The National is hosting a rally in Glasgow’s George Square on Saturday 2 November which will be addressed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP. Supposing I’d been asked to speak at this event, what might I say? Perhaps something like this…
Patriotic pride has never held much appeal for me. I am Scottish by accident of birth. Being Scottish took no effort on my part. I cannot count it a personal achievement, so there is no cause for personal pride. You won’t hear me say I’m proud to be Scottish.
I am not proud of my nationality. But I am proud of my nation. I am proud of Scotland. Not all the time. Not unquestioningly. But, generally speaking, I am proud of Scotland.
I am proud that Scotland dares to be different. Under a regime which demands that we settle for being less than we might be, Scotland aspires to be more than it has been. In a political environment that encourages and rewards the worst of human nature, Scotland strives to be a better place.
I am proud that, in a British state where it is regarded as natural that the many should be disadvantaged in order that the few may prosper and that the weak should be sacrificed to benefit the strong, Scotland yet clings tenaciously to its collective social conscience and to the idea of community and to the principle of universalism and to the belief that every person who calls Scotland their home is worthy of dignity, fairness and respect. .
I take pride in the fact that, as a corrupt and collapsing British political system continues to concentrate power, privilege and patronage in the hands of an imperiously insensitive elite, we steadfastly maintain that sovereignty is vested entirely and exclusively in the people of Scotland.
There is much about our nation of which we can be justifiably proud. But there is much that humiliates us.
I want to be proud of our Scottish Parliament. But I cannot so long as it is befouled by the presence of self-serving British politicians who, while theatrically proclaiming their proud Scottishness, treat with sneering contempt the institution to which they have been elected. Liars, deceivers and hypocrites who boast of their Scottish heritage even as they barter our nation’s interests and dignity for the tawdry rewards of loyal service to the British state.
I cannot be properly proud of Holyrood while it remains subordinate to a parliament which is foreign to me, thirled to a political system which is alien to me and subject to the whims of a British ruling elite which is abhorrent to me.
I cannot be properly proud of our Parliament until it asserts its authority as the only democratically legitimate voice and agent of Scotland’s people.
I want to be proud of our Scottish Government. But I cannot so long as it continues to accept Scotland’s diminished status within the Union.
I cannot be properly proud of the Scottish Government while it looks to powers furth of Scotland to validate our nation’s claim to constitutional normality.
I cannot be properly proud of our Scottish Government until it declares its full confidence in the people of Scotland and total belief in the sufficiency of our own power to achieve Scotland’s destiny.
I want to be proud of our First Minister. Perhaps most of all I want to be proud of our First Minister. I know her to be a person I can admire and a politician I can respect. But I want her to be more. I want her to be the leader that Scotland needs.
I want her to be bold. I want her to be assertive. I want her to be fearless. I want her to be fearsome.
I want her to confront the British ruling elite. I want her to reject their authority. I want her to defy their rules.
We don’t need a lawyer politely pleading Scotland’s case. We need a warrior relentlessly fighting Scotland’s cause.
Make us proud, Nicola! Make Scotland proud!
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