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Talk of independence uninspiring in Scotland, too

Re: "Scotland's year of soul searching", Editorial, March 10.

I wonder if there's any significance in the timing of The Nation's editorial highlighting the question of Scotland's independence referendum, coming as it does only a few days after a few red-shirt hotheads raised the issue of autonomy or separation for Thailand's North and Northeast. I doubt it, as the cultural, historical and political differences between the UK and Thailand are so great as to rule out any real similarities between the two issues.

As a Scot living in Thailand, I have been following the debate leading up to the referendum in September and have been struck by the fact that economic and financial issues seem to dominate. Indeed, this is reflected in the editorial. Neither the "yes" nor the "no" camps have given much attention to the more uplifting notions of patriotism and national identity, be it Scottish or British.

I think that is a pity. 1n 1320AD, during the wars of independence, when the Scots finally managed, for a while at least, to rid their country of English domination, the Scots' nobles submitted a letter, affirming Scotland's independence, to the Pope. This document became known as the Declaration of Arbroath, part of which reads:

"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."

If the present day advocates of Scottish independence could have delivered similarly eloquent and stirring sentiments, I might just have been tempted, against my better judgement, to give them my support. However, the best that the independence campaign seem to have come up with so far is a dubious claim that in an independent Scotland everyone would be better off to the tune of 600 pounds per year. What an insult, to assume that one's loyalty can be bought!

It's not just in Thailand that the current crop of politicians fail to inspire.

Robin Grant

Bangkok


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