Tweet of the Day: What Do You Love About Your Dialogue?
Scottish Parliament Building, Holyrood, Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 January, 08:45 hrs GMT
But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him Who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless Prince, King and Lord, the Lord Robert. He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, met toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Macabaeus or Joshua and bore them cheerfully. Him, too, divine providence, his right of succession according to or laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our Prince and King. To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.
The MPs sat in rapt attention. One thing the Presiding Office was good at was public speaking and this was the most important speech of her political career. Arranged in a semicircle above her sat the Scottish Parliament, a new yet ancient body that represented the will of the Scots, just as the crafters of the declaration that lay in the podium before him in Latin, Scottish Gaelic and Modern English. She moved on to the very words every Scot learned in school by heart.
Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
The majority from the Officer’s own party, the Scottish National Party, exploded in applause. Some even chanted the word, “Wallace!” but she cut them off with an icy stare. She finished the reading. and looked about the chamber, a post-modernists wooden encased view of a restored Scotland. Slanted wooden panels dominated the space. Yet she was summoning the spirit of the past, a spirit so incongruous with the place as to be obscene. She chose her next word carefully. The dreams of a truly independent Scotland rested on the reaction of her audience.
“The question before us is thus, shall we obey the principles of the Act of Union or stand aside and offer only humanitarian help to those who need it?” she asked the assembly.
Thomas McCreary shot up from his seat, “Alone! Let England stand alone! We shall not back thugs and thieves who prey on the innocent just because they are of a different color of skin or nationality.”
Chants of “Alone! Alone!” came from the Nationalist MPs.
The shadow PO from Labour countered, “We have an obligation under law to help restore order in Britain. Would you undue centuries of prosperity and Union?”
“Always the same,” shouted McCreary, “The men of Westminster stir the fire and it is the Scots who have to fight their wars for them. In America, in South Africa, in the trenches and even in Ireland. And I ask again, for what? Should we back the idiots who claim to defend England by attacking the descendants of the true Britons?”
“No! No! No!” shouted his party fellows joined by the Liberals and even some members of Labour. Only the Conservatives rallied around the Union Jack.
“It is thus,’ said the Presiding Officer, “We shall not interfere with those who will fulfill their oaths of service, but neither will our territory be used to wage war against the Welsh. We therefore side with the right of self determination so clearly spelled before us. In this matter England stands alone.”
Oirechtas, Leinster House, Dublin, Ireland, 3 January, 09:23 GMT
The President of the Republic stood before the National Parliament and read from the Welsh missive:
IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom….