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Politicians

The Church has a unique role to play in healing Scotland's wounds

It feels right to say a brief ‘Hello’ to all of His Grace’s regulars and those who have successfully made the trip over from God and Politics. This is just the beginning of a hopefully long and fruitful collaboration. As I settle into my new home here and we all adjust to each other’s company I do ask for a spirit of grace and patience towards those we are unfamiliar with.

My initial offering was published in its original form at Christian Today yesterday. The vast majority of posts to come will be written exclusively for Archbishop Cranmer. A gentle reminder also to attempt to keep comments on-topic please. For more general banter and discourse please take advantage of our lovely new cyber-coffee shop facilities.

Gillan

____________

Yesterday morning we woke up to the news that nothing has changed – Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom and will remain so. Except of course there is the reality that things will never be the same again.

The No vote may have won the day by a healthy margin, but in no way can we all walk away from the last two years of campaigning, whether we live in Scotland or not, and carry on regardless. The promises of the politicians from Westminster of increased powers for the Scottish parliament now have to be carried through and there is the question of how the outcome will affect the future governance of the other regions of the UK.

As the build up to yesterday’s vote has drawn towards its fervent climax, so the divisions between those on each side have become more fractious. Given that the stakes have been so high and the polls so tight, we shouldn’t have expected anything else. The biggest democratic decision in British history has seen levels of time, energy and raw emotion invested like no other political battle we have seen or possibly will see in our lifetimes.

One image that has stuck in my mind above any other over the last few weeks is that of a window of a house. On the left hand side was a large Yes poster and on the right a large No one. Under the Yes was another handwritten piece of paper, with the words ‘HE’S WRONG’ in large capitals and an arrow pointing to the No.

This referendum has divided families, friends and communities. It has seen anger, harassment, threats and vandalism. It’s not often that Political leaders give up engaging with voters because they have been shouted down or that the BBC has protests held outside its Scottish headquarters because of its allegedly biased coverage.

Alex Salmond has called it “a joyous, empowering campaign”, but it has ended with a country deeply split with over 1.6 million Yes voters left bitterly disappointed.  Those who have given their lives and careers to pursue the dream of an Independent Scotland will be hurting badly today.

In the middle of all of this the Scottish churches have sensibly done their best to remain neutral encouraging all those able to vote to consider what sort of society they wish to live in. As a result of their desire not to align themselves with any camp, they now find themselves in a unique position. They are able to initiate the process of reconciliation and mediate in a country where the wounds of this campaign will take years to heal.

The moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, John Chalmers has invited political leaders to attend a service of reconciliation at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh tomorrow. It may prove to be the first of many post-referendum acts by the churches to rebuild bridges and minister to those painfully scarred by months of this aggressive campaign.

If anyone is able to understand the nature and power of reconciliation, then surely it is those who profess the Christian faith. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has written that, ‘the Christian faith is based on the reconciliation of human beings through the self-giving love of Jesus.’ Paul makes this clear in his second letter to the Corinthians where in chapter 5 he talks about Christians, having been reconciled to God, being given the ministry of reconciliation to share with the world.

Reconciliation in its widest sense is about the restoration of relationships that have been badly damaged and broken. Jesus taught us to love and forgive those who hurt us. There can be no reconciliation without forgiveness – this is love in practice.

The bonds that unite this country have been tested to near breaking point this week. We will now be together for a long time to come and it is important for the sake of our future that we move forward without carrying heavy baggage full of resentment and distrust along with us.

Politicians have been given a sharp shock and need to wake up to the disillusionment felt by many voters. The incredible turnout in Scotland has engaged an entire population. Fears for some have been dissipated, but hopes for others have been shattered. Politicians cannot ignore those desires for change.  They can work towards building a politically fairer society, but reconciliation has a spiritual dimension. If Scotland is to become a united country once again in a United Kingdom, then Christians will need to play their part, pouring out an unconditional love that dissipates resentment and reminds factions who have fought against each other how much they still have in common.

  • Good afternoon Gillian and all the very best with this new venture.

    Happy Jack lives ‘North of the Border’ and cautions against taking too much notice of what went on in Glasgow over the last few days where most of the sectarian and nationalist extremism is concentrated and manifested.

    For the most part, Jack finds the Scots folk more relaxed about this issue and the English – apart from during the World Cup. Jack believes England’s abject failure this year in said tournament played a significant role in the success of the ‘No’ vote.

  • The Inspector General

    Good afternoon to you, sir. The Inspector here, to wish you a happy tenure,
    and his sincere hope you manage to last longer than Ivo did.

    Anyway, back to your delivery. “Healing Scotland’s Wounds” indeed ! Wrong
    Wrong and Wrong comes to mind. Far too much there to even start to put you
    right. It’s rather sickly sweet tone would be more fitting in the aftermath of a
    country that had been torn apart by a bloody civil war. Not a damn vote !

    The Inspector is not a man of uncharitable nature, no matter what the rest
    of them here say, so he will bid you good day, and a fair wind, if you have any…

    • Cressida de Nova

      Inspector you are misogynist and a troublemaker and there is not a charitable bone in your ageing decrepit body. The only person who is impressed by you is that unfortunate fruitcake lesbian who visits this blog from time to time.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        “misogynist and a troublemaker ”
        The Inspector will take that as a compliment

        • The Inspector General

          Cruella and the Inspector are man and wife in case you didn’t know. Wish it wasn’t that way but we’re both Catholics and can’t divorce.

          • avi barzel

            Bwa-hahahaha!

      • Talking of “fruitcakes”, where’s ole Blowers? It’s time he made an appearance.

        • Old Blowers

          That would be Mr Old Peculier fruitcake to you, lad (Ernst’s fav beer).

          Any news on the young duckling? ETA must be fairly imminent.

          Absolutely knackered after first 3 weeks at work but Ernst does boot up the old PC to see the whinging and mad ramblings of the RC battalion that His Nibs has to endure from your contingent *chuckles*

          He’s my nomination for Help for Heroes for 2015 !!!

          Blowers

          PS

          Morning HG and welcome Mr Gillan

          Hope you have a long and fruitful *sniggers * stay with our band of merry misfits

          • Hiya … pleased you made the swim across the blogosphere. Glad you’re gainfully employed again and one expects Mrs Blowers is too.

            Jack has tried Old Peculiar when a student at Leeds many moons ago. The experience was one to remember – except he forgot it completely.

            Baby duckling due a week from yesterday …. so excited!!! On standby with the ‘Duck-mobile’.

      • The Inspector General

        Never miss a blasted opportunity, do you Cruella. ?

  • carl jacobs

    I’m not sure how a church can meaningfully contribute to reconciliation when the church itself is held in contempt. It’s not as if these leaders are going to sit together in mutual worship and submission based upon a common faith in God. The whole exercise would amount to little more than sitting in a room and tolerating the presence of the other side. There has to be a shared understanding of truth before that truth can serve as a meaningful basis if reconciliation.

    The ‘No’ voters will be thankful they dodged a bullet. They will simply forget the whole thing and get on with life. The ‘Yes’ voters will look for some pound of flesh from Westminster as poor recompense for defeat …and wait. The only way for there to be true reconciliation is for one side or the other to change its mind. Because this is about national identity, that isn’t likely to happen.

    carl

  • carl jacobs

    Btw. This is the minor trauma because the result maintains the status quo. Imagine the trauma of 1.5 million voters waking up to find themselves forcibly incorporated into a nation not of their own choosing. Especially as the expectations of independence give way to the reality. How is a church service going to help that situation?

    This reveals something of the blindness and vanity of the ‘Yes’ campaign. You don’t do something like this unless you know you have overwhelming popular support. You can’t found a nation on the loyalty of half the population.

    carl

    • The Inspector General

      Carl, the ballot form should have had 3 choices

      Yes
      No
      No and will leave the country if Yes wins.

      Had the National Socialist (2014) version won through, Scotland would have ‘enjoyed’ a substantial depopulation for it’s size. As those fortunate to have gainful employment would have followed their jobs south.

      • That would have split the ‘No’ vote, Inspector and secured separation. Same with the proposed ‘Devo-max’ option on the ballot. That would have been fatal and is Jack correct in thinking Cameron stood firm on this?

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Good afternoon Gillan, and welcome to the blog. I agree with you that the Union has fundamentally changed now, but I am not sure what the political response should be, if indeed there should be one at all. It seems that David Cameron has panicked and offered all kinds of cash bribes and political powers to keep the Union alive. That feels wrong to me. I doubt many Scots voted No because of them either.

    In the aftermath of this hugely divisive and unnecessary Scottish bust-up, the PM would have done better to stand back and let things cool down for a while. Instead, he responds with promises that seem more likely to fracture the Union even further. Better to let Scotland lick its wounds and recover in it’s own time. The Church may well play a roll in providing spiritual leadership, but I think that it will come down to neighbours, friends, and couples putting aside their political differences as they realise they have been used as pawns in the fight for the political ambitions of the nationalist politicians.

  • len

    It would seem that Scotland was also voting about the future of England Wales and Northern Ireland.I
    wonder how the Scots would have felt if the position were reversed and
    they had been cast out of the Union without any say in the matter?There
    is going (hopefully)to be a mighty shake up in the voting rights in
    different areas of the union which should give a more balanced and
    democratic result for each part of the Union.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      “It would seem that Scotland was also voting about the future of England Wales and Northern Ireland”. I would go further Len, and saythat a Scottish “Yes” vote would have had a worldwide impact, encouraging other seperatist movements such as Catalonia, Quebec, Basque, and any other group that didn’t like their central government, to declare themselves “independant”. Since many of these movements also have a massive chip on their shoulder, they would still expect those governments to support them in their so-called independance by propping up their banks. Indeed, I am still incredulous that Salmond thought we would share the Pound with an independant Scotland!

      • Dreadnaught

        The autonomy of the nation state in Europe has already been severely eroded. An independent Scotland would have had to accept the Euro if it was to be part of the EU. It would not have mattered to a redefined UK if they carried on using Sterling in the interim.

  • CliveM

    It is good that the Churches are attempting to take a lead role in the attempt to reconcile the two camps. Whilst it is easy to dismiss the initiative you should first ask what else you would expect them to do? Take no role? Pretend their isn’t a problem? The service might not end the bitterness, but to miss quote for a minute it might be the beginning of the end of the of the bitterness. Anyway it is right they try.

  • Dreadnaught

    Would Westminster be bothered at all if not for NS Oil? Furthermore, seeing that the Scotsnats were so keen on remaining in the EU I can’t see why breaking of from the rest of us would have any great loss: at least the matter would have been closed.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      The problem for Scotland is that the EU has a 5 year moratorium on new EU members. The EU does not like seperatist states either, as seperatist movements tend to destabilise the EU itself. Furthermore, Scotland would have to abandon the Pound (if we ever let them share it in the first place) for the Euro in order to join. In short, Scotland would spend at least five years without a proper currency or European friends.Then it would be shackled to a dying curency that could leave it desperate to get back into the Union.

      • Dreadnaught

        In a televised debate Darling said we could not stop them from using the pound. Scotland’s relationship with the EU is not our problem; look at the way things turned out out in Ireland when they were denied home rule. You can’t coerce a nation into accepting anything less than self determination. It would have been better if the vote had been Yes; we could have ten got along with restructuring our own political destiny or was Cameron lying when he said NSO was running out? Any way look how Maggie used the argument for self determination in the case of the Falklands-vs-Argentina sovereignty where there is yet untapped oil and gas that we prepared to loose lives in defending and done bugger all since.

        • The Inspector General

          If home rule had been granted to Ireland, there would have been no Sinn Fein and no IRA. A few bothered Orangemen in the North of course, but the Kingdom would not have lost the south.

          • Dreadnaught

            Well, it was Gladstone’s wish to see that come about but Ruling Class Establishment hubris won out. Far easier and less bloody to conduct relations with any nation when treated as allies and trade partners. Its about time we started living in the present than harking back to the past; a past that would appear less attractive if cellphone technology was about at the time.

          • The Inspector General

            Can’t blame the establishment. They would have gone along with it. It was the northern Irish ethnic Scots. Such irony. There’s something in those peoples blood that makes them as they are.

          • CliveM

            Steady Inspector! However your point is a valid one, to much weight was given to their wishes. We are where we are however and it was within not to distant memory ie post war in 1950 (or 55 can’t remember) was that the conservatives gained over 50% of the popular vote in a general election in Scotland. Petty nationalism post the Union of 1707 hasn’t been the default position of the Scot. Why such a big and relatively rapid change? I don’t know.

          • The Inspector General

            It’s tribal mentality Clive. The most basic of all human attributes. Unlike England, which being close to the continent has absorbed many non English influences, including the Angles, which of course gives England it’s name, as well as the Romans, the Scots are more or less what they’ve always been. Scots (unfortunately).
            (Bit of humour at the end, old chap)

          • CliveM

            The Scotti were an Irish tribe. Scotland was made up of the Scotti, the Picts and (believe it or not, in what is now the Scottish Borders) the Angles!

            I may be getting your humour (but then again, I can’t be sure)!!

          • The Inspector General

            All pre history of sorts that man. What we have in Scotland now has been around for many centuries.

          • CliveM

            Inspector you might find this interesting on the BBC site, it’s titled PM wants Home Rule Leader Honoured. It’s means Irish PM.

          • Manfarang

            Taoiseach not PM

          • CliveM

            You are indeed correct. In defence of myself, it was the BBC who used the term PM in the title, which initially confused me. Which is why I felt the need to clarify the way I did. Besides Toaiseach is a bugger to spell!!!

          • Royinsouthwest

            You have forgotten the Britons who were the main group in Scotland south of the Highlands. In fact the earliest surviving Welsh poem, Y Gododdin by Taliesin tells the story of 300 or so Celtic warriors based in Edinburgh who carried out an attack on the Angles in Catterick in Yorkshire. The raiders were akin to modern special forces but their mission failed. After a few days of fighting against overwhelming odds, most of the Britons were killed

          • Manfarang

            A shared English and Scottish commitment to Protestantism in the past had provided much of the ideological glue of union. This is no longer so in the age of secularization. The Church of Scotland has lost two-thirds of its membership since the 1960s. That working-class Protestant culture of the Kirk, the Boys’ Brigade and Rangers Football Club, long a bulwark of unionism and the Tory vote, is in decay. With that has withered the old sectarian voting patterns, of Protestants supporting the Conservatives and Catholics giving automatic allegiance to Labour.
            Scotland’s experience in the 1980s is a critical factor in this narrative. Between 1976 and 1987, the nation lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing capacity. The great heavy industries — that had made Scotland’s global economic reputation over more than a century — disappeared in a matter of a few years. A post-industrial economy did emerge in the 1990s, but the crisis left behind a legacy of social dislocation in many working-class communities and created a political agenda north of the border in marked contrast to that of the south of England. Rightly or wrongly, the devastation was blamed on the Conservative governments led by former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Scotland soon became a Tory-free zone in electoral terms. Another bastion of the union passed into history.
            Equally fundamentally, state involvement and public spending became even more important to many Scots, in some parts of the west, accounting for as much as three-quarters of the local economy.

          • Dreadnaught

            Can’t blame the establishment. They would have gone
            along with it.

            But they [the House of Lords in particular] did block it which eventually lead to a later curtailment of their traditional powers.

            ‘In 1886, the Liberal Party Prime Minister of the
            UK, William Gladstone, decided that in order to end the problems in Ireland,some action would have to be taken. He felt that giving Ireland back their local Parliament, which was removed in the Act of Union of 1800, would solve the problem. So in 1886, Gladstone introduced the First Home Rule Bill. However it was defeated in the London Parliament because of the opposition of others specifically those
            in the House of Lords. The leader of the Irish Nationalist Party, John Redmond, had stated quite clearly in 1910 that it was the Lord’s veto alone that came between Ireland and a successful Home Rule bill. Conservative Party were
            against Home Rule which they thought would weaken the United Kingdom’.

            Politicians simply don’t read history any more: they ‘do’ Politics and Economics at university and set themselves up to repeat the mistakes of the past.

          • The Inspector General

            Dreadnaught. The last of the anti Catholic laws had been recently abolished and the Protestant hegemony in Ireland were really scared about that. Oh, to re-establish them again would have solved so many problems…

          • CliveM

            “Politicians don’t do history”. True and what little they do do, is closer to what happens in a primary school creative writing class.

            Frankly Politics and Economic degrees should bar you from public office, along with insanity and bankruptcy!

          • Dreadnaught

            You’re not wrong MrM.
            I would like to see a total review of our electoral system the starting with 35 as the minimum age for candidates. A minimum of 40 for the Premiership and a sharp reduction in numbers of both houses to reflect abrogated powers to the EU.

          • Manfarang

            Let’s never forget John Redmond.

        • CliveM

          Let’s be clear they can use the pound if they wanted, what they wouldn’t been allowed is currency union.

          Home Rule isn’t the issue, independence is.

          • Dreadnaught

            Not for us to educate them is it? It has left a nation divided. When Cameron signed that piece of paper with Salmond it should have contained a caveat that a ‘majority’ should been defined at 70% of the votes cast +/- 3% or something similar. Like most of this shabby Government’s decisions, they are seldom thought out.

          • CliveM

            Well I don’t flatter myself by thinking I was educating a nation! I was I think just clarifying the point Darling was making.

            A nation has been left divided, but I would blame Salmond for that. With regards the issue of majority, as previous referendums in the UK have depended on a 50% majority I don’t think Cameron had an option.

            Going forward such a change might be a good idea. But would you agree to requiring a 70% majority for a referendum on leaving the EU?

          • Dreadnaught

            I don’t flatter myself by thinking I was educating a nation!

            Don’t know why you think that that was what was inferred.
            I think there should have been no input whatsoever from this side of the border other than declaring the need for a constructive agreement on the definition of ‘majority’.
            The Scots have their own parliamentiary infrastructure and that should have been the sole arbiter of how the debates were presented.

            As for our relationship with the EU; there must be something somewhere that defines the norm, but on second thoughts maybe not, considering its the most undemocratic construct since the existence of Red China or the USSR, there is a distinct possibility that it’s puppeteers deem it like the Universe, to be on a course of continual expansion.

  • bluedog

    Greetings Gillan. ‘Suffer the little children’ are words that come to mind when this communicant thinks of The Vote.

    Reading the self-congratulatory puff piece in the DT, placed by a Cameron insider no doubt, one can only be shocked by the insouciance with which Cameron abdicated his responsibility to Scottish minors. It was always obvious that the childless Salmond wanted the voting age reduced to 16 because he thought that teenagers could be easily influenced to vote Yes in the emotionally driven campaign that he planned. Our society has rightly lowered the voting age to 18 so that young men cannot be packed off to war without having the chance to vote on their fate. But a parallel trend is that strange form of child abuse known as the sexualisation of children, whereby children are forced into earlier and earlier adulthood.

    Salmond went one further with another form of child abuse, the politicisation of children. And Cameron, a parent, did nothing to stop it.

    One wonders about the long term impact on children who were swept up in the emotive Yes campaign, with its sneering contempt of the Unionist campaign and its ugly bullying. Not a good example of civic conduct. Raised to a level of expectation that was mercifully dashed in the interests of the nation, it will have been a cathartic event for these mid-teenagers.

    Politics is a tough game, and we really need to protect school age children from the emotional roller coaster that it entails. The political class needs to resist the temptation to force the political age of consent lower and lower.

    • The Inspector General

      Politics is a man’s game, revered hound. Which makes news of Sturgeon probably replacing Salmon all the more music to one’s ears. Women are bloody hopeless at politics.

      • Hi inspector,

        I can think of 3 female political leaders, who went down in history as being effective, in the UK,Israel and India. So you are quite wrong about that. Also, I’m sure you’ll think it’s fab, the leader of the Scottish conservatives is female and gay(:

        • The Inspector General

          Hannah, Thatcher was, for all her virtues, a damn divisive woman who ruined the UK coal industry, and broke herself over the wheel of some ridiculous notion of poll tax. Indira Ghandi left this life in a hail of machine gun bullets from her self appointed Sikh ‘body guard’. Golda Meir had her head screwed on it’s true. But one out of three ? In case you missed it, the Inspector will repeat himself, women are bloody hopeless at politics.

          • Hi inspector,

            Well only one of them was Jewish, so what do you except? (:
            I think there is an old saying all political careers end in failure. And I wouldn’t call any of the examples given were any worse than when men were in charge, besides which they were all leaders during difficult times for their countries. But anyways, I personally feel women in politics enriches it no end.

          • Happy Jack had no idea Indira Ghandi was Jewish. Are you certain?

          • Hi happy Jack,

            Nah,Golda Meir, the iron lady of Israeli politics (:

          • Described by David Ben Gurion as “the only man in the Cabinet.”

          • carl jacobs

            Inspector

            Obsolescence and Union intransigence ruined the British coal industry. Don’t blame Thatcher because the world wouldn’t allow that industry to remain in the 19th century.

            carl

          • The Inspector General

            Carl, we’ve been here before…

            Cheap Coal IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN Home Coal + Unemployment benefit for the miner out of work

          • carl jacobs

            Inspector

            That’s the strategy that collapsed. It’s non-sustainable. You can’t keep a non-competitive industry alive indefinitely with subsidies. The cost is borne by the businesses that have to buy and use expensive poor quality coal. They will lose market share because of increased prices due to increased costs. It’s also borne by an economy that must be increasingly taxed to sustain the failing industry. There is considerable opportunity cost. The only beneficiaries are the miners who are able to maintain their current employment. That targeted benefit wasn’t worth the cost.

            carl

      • CliveM

        Politics is increasingly a woman’s game in Scotland! The Tories, Labour and soon the SNP will be led by woman.

        Don’t know what it proves however!

        • Politically__Incorrect

          It proves that what counts in politics is not what you say, but how much thigh you show when you say it

          • Politically Incorrect, you’ve clearly not seen the women being referred to!

      • Royinsouthwest

        Like Maggie Thatcher? I didn’t think that the Inspector General (what happened to the “In Ordinary”) would agree with the Scot Nats’ opinion of Thatcher!

        • Royinsouthwest

          I have just noticed below that you explain your opinion of Margaret Thatcher and I tend to agree with you.

      • IanCad

        A black day when they got the vote.
        Hannah’s a rare exception. Lucy’s a straight-thinking type as well.
        Nonmouse is first rate. Couldn’t be without Mrs. Proudie. Marie gets a little volatile at times. Sister Tibs is a gem. Dreadnaught is just plain nasty.
        Apart from that one exception all the gals on this blog are delightful.

        • The Inspector General

          Women are indeed a delight IanCad, when they’re not in politics. They’re damn good at bearing and raising children though, the highest calling you can get, as well as being a loyal companion to their man, in theory {AHEM}

          • IanCad

            What should eliminate them from the give and take required of politics is their complete inability to ever admit being in error.

        • Is Dreadnaught a woman?!

        • Ivan M

          A black day in most countries. Among the Muslims and Catholics (in India) for instance it just multiples the votes available for the the pater familias, the females just go along. Switzerland for instance did not completely give itself over to perdition, until 1975 and they did not do too badly. The problem with the female vote, is that they are too easily manipulated by someone who presents himself as “caring, sexy person”. The parvenu hero, Adolf Hitler carried the female vote. All those hysterical women, lived to regret it.

    • Coniston

      Bluedog – doubtless our political leaders will now want to introduce voting at 16. They should be gently reminded that this also entitles these young voters (or forces them in case of a major war) to serve in the armed forces.

  • Hi Gillan,

    Welcome. I look forward to reading further posts from you.Whilst it absolutely fab that the churches are trying to reconcile Scots together, I also think that there needs to be reconciliation with England too, because the situation is no longer about Scotland but all of the UK, but it feels to me that we are now being told what to do by Scottish politicians.

    What needs to be noted is that the Scottish have had their say, time for England and the rest of us to have a say. Just watched the BBC news and the first thing is about Gordon Brown pledging to make the parties stick to his stitch up of last week including, the idea of permanent Barnett formulae subsidies, whilst giving the Scottish a de facto veto over English affairs. This isn’t tenable and if anything is going to lead to division and bitterness this lack of appreciation for the rest of the UK will.

    Except the UK is a democratic country and we shouldn’t be making profound constitutional decisions based on a former prime minister and one who was deeply unpopular and whom the English don’t trust. I think we need a constitutional convention to decide what happens now. The vote on Thursday was about Scotland becoming independent, not Gordon Brown’s plan, whatever the 3 party leaders signed.

  • Oh btw, when I said constitutional convention, I mean one which deals with the whole package, not Miliband’s idea of Scottish home rule first. I’d like to see an elected convention as well.

  • Manfarang

    Dare other faiths in Scotland get a mention.

  • Old Blowers

    After the debacle of the referendum, I can say, with hand on heart, WHAT AN ABSOLUTE SHOWER resides in Westminster.

    They had absolutely no idea how to handle a political situation requiring deft handling and honest discussion (Should we be surprised?).

    We had mad ex PM Jonah Brun, he with the Midas touch.. NOT, sent charging into battle, promising whatever the fag packet stated, then elaborating some more off the top of his crazed noggin. Has he not wreaked enough havoc yet or is there the chance the Nutty One may make a comeback? Dear Lord, please forbid this.

    They promise to destroy the union by their sheer incompetence in creating a crisis less than eight months before a general election.

    Charlatans and chancers the lot of them.

    We deserve far better than this lot of numpties.

    Blofeld

    • bluedog

      Quite right, Blowers. It’s like having the arsonists in charge of the Fire Brigade: ‘Ooh, look at the lovely blaze, tip some more petrol on and they’ll thank us even more if we put it out’.
      There was a time when British political leaders were unflappable in a crisis, delivering laconic one liners with Olympian self-assurance. Not this lot, they give a press release rather than a statement in the House, and then another one to correct the previous one. By the time they’ve finished making undeliverable promises to the Scots, the 55% Noes will be in with the Yessers.

  • Old Blowers

    Mr Gillan

    “For more general banter and discourse please take advantage of our lovely new cyber-coffee shop facilities.

    Gillan”

    Dear Mr Gillan

    Where can it found on the new site as old Ernst is parched and could do with an Anglicano Cappuccino!!*Giggles*

    • Good afternoon, Blowers and a hearty welcome to the new Palace. Rather posh; what, what, what?
      Access to the bar is on the Home Page – at the bottom. You’ll need to register with ‘Chatroll’ first and then you’ll have access to coffee, cake and the occasional whiskey. Special offers on at present.
      Jack will stand you your first cuppa.

  • Old Blowers

    Mr Gillan

    Old Ernst has great sympathy with your post but you miss the key party that needs to be reconciled over the whole shambles…We English!!!

    We have been the dirty word in the mouth of the Scottish Nationalist/Independence seekers and yet we must ignore the vitriol as if it had never been stated, the near contempt of the labour party for we English (English = British? whereas Scots are Scots, Welsh are Welsh etc) whilst campaigning to maintain the union on the campaign trail in Scotland.

    As the new powers for Scotland will be enhanced by the kneejerk numpties south of the border, what about when the economy grows significantly in the UK, meaning the increase of the biased Barnett formula for Scots over the rest of the union.

    Then you will see that keeping the rest of the UK out of the decision making will have been a very grave mistake.

    All churches south of Scotland must play their part when the resentment down south starts to bite, when things get even rosier for our ‘poor hard-pressed Scottish neighbours’.

    It is a disaster waiting to happen.

    E S Blofeld

    • IanCad

      Glad the job is still going. Rest up now Ernst.

      Must admit I had never heard of the Barnett Formula until this wretched referendum came along.

      After a little research, it appears that we in the South West are as fortunate as the Scots. We get 122% of the mean expentiture.

      • Hi Ian,

        But the south west doesn’t get free prescriptions, care for the elderly and no tuition fees….

        • Move to Scotland, then.

          • Hi Jack ,

            We could of course end the English subsidies to Scotland and make the Scottish taxpayers fit the bill instead… Scotland can already raise income tax, so that’s where the money should come from, not the English taxpayer.

          • CliveM

            Hannah

            Much as I am a Unionist, over the last 10 years Scottish tax revenues from all sources have exceeded what it has received from the treasury. For me the most confusing issue surrounding the bribe is why anyone saw it as necessary.

          • Hi Clive,

            This doesn’t exactly explain how the Scottish can afford the prescription charges and tuition fees: if they can, why can’t England? From what I understand the tax goes into a central pot and then gets redistributed as a slum sum. I believe Barnett was done before the oil revenues started to come in? I would like to know as the money has to come from somewhere….

            perhaps it would be better for local tax control,along with federal taxes. When I went to Canada you had federal and provincial sales tax, for example.

          • CliveM

            Hi Hannah

            It is correct that Scotland gets more per head then, say the South of England. I had believed (to call Salmonds bluff) they would offer Scotland control over their own taxes less an element for UK wide requirements eg defence.

            The more per head is why (temporarily) they can offer free prescriptions etc. of course the amount of tax raised is very dependent on oil revenue and price. Over the short term that is likely to fall and in the long term oil is likely to run out.

          • CliveM

            For clarity although they get more per head, it is less the the tax revenue raised.

          • Hi Clive,

            So because oil prices have been high over the decade, that’s why Scotland contributed more taxes? That makes sense. A big danger for Scotland as an independent state, would have be the shift to gas/ fracking/nuclear fusion/battery – energy storage. We discussed this briefly above, but we didn’t stop mining coal because we’d run out of coal.

          • Hi Clive ,

            People panicked and let Gordon Brown take over for a week. Always dangerous for that to happen. I found with Brown you get smoke and mirrors, it looks good and then the devil’s in the details. Like his budgets, bailouts etc.

          • CliveM

            Their is a long tale as to why Labour, including Brown, are responsible for so much of what is wrong in Scotland.

          • Hi Clive,

            I did warm to Alistair Darling during the campaign (:

          • CliveM

            Sorry for the delay. Mr Darling is very much part of the labour establishment in Scotland. One of the problems with the No campaign was its negativity that got peoples back up. As leader of the campaign he has to share the blame for that.

          • Hi Clive,

            Fair comment… but was that in part because of the question asked on the ballot?

          • CliveM

            Defending the status quo is always a little less exciting then championing the radical option. However you should still be able to come up with positive reasons and some sort if vision for your position. Certainly the question was skewed to help the seperatists, but that still doesn’t excuse the lack of vision of the Unionists.

          • Awa’ an bile yer heid ye Sassenach … yer bum’s oot the windae.

          • And a Shanah Tovah to You happy Jack(:

          • Happy Jack thought you were Sephardic. Traditionally, they say: “Tizku l’shanim rabot”. He thanks you none the less.

          • Hi happy Jack,

            Ah, the gospel according to Wikipedia! Great.

          • Keep the heid, Hannah !

          • Hi happy Jack, I can’t keep calm, I’m Jewish! (:

          • Good job you’re not a mohel then.

        • DanJ0
          • Hi danjo,

            Very informative, thank you.

          • IanCad

            I’ll join Hannah in thanking you for that.
            .Pretty colours.
            Short and sweet as well.
            Just about right for my short attention span.

      • Jack’s not complaining about that.

    • Very valid points thank you. It just so happened that my first commissioned piece for Christianity Today coincided with the launch of His Grace’s new website. I was limited to 800 words, which meant I didn’t have space to explore the relationships either side of Hadrian’s wall, but if I had, it would have contained points that you have mentioned.

  • IanCad

    Hello to you Master Gillan,

    It has beeen a concern to many of us, I’m sure, that HG’s candle would sink low unless some help were to hand. What a blessing you must be to him. May your tenure be long and sweet.

    May I say – relating to the thread- that reconciliation is of the greatest concern right now.

    Good people everywhere, and on all sides, must pray that this fractured union – for fractured it still is – will heal.

    There is a horrid nationalism/tribalism afoot. It’s been a while since a major war and we are not fit. But; isn’t that when they start?

    The world is a cauldron.

    The angels can hold back the winds of strife for only so long.

  • JayBee

    Where churches have maintained a position of political neutrality they may well be able to assist in the binding up of wounds and healing of the broken hearted. Let us pray for a sustained outbreak of peace and harmony on the northern side of Hadrians Wall.

    It is becoming apparent that another conflict is looming a bit further south. There is no political consensus emerging over how to settle “The English question”. It’s not just a matter of whether Scottish MP’s continue voting on English affairs or the iniquity of the Barnett formula. There is the fundamental issue of what form an
    English Parliament should take. Would England remain unified? Or would it be balkanised by a plunge into “regional devolution” the horrors of which might include Cornwall trying to survive by exporting pasties and Brummiestan banning them because they were not halal. Seriously, the imposition of Sharia Law by a devolved
    administration in an English city is not impossible. There is a lot at stake here. We have to be very careful what we devolve, where and to whom.

    If England were regionalised it would cease to be a country. Regions play straight into the long term plans of the EU to abolish nation states. Size matters in the EU. Scotland, Wales and NI are single constituencies of the European Parliament. They are too small to bother about but England has already been carved up into 9 regional constituencies. How very convenient. A United Kingdom of 12 regions would be far weaker than a UK of 4 Countries.

    • Hi Jb,

      Can’t stand regions, which are hugely artificial anyways. If people identify with a locality, it’d be with a county or so city, say Yorkshire, not the “north east region”. In fact I know no English person who identifies with regions. If we have a Scottish parliament, why is the answer regional English parliaments? Why not have an English parliament and base it in Winchester or one of the old capitals.

      • JayBee

        Breaking England into regions helps a political party that would find it
        difficult to get a majority in a unified English Parliament. They might at least always come out top in a region or two.

        There is certainly something to be said for an English chamber outside London which in the opinion of many is no longer remotely English. Winchester sounds romantic and suitably historic, but I doubt we could reach consensus over a suitable location. Anyway there is a cheaper solution. One or two days a week could be set aside at Westminster for English legislation. Such sessions would be confined to English MP’s who could appoint their own First Minister. Thus we might have an English Parliament without all the expense of a grandiose political palace and another layer of elected representatives.

        • bluedog

          Liverpool is the only hope, it’s in a beautiful location and has some wonderful old buildings. Leave the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster where it belongs.

          Build the new federal capital on the shores of the Irish Sea, which washes the coast-line of all four nations of the British Isles.

          How’s that for romantic?

          • Sellafield?

          • bluedog

            Och, naw, buildings need another hundred years to provide the right level of therapy.

          • Happy Jack was thinking more of radiation poisoning. Not fatal, mind. Just enough to render the politicians harmless.

          • Barrow-in-Furness? There’s an old Monastery near by with a solid history. Jack believes there are Buddhist Monks there at present – scandal – but Jack is sure they can be persuaded to move.

          • JayBee

            Well you’re certainly thinking “outside the box” but moving the federal capital implies relocating the official residence of the Head of State. Imagine the PM breaking the news to Her Maj that Buckingham Palace is to be demolished brick by brick and rebuilt on the banks of the Mersey next to the sewage treatment plant.

          • bluedog

            It’s a splendid opportunity for HRH The Prince of Wales to devise a suitably Poundbury-esque carbuncle for his mother doss down in on her trips to the capital. As Queen of England she lives at Windsor Castle as much as anywhere else, and in view of her advancing years, that would not change.
            The underlying point is simple. The UK is being forced into a federal constitution as an inevitable consequence of devolution. It’s taking time for the political class to grasp that point, let alone understand how federations work in practice. Only England remains to be devolved and once it has done so, the UK parliament needs a new physical abode. The Palace of Westminster will be claimed by the English MPs of the devolved English Parliament. Most federations have a specific capital away from the leading city or cities, in order to appease the sensibilities of those states or provinces whose regional capital is less than a glittering cosmopolitan metropolis. In Europe, the German and Spanish federations have gone against this trend and retained their old national capitals. In the New World, the USA, Canada, Australia and Brazil all have federal capitals specifically designed to avoid provincial frictions. Kazakhstan is another exemplar, but we won’t go there.
            A federation is not an absolute panacaea against separatist tendencies, as the Catalans may shortly prove. It does however provide structure and codification for the relationship between the central government and the governments of devolved entities. Just as it is possible for a state to leave, it is also possible for a state(s) to join, as Germany showed with the addition of the DDR Lands. It would be important to invite Ireland, purely in an observer capacity, to any British constitutional convention.
            The most significant change is that Parliament is no longer sovereign. The constitution becomes the sovereign, a prospect which upsets certain traditionalists.

  • Athanasius

    Scotland is actually coming together at a rate of knots, Mr Cranmer, as it dawns slowly on NO voters that they’be been done over. If I were you, I’d be worried about the UK as the pensioners who swung this vote die off and the English politicians inevitably go back on the panic-stricken promises they made to steady the horses.

    • The Inspector General

      No more referenda. You’ve had your lot now. Hopefully, we’ll see a ‘Preservation of the Union act’ in place to stop this kind of malarkey from ever happening again even in theory.

      • carl jacobs

        That’s actually a good point. This kind of referenda tacitly concedes that people have the right to separate – that the UK is a collection of sovereign peoples that exists only so long as those peoples agree. The UK is sovereign over the whole of the Island. It has no reason to grant this kind of power to its citizens.

        Especially since the security policy of an independent Scotland would seem to be drafted along the lines of Ireland. As in “Spend nothing and let the English do it for us.” The northern territories are vital to the security of the Island. I can’t imagine any responsible UK gov’t giving up control.

        Key word there. Responsible.

        carl

        • Athanasius

          You obviously have no grasp of British history, Mr Jacobs. Plainly, you’re influenced by pre-Civil War American sentiment whereby it was deliberate policy not to address the question of whether the individual states were sovereign and in voluntary union or merely parts of a greater whole. There is no question with Scotland; it IS a nation in voluntary union and as such has the right to leave. It mere

          • Athanasius

            It merely chose not to – this time.

          • carl jacobs

            And you should be grateful for every one of those ‘No’ voters. If you are going to start a new country, if would be helpful to have a plan more coherent than people with ‘Yes’ balloons crying ‘Freeeeedooom!’

            carl

          • carl jacobs

            It’s not about history, Athanasius. It’s about power and sovereignty. This kind of fiasco happens because of weakness at the center. Scotland should never have been allowed to have this vote. Quite frankly, the independence of Scotland is less important than the security of the whole island.

            carl

      • JayBee

        Didn’t work in the past. The southern Irish fought their way out of the Union.

        • The Inspector General

          Do you think it was a mistake to ‘persuade’ the Irish to stay by sending in the Black and Tans and allowing the police force to become a criminal organisation ?

          • JayBee

            I am insufficiently schooled in Irish matters to attempt to apportion blame on either side. My earlier comment was merely an observation.

          • The Inspector General

            Merely thinking of what to do if Scottish independence reaches civil disorder or worse. Although the Inspector would delight in sending in the army to smash a few skulls with rifle butts, it would be a mistake to do that unless the situation had become critical. And even then it would be sold as to ‘rescue the law abiding from nationalistic thugs’

          • JayBee

            One can only hope that all Scots of seditious disposition will be placated by the munificent settlement they are about to receive so that rifles – butts and all – can rest peacefully in the armoury for at least a generation.

          • Inspector, one of your ‘classics’, Sir.

            ” … if you show the slightest deviation from the, well, deviation”.

          • bluedog

            Apposite comment, Inspector. As previously mentioned, this communicant frequents the SNP support site Wings over Scotland, posting occasionally too, to the obscene fury of the inmates. The SNP really is a lightly house-trained Glasgow razor gang. But I digress.
            In the immediate aftermath of the vote there was one poster who advocated setting up a Scottish equivalent of EOKA or the IRA. There has also been another poster, a Scottish Australian called James Dow, threatening to come to the UK and carry out political assassinations. This may be just pub-talk, but it shows the strength of feeling in the defeated Yes camp.

          • The Inspector General

            That web site sounds rather like Pink News, old hound, where if you show the slightest deviation from the, well, deviation, they will descend on you like a ton of s__t.
            Razor Gang just about sums these SNP blighters up…

          • Lol ………. there’s loons in every party.

            The Scottish crazies do take the biscuit. There is a hard core of nutters around the SNP in Glasgow. Just like the BNP in England. However, they are very confused folk. Poor souls hate the English and want ‘Freedom’. Yet, when they go to Ibrox they chant for the Union against Catholic Nationalists. To make it even more confusing, there are increasing numbers of Catholics in the separatist movement. And, they are a violent breed in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire too. Truly, they are.

            Thick heads make deadly weapons, especially when fuelled and primed by alcohol and fanaticism!

    • Ivan M

      Shouldn’t worry anyone, the same 16/17 demographic who voted YES will be aged people on meds, the next time there is a referendum. Wasn’t it the buffoon Cameron who lowered the voting age bar? What absolute genius.

  • Thank you all for the warm welcome. Am starting to feel at home already.

    • Gillian, hello there. What a pleasant smile you have. Mrs Proudy will be impressed.

      Is feeling at home a good thing so soon, given the peculiarities and eccentricities of His Grace’s regulars? We need more of your regular Scottites over here (such a name *chuckle*) to balance out the Cranmerites.

      It takes time to form an enduring Union.

  • Scotland’s wounds appear to consist of more money, better services and better democracy over the English who get nothing.

  • Gordon Dudman

    mmm. Shame that Messrs Salmon and Sturgeon couldn’t find time to attend. So me thinks not much reconciliation there then.

  • Athanasius

    SNP membership on Friday – 25000
    SNP membership on Tuesday – 42000

    • CliveM

      Who cares?

      • Athanasius

        At least 17000 Scots in 3 days. Stay tuned, Northern Ireland II is coming your way.

        • CliveM

          Ah the authentic voice of a Scottish Nationalism. Alex would be so proud.

          • Athanasius

            Total now stands at 57,000 as of 12 noon today. Begin phase two.

  • Athanasius

    Update – SNP membership now standing at 46000 – bigger than the combined unionist party.