No, not Satyrnalia….sit down at the back there!…..though you might be forgiven for the confusion.
Saturnalia was the ancient Roman festival of the winter solstice when the world was turned upside down…decorum and status forgotten, masters serving their slaves – well, a bit like the officers serving other ranks in the Army, a bit of fun for one day and then back to the status quo.
Faced with feeding, watering and bedding down the menagerie singlehanded on Christmas Day…to be done again on New Year’s Day…it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a Saturnalia when the menagerie could look after me.
Having visions of dogs like those of Beorn who could walk on their hinds and lay tables I dreamt of hens laying an early morning egg, to be soft boiled and served to me on a tray with a tray cloth accompanied by a cup of tea.
Reality intervened, though. I know what would happen if Sophie entered the hen house…much squawking, feathers flying and hens taking to the hills. Even if by some miracle an egg could be obtained it would be appropriated by Bunter and Einstein – who always have a morning egg – as their property so all that I was likely to get would be a leftover bone – probably well chewed – proffered by kindly Plush only to be snatched away by his mother, little Scruffy, to be buried in the pillows and defended against all comers.
So forget Saturnalia…and even Satyrnalia. At least on the domestic scene.
But there is a chance of Saturnalia – the world turned upside down – in post Brexit politics in the United Kingdom, which might well become the Disunited Kingdom should Scotland press for its independence.
The Independence Referendum of 2014, which resulted in a vote for Scotland to remain in the union, was supposed to be a once in a lifetime event…as usual, though, nobody specified whose lifetime.
Then came the 2016 Brexit referendum where the majority of constituencies in Scotland voted to remain in the European Union whereas those in England mainly wanted to leave its clutches.
Thus, argue the Scottish National Party – SNP – who are in a majority in the Scottish Parliament and hold a significant block of seats in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, regardless of whose lifetime it may be, there has been a dramatic change in the relations between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. which justifies another Independence Referendum, allowing Scotland the possibility of applying to remain in the E.U. as an independent nation.
Given the Tory majority in the U.K. Parliament, this view is unlikely to obtain the necessary votes…the Tories are not called the Conservative and Unionist Party for nothing – even if they have just dumped Northern Ireland into the lap of the E.U. as part of their disgraceful Withdrawal Agreement with the said body. Northern Ireland has cattle…Scotland has oil.
What, then, is to be done?
Invoke the Declaration of Arbroath? That document of 1320 addressed to the pope of the time to ask for his intervention to stop the incursions of the English in their quest for sovereignty. Based on the Celtic traditions of kingship, where the seven mormaers – earls – of the kingdom elected the high king, those signing up to the Declaration stated that should Robert Bruce betray them and submit to English rule they would deny him as king in the name of the freedom which they proclaimed to be that of the kingsom of Scotland.
Rather like Magna Carta, the Declaration of Arbroath has taken on the false glamour of democracy …but it still resounds in Scottish history.
“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”.
However, when Scottish economic power crumbled at the failure of the Darien scheme in the 1690s the powers that then were acceded to the Act of Union of 1707…celebrated by the song, such a parcel of rogues in a nation
Indeed, Scotland might be secure in valour’s station…but valour had no value when weighed against the bribes to the members of the Scottish parliament.
So Scotland became North Britain, part of the United Kingdom – again leaving aside the history of relations with the island of Ireland.
It accepts the reign of Elizabeth II…though no Elizabeth I ever ruled in Scotland and the lady in question uses the title of Queen of Scotland rather then the traditional title of Queen of Scots….but that might have to change with independence.
So, once again… how to proceed?
Armed rebellion? Blue bonnets over the border?
My backside. The only armed rebellion in the U.K. these days comes from drug gangs fighting for possession of the streets.
Set the Wee Free loose on the English? For those not acquainted with this body think a Scottish Presbyterian version of the Spanish Inquisition. It did not work in the Civil War and is unlikely to win hearts and minds now…especially as its face is firmly set against satyrnalia of any sort.
There has to be an answer..a constitutional answer…. to force the U.K. parliament to accede to another Independence Referendum for Scotland.
The current leader of the SNP in the House of Commons is so boring that he can empty the chamber faster than a thirsty Glaswegian can sink a pint of heavy. Success will not come from his portentious utterings.
So the SNP must change tactics.
.During the Brexit votes the SNP members sang or whistled the Ode to Joy…adopted by the E.U. The then deputy speaker was not too chuffed.
This can be the new weapon of the SNP…but one that reflects the Scots heritage.
Forget reasoned argument…that has never worked in the House of Commons.
Go for the jugular!
Give them Scotland’s finest!
Jimmy Shand and his Band….
And if that is not enough then unleash the nuclear option…..
Donald Where’s Your Troosers…
Forget the claymores charging out of the mist at Prestonpans…their day is over…but between them Jimmy Shand and Andy Stewart can bring victory home to Scotland…
If the SNP follow my advice we’ll have independence before we know it!
I would like to thank you for your company this past year and wish you all the best for the year to come.
Lang may your collective lums reek!