Mike Vickers' Blog

August 31, 2012


Filed under: History in the making, In Our Time, Politics, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 10:01 pm

Nationhood – A discussion at the Hub on 30 August 12 – chaired by Sheena McDonald

Inevitably moved to Scottish Independence.  I collected words, sound bites!

Participants – all attached to Edinburgh University:

Susan Manning – Cultural; Edinburgh via England but born in Scotland

Alvin Jackson – History; one time lecturer at University College Dublin

Christine Bell – Constitutional Law; from Human Rights Belfast – clearly Northern Irish

Susan Manning: Scotland a land of immigrants; Marx – workers stateless Virginia Wolf – women stateless.  Language, Proximity, Union of people.  Internet creating the virtual place

Alvin Jackson:  Ireland became independent – wanted to get rid of the English connection asap.  But then Ireland fought for independence – not Scotland, at least since the 45 – SNP committed to non-violence.  Nationhood ↔ Independence. Shared Institutions.  Ireland had no permanent Royal Residence.

Christine Bell: globalised world. Realm cf internationalism.   Self-government in smaller units.  Common interests, ties, culture.  Who has the right to pick the question; who owns the debate?  Mutual constitutional settlement.

The open discussion

Form follows substance.  Who has succeeded? South Africa,
Northern Ireland > Constructive Ambiguity

Who will speak on behalf of the disenfranchised; state fails the citizens.  The State – a modern word – earlier country, nation, national identity, community

Independence will take time – not a button press, the decision is just the start

Self-defence a tricky issue, the US right to bear arms – totally changed since the constitution establishes

Civil nationalism v ethnic nationalism.  Nation / nationality / citizenship / individual v collective.

Application for British citizenship > the lowest common denominator

In the Rugby match who do you support – easy for me Scotland unless its Scotland v England then its England but not a walk over – women don’t have a rugby team!

OK it’s a mess, but then so is the Independence debate – currently bogged down in trivia – even Trident
Two key sound bites:  Form follows substance – not vice versa.  Constructive Ambiguity

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