous wealth while thousands lose their jobs every day.
# zedeeyen 2012-06-06 08:12
I don't think it was just Scotland, actually. I had to split my weekend between Liverpool and (Royal) Leamington Spa, and aside from a very poorly-attended gathering on Leamington common which I assumed to be jubilee-related, I saw no evidence of any celebration. No street parties, no revelry, and in fact the only bunting or general union-jackery on display was in supermarkets and chain stores.

So it was odd that on the few occasions I had time to turn on the TV the only story was of nationwide celebrations and a universal outpooring of affection for her Lizness.

I like to think I've been given a small glimpse into what it must feel like to live in North Korea.
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-06 11:00
Seconded. I'm currently stuck in darkest Wessex near a famous seaside resort and was out quite a bit over the four days of the diamond geezerfest attempting to escape the direly awful TV and found it easy to do so, having spotted only one street party en route, in an area where the English flag is more often spotted than the union one.
# Exile 2012-06-06 11:03
Except I imagine in North Korea celebration would be compulsory, on pain of incarceration in a labour camp.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-06-06 08:27
This was Iain Martin in yesterdays Telegraph
If the weekend’s festivities were a Republican's nightmare, they were also intensely problematic for the Scottish Nationalists. The party which wants to break up Britain recently launched its campaign ahead of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. The event, held in a cinema in Edinburgh, was not widely viewed as a success, featuring as it did several actors and some questionable singing. On Twitter, during the climax of the Queen’s concert, one wag tweeted: “I hope the SNP enjoyed our launch of the 'Yes to the UK' campaign.

Unfortunately for Iain Martin the vast majority of flag waving hordes won't have a vote in the independence referendum because they don't live here.

If Johann Lamont, Willie Rennie and Ruth Davidson are relying on these heady London scenes to launch Scotland's "Yes to the UK campaign" they're in more trouble than we thought.

Funny isn't it to see their names associated with the campaign to save the union? Brings home that the wee regional representatives of the London parties aren't even important enough to rate a mention when the faces of the "No" campaign are mentioned.

Incidentally talking of the entity that is the LabTories I laughed at FMQ last Thursday when Ruthie made an observation so dire that Salmond jibed "even the Labour benches aren't clapping".
# Training Day 2012-06-06 10:41
That's both Iain Martin and Hamish McDonnell saying the launch of the Yes campaign was a flop. They can't both be wrong, surely?

Back on topic - I did witness a gentleman flying a Union Jack from his car as he sped through Milngavie. The reaction of a couple of passers by made me think that a new series of Chewin the Fat was being filmed, this time with the object of derision being only a singular f**ny..
# GrassyKnollington 2012-06-06 10:55
get my lol in quick as I fear this will shortly disappear.....
# Leswil 2012-06-06 08:40
Does anyone think that we will get the breakdown costs of all this, or even the real costs of the Olympics. The Olympics are of course a screen that once over will leave London with large infrastructure improvements and large housing projects.
Throw in the recently announced improvement to London's drainage network ( from a communial UK wide fund of which the other UK parts are to get nothing) Subsidies to London water bills. So on and so on!
Will we see next year TOTAL account of what has been spent in and for London.
If we do, it will never reflect what the real costs are as it is sure to be watered down for this age of Austerity!
Or is that just apply to the rest of the UK.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-06 10:17
If I had been in England, I would have happily joined in their celebrations - when in Rome as they say.

I can report that in Galashiels on Monday (visit to BnQ) - a sizeable town of 12000, I counted ~5 houses with something indicating the jubilee. Blink and you'd miss it.
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-06 10:30
Quoting Alex Robertson in the main article:
It seems the Palace courtiers didn’t like that then, and the current lot like it even less now. Scotland has for three hundred years simply not had a permanent live-in Head of State.

A typo? It's actually over four hundred years.

Although, to be fair to James 6, he'd not have been King of England for long if he'd not moved to London PDQ.

And to be fair to Brenda (™Lord Gnome), current QoS, she'd not be allowed by Westminster to relocate to Holyrood.
# ituna semea 2012-06-06 10:49
The Heads of State before that were not very permanent either. Mary Queen of Scots lasted six years, James V died of a broken heart? after getting humped at Solway Moss, James lV was killed at Flodden, James III was murdered by friends of his son, James II was killed by an exploding cannon, James I was assassinated.
Safer in London and the Wisest fool in Christendom knew that only too well.
# Exile 2012-06-06 11:06
Was he not also murdered by his gay lover?
# GrassyKnollington 2012-06-06 11:08
Mary Queen of Scots lasted six years

very careless of her, she should have known better than to try and reign with such a flimsy neck.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-06 11:35
It was always something of an embarrassment that that such a powerful, warring nation, which could carry its troops to the continent and beyond, winning huge victories against powerful opponents, was unable to conquer the little country attached to its northern border which had a population just 1/10 of its own, despite countless attempts.

The Romans couldn’t do it, neither could England. I guess this might go some way to explain why Scotland has highest number of Victoria Crosses per head of population.
# H Scott 2012-06-06 16:04
The population of Scotland in 1707 was about a quarter of England's. The fact that it is now a tenth is another Union dividend.
# Holebender 2012-06-06 11:48
And yet James VI managed to survive as King of Scots for 36 years before he inherited the English throne!

And let's look at some of those others... James I reigned for 31 years, James II for 23 years, James III for 28, James IV for 25, and James V for 29 years. Admittedly they tended to come to the throne in early childhood, but it's still not a bad run. Mary, Queen of Scots, was actually Queen for 25 years!

Compare that to the Kings who reigned between Victoria and Elizabeth; Edward VII (First of Scots) reigned for 9 years after his maw died, George V had 26 years, Edward VIII (II of Scots) reigned for 10 months before abdicating, and George VI reigned for less than 16 years.

Let's face it, with an hereditary job you're not likely to come into it until you're pretty near in your sixties as you will probably be less than thirty years younger that your parent who had the job before you.
# ituna semea 2012-06-06 14:36
Holebender: Perhaps you are not really too familiar with our country's history. 1) James I lived in exile in England for 18 of the 30 years he was King. 2) James II was a seven year old boy when he became King. 3) James III was a minor for the first 12 years 4) James IV had a 20 year reign after his minority. 5) James V was a minor for 20 years of his reign.
2,3,4,and 5 died between 30 and 40 years of age.
These minorities involved disputatious regencies and were a disaster for Scotland and the Stewart monarchy.
# Holebender 2012-06-06 14:48
Perhaps you are not too familiar with reading? Please note that I did state that they came to the throne in early childhood.

How did James V manage to be a minor for 20 years? Was he a late developer?
# ituna semea 2012-06-06 15:03
He was a year old infant when his father was killed at Flodden and he expired at 30 we have never really had an explanation for his demise. His minority if not twenty years was at least seventeen years.
My point about permanence was I think, well made.
# Holebender 2012-06-06 15:12
Quoting ituna semea:
My point about permanence was I think, well made.

Not when comparisons are made with other dynasties in other times. The Stewarts all had pretty long reigns, even if those reigns were turbulent and they did die young.
# ituna semea 2012-06-06 15:23
You have alas failed to see the point that minority reigns followed by the early deaths of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland was an unmitigated disaster for our country.
# Holebender 2012-06-06 15:57
The unmitigated disaster was the moment the Stewarts inherited the throne of England and buggered off down south with their retinue, leaving Scotland effectively leaderless for the next century. I know that doesn't fit your rosy unionist model, but it's the truth.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-06 15:21
I guess being the wife of a king could be quite dangerous in England - Henry VIII was a tad notorious in this respect.

To be honest, I'm really not sure what your argument is here. Are you trying to suggest that Englands monarchy is 'superior' or something? I can't see that being a winning argument for the continuation of the union really. Even if someone is a monarchist they would probably just find that a tad insulting.

Incidentally, the current monarchy is largely German in origin (Houses of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg - 'Windsor' is a fabricated name) and it doesn't seem to bother people that much.

The History of the UK monarchy is of quite interesting, but has of course absolutely nothing to do with the forthcoming referendum on independence.

The above article is perfectly correct in that the Jubilee was very much an English affair, being focussed on London, the capital of England. It is hardly surprising therefore that it was very subdued up here. It's not as if people in England should get the haggis out for Burns night after all. Different nations with different cultures; that's all. Perfectly normal.
# ituna semea 2012-06-06 16:06
No I was not trying to suggest that the Tudors were better than the Stewart though they undoubtedly were, I was implying that Scotland's monarchy far from having much permanence had little in the way of stability, constancy or durability.
Mr Robertson's article was about the Monarchy not the referendum.
Your point about the Jubilee celebration being very much an English affair is very observant of you,they after all make up 90% of the population of UK.
But as Mr Salmond said Scotland will get its turn to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee when he welcomes her to Edinburgh.
# Holebender 2012-06-06 17:05
As England holds only a small fraction of the population of all Elizabeth's realms, why was the whole affair so... English? You seek to justify it in terms of population share, but that doesn't wash when you consider the total population who have Elizabeth as their head of state.
# ituna semea 2012-06-06 18:10
Elizabeth II is also Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, where she is represented by Governors-General. The 16 countries of which she is queen are known as Commonwealth Realms, and their combined population is 128 million.
Therefore the population of England is hardly a small fraction.
You are probably getting confused by the fact that she is "Head" of the" Commonwealth " with 1.3 Billion members.The office is personal to Queen Elizabeth II and there is no agreement concerning whether the office will pass to her heir along with her other offices.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-06 18:15
The number of street parties per head of population was ~10x greater in England than Scotland. I'm therefore unclear about your 90% figure relevance.

Yes, there are those in Scotland that like the monarchy. Less than in England, but still a fair fraction. Many are not particularly bothered/interested and Scotland is more republican-leaning. However, even amongst those who have an interest in Royal Family, the whole union flag waving thing / street parties etc is much more an English custom and that was very obvious over the jubilee weekend.

As I said, different nations / cultures = different ways mark such events. It does not mean when the Queen visits she is not welcomed in a Scottish way.

Imagine pics like this:

This however, is not the sort of thing you'll witness really:

Of course there will be a few union flags, but mostly saltires and rampants. Different countries celebrate such things in different ways.

Thanks for clarifying on the monarchy, although I understand it to be your opinion; unless you have access to comprehensive poll data from the time or old re-runs of 'Who's the most Popular Monarch in the British Isles' ;-).

This does not seem very stable to me:

Wars, plots, executions... The Tudors took power by force (Wars of the Roses)after all.Par for the course in ye olden days.
# lumilumi 2012-06-07 00:55
These minorities involved disputatious regencies and were a disaster for Scotland and the Stewart monarchy.

Which is exactly why any type of hereditary head-of-stateness is such a bad position. Thank god constitutional monarchy has curbed the worst excesses in modern times.

I have no problem with Lizzy, she has been an examplary queen, but the whole idea or monarchy is outdated in the modern western and global world.
# brh206 2012-06-08 07:36
Agree. It makes us keep looking back at our mistakes and not learning from them.
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-06 11:52
True, but all that was just part of the day job, and went with the upside.

As a long-term expat I'm in no position to criticise other expats, but Head of State is one of the few jobs that strike me as best filled by a local.
# Exile 2012-06-06 10:50
"Scotland has for three hundred years simply not had a permanent live-in Head of State."

Alex, I couldn't help noticing this. I see above I'm not the only one. We've had no resident head of state for over 400 years, since James VI took up his better paid post in London.
# westie7 2012-06-06 11:19
Discussion on breakfast news re the union flag, right at the end there was a point made that if Scotland went independent the union jack would retain the saltire within. Something to do with it being there before the act of union!!!
# Holebender 2012-06-06 11:56
It was only a royal flag before the 1707 union. I have no doubt the remnants of the UK will continue to use it, but let's not kid ourselves that it was any sort of national flag before 1707.
# scottish_skier 2012-06-06 11:58
Well, it would be rather embarrasing to have to change the flag. When Ireland left, partitioning off the northern bit was a good excuse to keep the St. Patrick's cross to save face. I guess Berwick might be a good excuse in this case.

Related, but what I've always found interesting is the Orange Order waving a flag comprised of the crosses of 3 romano-christian (catholic) saints (as I understand it).
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-06 12:15
They may well have said that, but it doesn't make it true. There was no legally defined union flag until the Acts of Union.

Before then, the idea of a union flag espoused by James 6 was resisted by the English Parliament and it was only used formally as a royal standard.

A royal flag incorporating the Saltire to show the continued union of the crowns would still be appropriate post-independence, but the rump UK would surely need a new flag.
# Welsh Sion 2012-06-06 12:44
And we've never been part of ANY Union Flag...
# Diabloandco 2012-06-06 22:14
Aw wheesht man!
You've still got the best flag in the UK - I'm very partial to dragons!
# Old Smokey 2012-06-06 12:49
Not really as the bit left of the UK is actually just the Kingdom of England
so they would just revert to the St Georges Cross, as the Kingdom of Scotland would have th St Andrews Cross Flag
There is no such mythical beast as rump UK, its an idiotic name and phrase.
When you get rid of the Act of Union of 1707 that formed the UK, then you get rid of the UK, its as simple as that.
To explain. The full title of the newly formed union was ' The United Kingdom of Great Britain' Great Britain was a 17th century short hand devised by James VI for his 2 Kingdoms
So the political union of 1707 was simply the United Kingdom's of Great Britain. But in 18th Britain, the language was such that they didnt bother with the plural. So it has become mistaken that the United Kingdom just means one singular Kingdom. It actually should be United Kingdom's of great Britain. When the Kingdom of Ireland was incorporated. The title changed to 'United Kingdon of Great Britain AND Ireland' again the correct plural grammer was omitted, as it should have been the 'United Kingdom's of Great Britain and Ireland'. This 17th and 18th century language for bad grammer was carried forward.
Now its only United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. BUT Northern Ireland isnt a Kingdom, its a province of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. So coming back to 'independence. the reality is that Scotland will be terminating the act of union of 1707 and in effect thats the political union with England. This has no direct affect on Northern Ierland, apart from the fact that they have to make up there minds smartish as to what they want to do (be part of the KOS or KOE or semi automous?). As for Wales, they will remain an integral part of England as they were prior to 1707
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-06 13:12
Technically, you're quite correct, but I have no doubt that what's left will quickly be renamed something like the UK of GW E, W & NI by near-unanimity in both Westminster chambers, even if they have to re-enact the 1800 union legislation.

Reverting to the cross of St.G would lose them even more face.
# Old Smokey 2012-06-06 14:03
It would be quite idiotic to rename the UK of anything , but then again Westminster is quite idiotic. England would become a laughing stock, if it tried to retain the title 'UK'. A bit akin to the Serbs trying to retain the old Yugoslavian titles.
The English would really not have a choice in the flag. Again they wouyld become a joke if they tried to retain the union flag, as the flag is a representation of the 3 Kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland. Unfortunately for England the Kingdom of Ireland no lonegr exists and the departure of the Kingdom of Scotland. Will leave them the sole and single Kingdom. If N Ireland decides to become a province of England (do you really see THAT happening?) then they could feasibly retain the St Georges cross and St Patricks cross on white background only (the current union flag, but without the blue background). I think we are going to be in for a treat as far as political and geographic changes are concerned. If what you say did happen, it will be the start for the race to the bottom for England in the eyes of the world. They woulod in effect be emulating what happened in Yugoslavia, with Serbia trying in vain to cling on to the various parts of Yugoslavia and to retain the title of Yugoslavia as one by one they all left.
# Barbazenzero 2012-06-06 17:53
Good analogy. I'm not suggesting that Cameron will emulate Milošević quite that far, but it could ultimately be a close-run thing.

On Belloc's keep a-hold of nurse for fear of finding something worse principle, Westminster's first reaction is almost bound to be to rename themselves the UK of somewhere and somewhere else.

PS: It's barely two centuries since Westminster stopped calling George 3 "King of France" - a lie since the 1450s - so it may take them a while to figure out an appropriate new name for Greater England.
# Exile 2012-06-06 14:06
Interesting, Old Smokey, but as far as I remember from reading it a few years ago, the Treaty of Union speaks of setting up a 'United Kingdom of Great Britain' in the singular, i.e. a single United Kingdom to replace the two that went before. There was no need for a plural, as it was intended as one kingdom. Same idea in 1801 when Ireland was incorporated.
# Welsh Sion 2012-06-06 14:22
Quoting Old Smokey:

As for Wales, they will remain an integral part of England as they were prior to 1707.

1536 First Act of 'Union' between England and Wales - Laws in Wales Act 1536 - annexing Wales into the Kingdom of England without as much as a treaty or discussion in the Welsh Parliament (we didn't have one...)

1543 Second Act of 'Union' between England and Wales. First official Westminster Parlimentary representation by Welsh MPs.

[hiatus to incorporate the Scots and Irish into the various shades of United Kingdom]

Since 1967 references to England no longer to include Wales in legislation.

[Section 4 Welsh Language Act 1967]. Section 3 of the Wales and Berwick Act 1746 (which provides References to Acts of Parliament to England to include references Wales and Berwick) shall have effect in relation to any Act or
Acts passed after this Act as if the words dominion of Wales and Wales.
were omitted.

Wales statutorily defined for the first time - Wales Act 1978. (Before the first Devolution Referendum)

1993 Welsh Language Act - repealed all remaining sections of the 'Acts of Union' aka The Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542, to the effect that Wales was no longer 'united' (annexed) by England.

What happens next?

And yes - we have NEVER figured as part of any union flag. Our own national flag was only granted status on the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953.
# lumilumi 2012-06-07 00:00
I understand your frustration, Sion. The make-up of the United Kingdom of whatever in the British Isles (a geographical term) is a long line of historic shambles.

Why argue about the flag? Scotland has her Saltire, Wales the red dragon, let the English have their "Union Jack", their proud pretendy imperial flag to remind them of past glories... It's well-established now. Or maybe the red dragon should be incorporated into it...

The point being that long-established flags, like the Saltire, don't change with every government or whim.

When Finland became independent in 1917, there was some discussion about our flag. Some of the suggestions looked like yellow and red sweets wrappers (yellow(gold) and red are the colours of our coat of arms, a lion rampant on an eastern-style scmitar, weilding a western-style sword). Thank god they opted for the Nordic-style simple blue cross on a white background! (A version of the pennant used by nationalist/independence-minded yacht clubs in the 19th centyry.)
# Old Smokey 2012-06-06 16:55
It appears to be King James VI that established or originated the term, United Kingdon of Great Britain at the start of his dual reign. James comes accross as someone who didnt appreciate the reality and lived in his cocooned world.
Quote 'On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent the regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree "By the King: Whereas, some differences hath arisen between Our subjects of South and North Britaine travelling by Seas, about the bearing of their Flagges: For the avoiding of all contentions hereafter. We have, with the advice of our Council, ordered: That from henceforth all our Subjects of this Isle and Kingdome of Great Britaine, and all our members thereof, shall beare in their main-toppe the Red Crosse, commonly called St. George’s Crosse, and the White Crosse, commonly called St. Andrew’s Crosse, joyned together according to the forme made by our heralds, and sent by Us to our Admerall to be published to our Subjects: and in their fore-toppe our Subjects of South Britaine shall weare the Red Crosse onely as they were wont, and our Subjects of North Britaine in their fore-toppe the White Crosse onely as they were accustomed"
This was not popular with either parliament, but he was King and what King said, went. It was basically to aid identification at sea ('For the avoiding of all contentions') Fat lot of good that did later at the time of the Darien project when King William of Orange, monarch of both Scotland and England decreed that the Royal Navy based in Jamaica ignore and decline any requests for help and aid to the Scottish expeditionery group!
It wasnt until 1707, with the creation of the political union that the parliaments forgot their objection to the term of United Kingdom and went fully for it.
I agree, the treaty of 1707 does speak of a singular 'United Kingdom', but the 1707 parliamentarian s were using the term as a single state, but the 'Great Britain bit was meant to mean Scotland and England (going back to King James VI time)
# Rabbie 2012-06-06 16:13
Ay. But the Saltire o St Patrick didnae spyle the yin o St Andrae till efter the airly 1800's. King James the 1st King o Scots's Union flag wis aye the bonnier o the twa but the Scottish Saltire itsel is aye the bonniest o the lot.
# brh206 2012-06-08 07:38
It's a banner of shame. Visit places like Ghana and ask people there what the Union flag means to them, not something they look back on fondly.
# John Lyons 2012-06-06 11:36
Well, I was away all weekend and missed the lot. Can't say I'm bothered over much, but one thing I will say, when Brittain prides itself on it's humanitarian work, it's human rights and it's equality, why do we still have a Monarcy? This is the ultimate in inequality. If we said we wouldonly hae Kings and no queens, that would be sexist and rule out 50% of the population. If we said only white people could rule us, that woud be racist and rule out a large number, maybe 50% again, but we are much worse than that. We say our head of state must be a Windsor. Well that must rule out 99.9999% of the population. Surely, Brittain, that is the worst kind of inequality on the planet????
# Ayrshire man 2012-06-06 14:03
Pomp and pagentry built on the back of slavery and I'm talking about 2012!
# Old Smokey 2012-06-06 14:11
The weekend spectacle was nothing short of a complete disgrace by the organisers, which included the BBC.
It was completley Anglocentric and London centric.
They ignored, as they did in 1953, that the Monarch is Monarch in two distinctive Kingdoms. We should remember that the Queen does have two crowns, they were not somehow melted down to make one single crown. The union of crowns was 1 monarch under 2 crowns, it was not a merging of crowns. So for the celebration of Her Grace Queen Elizabeth the First of Scotland's 60th Diamond Jubilee, there should have been more inclusion and partipiation of Scots and Scotland. All we got was a very London centred event, with the ramming down our throats of the Union flag at every opportunity. Its little wonder that the English habitually refer the the Queen as 'the Queen of England' or Prince William as the 'future King of England'
# Ayrshire man 2012-06-06 14:48
Is she not Elizabeth the Second? Elizabeth Bruce was first Queen Elizabeth of Scots even if it was only for a few days before she died.
# Old Smokey 2012-06-06 23:58
Ive not heard about a Elizabeth Bruce, which shouldnt be surprising as I was educated during the 60's when we didnt get much in the way of Scottish History at school. So appreciate some enlightenment
# lumilumi 2012-06-07 00:09
I've also not heard (read) about Elizabet Bruce being proclaimed as the Queen of Scots. Please elaborate, it could be an interesting story.

Is she the Scottish equivalent of the tragic Lady Jane Grey doon sooth?
# lumilumi 2012-06-07 00:26
Had a quick google. Elizabeth de Burgh was the wife of King Robert the Bruce of Scots, therefore queen consort. Not a queen on her own right, therefore not accorded a numeral. Like the Queen Mum in modern times, her name was Elizabeth and while her husband (the present queen's father) lived, she was queen by virtue of whom she'd married. A bit like Kate Middleton now.
# brusque 2012-06-06 17:47
I am happy to have been "left out" or uninvited.

The older I get, the less inclined I am to continue paying taxes on the pittance of a pension I receive, so that a family who are probably worth more than the rest of the United Kingdom put together can live large.

They will continue to come to Scotland on their holidays,and those who hope to catch a glimpse will have the same chance as before (generally speaking, none) and the tourists who go to London will still stand for hours outside Buck Palace, in the vain hope that the Queen will give them a wave.

I've no need for Royalty. Those who do are entitled to enjoy them as they see fit, but those of us who lean towards republicanism shouldn't have to pay for them. It should work in the same way as the Unions with Labour Party contributions- an "opt-out" option to contributing towards the Royal Family, it wouldn't be too difficult to organise?
# alisdair 2012-06-06 18:18
Jeeze who cares? Stop tilting at windmills, it's utterly irrelevant to our and those who will follow us expectations in life (do love and am amazed by the arument though!). See how the spider weaves it's web!
# topherdawson 2012-06-06 19:41
Speaking as one who coxed the skiff Ulla on the Thames this weekend, representing Ross, Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh, I enjoyed it despite the rain. It was a fantastic event for boat fans. I'm no monarchist but happy to celebrate 60 years of fairly competent queening from the current incumbent, and I don't find being a member of the SNP incompatible with that.

In the long term an independent Scotland may vote to become a republic, or put the current Stewart (Michael of Albany) on the throne, but that's for another time.

At the moment Elizabeth is well regarded by a large section of the Scottish public even if the whole pyramid of fawning and privilege is not. So after independence she will be our queen as she is for Canada, Australia and dozens of other countries. Although she and her family are used as symbols by the unionists, they are not so stupid as to take sides in the debate. They need to make bridges with our new country, and we need to work out what our relationship with them will be post independence.

I do agree, however, that some people conflate the queen, the monarchy and the union jack with a sort of antiquated vision of Imperial England, and Lord Salisbury who organised the Pageant did make a sort of impromptu rant to that effect at the crew briefing, which fairly disgusted me.

We took Ulla, with her saltire oar blades, to the Thames to remind people that Scotland has life and vigour, and the boat from Aberdeen, Deelizabeth, had saltires all over her. Both boats were union jack free zones, and got big cheers when people saw the saltires.

The social union with English people is and will remain important to Scottish people, and taking part in events like these as citizens of the Scottish nation reminds them that we exist and thrive.

The British Empire enthusiasts will die out and most English people will be happy to let us go, but England will remain our biggest market and our social partner. Let's engage with them in a positive way.
# Macart 2012-06-06 20:10
Very well said topher. Sounds like you had a grand old time.
# lumilumi 2012-06-06 22:07
Very well said, Topherdawson. Hope you've got dry and warm since!

While I personally think that a monarchy, even a constitutional one, like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Britain... is outdated, I have nothing but respect for Elizabeth, Queen of Scots (Elizabet II, to the English). She took on a heavy duty as a very young woman and has seen an amazing transformation in her realms and dominions. She's never shirked her duty and rarely put a foot wrong - unlike some of her family, most of whom are a waste of time and space.

I watched some of the Thames river pageant and the man-powered vessels was the best part. An amazing sight, all those rowboats, canoes, kayaks... very Canalettoan. Shame about the weather ;-)

I once saw Prince Charles being "shot", from about 300 metres away. He'd come to Australia Day celebrations in Darling Harbour, Sydney, in 1993, and I and my friends were just trying to get to another part of the place through the throng, we weren't interested in seeing this colonialist toff, when there was a big to-do. Afterwards, in the pub, we learned from TV news that someone had fired a starting pistol near his royal person and the security went into overdrive, we'd only narrowly escaped it. We all had a right laugh about it. All my Oz friends were in the YES to republic camp for the upcoming referendum - which they lost, something like 1/3 for republic, 2/3 retain monarchy. But the republican case was scuppered by the stooopid proposition. Either status quo, or ditch the queen and have a president elected by the Australian Parliament. Duh! While most republic-minded Aussies wanted to have a president elected directly by the people. Oh well, bygones. Since those Keating days, Australia has become a far more exclusive, right-wing, inequal society.
# expat67 2012-06-07 01:44
Nice comment!
Were there more boats representing other parts of Scotland, Wales and N I there?
there certainly didn't seem to be much reference to them if there was. (Had to endure some of the weekend coverage as spouse more interest. Must say I did like the back illuminations on Buck House during the concert though, vey clever!)
# dundie 2012-06-07 07:29
Quoting topherdawson:
In the long term an independent Scotland may vote to become a republic, or put the current Stewart (Michael of Albany) on the throne, but that's for another time.

Hate to pick you up on that, topherdawson, but I think the nearest Stewart relative to the throne is the Crown Prince of Bavaria, who has expressed no interest in the job. The wee Belgian fraud masquerading as "Michael of Albany" has been unmasked, and has no credible claim to any position in Scotland, except perhaps as maître d' in a Belgian-themed restaurant...
# call me dave 2012-06-06 20:17
I agree and endorse 'Macart's' sentiments
as well as this part from topherdawson from the above.

The social union with English people is and will remain important to Scottish people, and taking part in events like these as citizens of the Scottish nation reminds them that we exist and thrive.

The British Empire enthusiasts will die out and most English people will be happy to let us go, but England will remain our biggest market and our social partner. Let's engage with them in a positive way
# brusque 2012-06-06 20:24
I don't question the social union between Scotland and England. I simply don't see the need for the mnarchy.

Nothing sinister about that at all, I don't need to celebrate the monarchy to know that I exist.

As I say, I've no issue with people who support a monarchy.
# lumilumi 2012-06-06 22:24
Western European constitutional monarchies with no real power aren't too bad. They give a sense of history and continuity in a rapidly changing world. Not to mention the boost they give to certain sections to the press, so they do generate national income. ;-)

That said, I don't see why someone should be even the titular head of state just because of who his/her parents were.

Elizabeth has been a very good Queen, and the Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria, an "ordinary", level-headed and down-to-earth young woman, is extremely popular even in the Republic of Finland, people joke that we want "Vickan" to be our Queen!
# Dcanmore 2012-06-07 00:16
Read the London Evening Standard today. Pages and pages gushing over the monarchy and how wonderful Britain Britain Britain is in red white and blue. Really is a boak fest mired in imperialism, empire and the colonies, a land of milk and honey from a London/Home Counties-centric view of the country.

A couple of quotes from the editorial... (Matthew D'Ancona) "Who, frankly, cares about Baroness Warsi's expenses, or Jeremy Hunt's texts, when a beloved Monarch is celebrating 60 years on the throne... No public figure on the planet understands her people as well as the Queen."

(Dan Jones) "When my family picknicked up in Oxfordshire, we heard Rule Britannia and The White Cliffs of Dover. How do we make ourselves feel better in times of recession and austerity? By singing about the Empire and the world wars."

VOTE YES 2014!
# CharlieObrien 2012-06-07 10:27
There is a political Britain but not a people as we are different from each other doesn't mean we don't like each other,I like the neighbours,just not those in Westminster,usi ng a fake country to swindle the rest of us (the four countries)
# cokynutjoe 2012-06-07 10:54
What's all this fruitless hand-wringing about Scotland's underage kings. This circumstance was the result of primogeniture, English interference and the short lifespan of the population in general.
Even Shakespeare must have struggled with the host of Henry's, Richard's etc' which brutally followed in succession during the York/Lancaster bloodfest, the Princes in the Tower never enjoyed much of a minority.
The Tudor's were fortunately a short lived dynasty, much beset by megalomania, greed & murder. Engerland was well rid of them.
# J Wil 2012-06-07 19:04
I wonder if, during the planning, they did a risk assessment on the possibility of one of the Royals suffering from severe weather effects, causing life threatening effects on their health? I expect someone has been s_____g themselves over the possibilities.

So what's next on the 'we are better together than apart' agenda? The Olympic torch in Scotland?

I noticed at the start they called the miners lamps which carry the spare flame, 'lanterns' Now it seems BBC Scotland has avoided giving them a name at all.
# lochside 2012-06-07 23:19
Sorry but I couldn't give a toss about who's Queen she is. To have a monarchy in this day and age is a complete joke. Democracy anyone? I was in London during the last Jubilee, when we beat England and re-arranged the furniture at Wembley, and I can well recall the real Tartan Army chanting 'you can stick yer Jubilee up your a*se'. Funny how that never features in any of these '70s vomitfest about the monarchy. By the way, I saw one totally predictable gem on the news re. the 'thousands' lining the Thames for the Rubovian flotilla..because it had rained a bit, some sad sack said it was the 'Dunkirk spirit' that sustained them. As my old granda used to say the 'Dunkirk spirit meant shipping the English regiments out and leaving the Jocks to fight it out to the last bullet at St. Valery!
# PerryThePlatypus 2012-06-07 23:47
Yeah, one of the panelists on QT (probably Forsyth)stated that we had just spent an "ecstatic" weekend with the jubilee celebrations! Really???

What kind of parallel universe do these people inhabit?
# 1820 2012-06-08 03:36
Every bit of bad legislation we have endured, such as the poll tax, has been given assent by this woman. All she has to do to maintain her life of privilege is to say yes to everything which comes in front of her. I can't wait for her to have to say yes to independence.
No queen, no crown, no thanks.

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