SCOTLAND EXPECTS

A guest article from Peter Young, who runs IndyScot News from his home in Denmark. Always creating a powerful message in the most delightful way. Great writer.


Scotland Expects

A decorated open lorry has arrived at the main square in our neighbouring town. On board is an entire class of raucous ‘Third G’ students. Their lorry is adorned with handwritten signs on sheets (not all polite),equipped with a DJ, a loud sound system, and crates of beer.

Today is a moment of national celebration across Scotland’s independent neighbouring nation. You see, Danish high school students have received their ’studenterhuer’, marking their graduation and the end of their formal education. Not all will have received the grades they wanted, but just completing is an achievement.

My wife and I are spectators to all of this as we enjoy lunch on the terrace of Cafe Vivaldi, in Hilleroed. We’re actually here to celebrate the end of her school year, and some well-deserved weeks off. From our shady spot under the trees there’s a good view towards Frederiksborg Castle, the red brick ‘Raadhus’ (the city chambers) – and the students. 

The lads and lassies in their white caps all exit the back of the lorry and enter a passageway. The reason they’re here is that one of them lives nearby.

From the moment they left their high school earlier in the day, they’ve been visiting the home of each and every class member. These trips can take in all types of homes, from city apartments to plush villas. But no matter the social background, all are equal today. There is little of the class snobbery we Scots are sometimes subjected to, but truth be told, Denmark is a far more homogeneous nation when it comes to social equality.

The girls are mostly dressed in traditional white. The lads are smart but due to the heat some are ‘taps aff’, though sporting a tie. Oh, and two are wearing banana costumes for reasons that are not entirely obvious to me. After about 15 minutes they all emerge having enjoyed some kind of ‘refreshment’. 


As they drive off they wave and we all wave back to join in this life-affirming celebration of youth and a future generation coming of age.

To be honest, this time of the year was always a bit alien to me. It was light years from any teenage experience I could relate to. For Danes, it’s known as ’den soede studentertid’ – the sweet or lovely student time. I only fully realised why it was called this, when my own bairns reached this stage a few years ago. I became caught up in the whole event. The graduation ceremonies are solemn but happy. There’s nothing better than seeing the smiles of your own as they receive their certificates and their student caps. Mine were bursting with pride, and also relief that the hard work was finally over. At last, it was their turn to ride the decorated open-top lorries – and to party!

Those youngsters on the ‘studentervogne’ lorries will remember this weekend for the rest of their lives. Over the next few days, most will have a large party at home, often held outside under a marqee. These parties are for close family and friends. The new high school graduates will receive presents and a good financial boost in their bank accounts from parents and relatives, who’ve saved up for this day. You see, here it’s all about the next generation. It’s all about them being seen, heard and celebrated, in a uniquely Danish way.

That’s the thing about national traditions in small countries, they bond nations together – and there can be no greater national cause than helping the next generation on its path through education and into the adult world.

No expense is spared at this time, even the most modest homes put on a grand celebration for their ain. And as mentioned, all are equal on this day. 

Similarly tipsy students piled into our modest villa and garden a few years ago, and yet a few stops later were welcomed into homes on up-market Strandvejen that had Ferraris parked in the driveway. 

Ostentatious displays of riches impress few on this side of the North Sea. Danes are like Scots in this respect, if anyone puts on airs and graces they are quickly brought down to earth. Denmark’s ‘Jante Law’ (janteloven) means Danes like to emphasise the collective and can often show disdain towards an obsessive focus on individual achievements. So, if you turn up in Denmark, or any of the other Nordic countries, and think you’re smarter, better or richer than everyone else, try not to show it. You’ll be mocked mercilessly.

As I write this, lorries full of high-spirited ‘studenter’ are passing by my rural location at regular intervals. As an exile does on these occasions, my mind drifts back to memories of Glasgow. There was little fanfare when we left school in the early 1970s. As I may have mentioned before, our final class at secondary school in Glasgow’s East End was made up of instructions on how to sign up for unemployment benefit – aye, the buroo That’s what decades of 20th century Britishness gifted Scotland’s youth of my generation. 

On our visits to the buroo we were perhaps expected to think ourselves lucky amidst the urban decay all around us as factories and industries shut down.

There was, of course, huge potential just around the corner. It turned out that Scotland and Norway had vast riches under the seabed of our territorial waters in the form of North Sea oil. However, only one of these nations benefitted – and boy did its people benefit. Here in Denmark, a much more modest sector of the North Sea was used to boost the economy of the entire country – sports halls, swimming pools, infrastructure projects across the nation.

Our colonial masters in London like to goad us with insults, such as describing a potential independent Scotland in typically racist terms as, ‘Greece without the sunshine’, but most thinking Scots know that we are Norway without the independence.

So, how do we Scots celebrate our youth today? What level of social equality has our nation achieved for them under Westminster rule? The SNP government under Alex Salmond brought positive changes in spite of the constraints of devolution. And he did well enough that a majority of native Scots (53%) voted for independence in 2014. 

Perhaps it was our lack of national self worth, or the fact that we’re used to others outside our nation making decisions for us, that meant we allowed non-Scots, some of whom had only been here six months, to decide our ancient nation’s constitutional future. Whatever the reason, it certainly made us unique among the nations of the world, but not in a good way. Sadder still, we deprived that generation of youth the chance to live and prosper in a pro-European, independent state.

It was John Kennedy who said that one of our most basic common links is that ‘we all cherish our children’s future’. If we Scots truly care about the next generation, then the greatest gift we could give our bairns is the inheritance and birthright – their own nation, through national independence.

Nicola Sturgeon has, in her presidential style, planned an announcement this week. There will be a referendum next year, no ifs or buts. Having assumed a role more akin to a head of state than a First Minister, she’s been promising a referendum ‘next year’ for several years, so this is, most definitely, her last chance saloon.

Independence will be followed by national elections, and the SNP may split into its constituent parts. Our new nation will be able to adopt a fairer PR voting system, perhaps similar to our Nordic neighbours where there is usually high voter turnout because the public know their vote counts. 

Why shouldn’t Holyrood have 10 parties as they have here in Denmark? Coalitions and consensus then become the rule rather than the exception, and most people can find a party that suits their political leanings. A variety of political parties means more representative democracy.

Independence will not only see us free of Westminster, and free of London-based colonial parties carpetbagging in Scotland, it will liberate us from the current SNP domination, which is based solely on them selling themselves as the vehicle to independence.

This coming week will either be the beginning of the end of the UK, or the start of the SNP’s demise as a credible party of self-determination. Unless the current crop of MP/MSPs deliver on their promises, they will be viewed as little more than careerists and imposters on the make. If they fail now, #GE2024 in Scotland could, and should, be a repeat of #GE1918 in Ireland. That was the year that the traditional party of home rule and independence was swept aside by a more radical pro-independence Sinn Fein. After their 1918 victory, Sinn Fein’s victorious MPs did not travel to Westminster. The Dáil Éireann was born, and the rest is history.

Scotland expects, and we owe it to current and future generations to reclaim our status as an independent sovereign state. We too can be a proud nation, secure in our national identity, treasuring our history and heritage – a country where we all cherish our children’s future.

It’s now late, and a bit quieter than it was when I started writing this. Many of the ‘studentervogne’ will have reached their final stop where the students traditionally party, late into the night. Tomorrow, they’ll no doubt wake up a bit hung over, but secure in the embrace of their nation, and with the certainty that their country is not too wee, too poor or too stupid to care for them. They will awake in a nation free from a national broadcaster that tells them their country lives on handouts from their larger southern neighbour and that the country’s politicians are not genetically programmed to make political decisions. They will awake in a nation free of politicians and political parties based in another country whose representatives talk their own nation down. They will open their eyes in a country where independence is normal.”

MY COMMENTS

I greatly look forward to Peter’s articles because he treats topics in a most interesting gentle way. He writes well and despite his gentle phrasing can often land effective punches with deceptive style. This article is no exception. I was much taken by his description of Danish youth being equal and sharing the pleasure of finishing school by visiting everyone’s homes. That seems an excellent way to build community spirit. He signals what could be very different in an Independent Scotland if we could break free of the class divisions that are the hallmark of our southern neighbours. I found it a very uplifting read.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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28 thoughts on “SCOTLAND EXPECTS

  1. Great read, a great vision of what could be possible here if we have the courage to take our nation’s destiny into our hands. Peter’s article is steeped in the sense of enjoyment as the young folk of Denmark prepare to step into their future. We should have the same feeling when we think of Scotland stepping up and into her future for the sake of everyone but especially for our young folk.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Every time I vote, I vote for my child and my grandchildren because we actually own nothing: we are merely custodians of the assets for future generations.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “….This coming week will either be the beginning of the end of the UK, or the start of the SNP’s demise as a credible party of self-determination”.

    I’ll take any Independence by any route, warts and all, because there is nothing which cannot be fixed after.

    But right now, I am less and less preoccupied with the plans of the unfathomable SNP, but more deeply concerned about the SNP’s rocky road to referendum, versus whether the YES Movement instead should be gearing up for a Plebiscite General Election, or alternatively, a sprint for the finish exercising the Claim of Right.

    If YES needs unity, and I believe it does, then for goodness sake build that unity around a Plebiscite UK General Election where everybody has a binary choice to make, – minus the distraction of the SNP’s spider’s web of intrigue, prejudice, and frankly, loss of reason.

    I simply do not entrust the SNP with my blanket assertion of loyalty to the cause. I tried. The body says yes, but the mind screams no. This is NOT the SNP of 2014.

    Scotland’s sovereign legitimacy is enshrined in the Claim of Right, and in a Plebiscite Election, a binary pro-Independence majority gets the job done. That is the threshold for ending the Union, and we must never be talked out of it again.

    If an Independence Referendum through Sturgeon’s Holyrood, versus a Plebiscite General Election were transposed into the Cherokee fable about the good wolf and bad wolf found in everybody, then the wolf we should be feeding is the Plebiscite Election, not the IndyREF2.

    The other unmentioned factor is that with Westminster in such turmoil, a snap General Election might arrive on our doorstep very suddenly, and catch Scotland unprepared for turning it into a Plebiscite on Independence. We have preparations to make, groundwork to be done. This is our best option and surely demands the resource and status of being Scotland’s Plan A.

    And IndyREF2? Well, to be frank, the Claim of Right is a robust and serviceable Plan B, which leaves IndyREF2 looking like Plan C… – at best.

    So for me, I’m sorry, but Nicola Sturgeons announcement next week is merely an update on Plan C, and if we find ourselves in need of Plan C, then things are already not going well.

    The SNP has done NOTHING these past eight years, NOTHING save squander one golden opportunity after another. We are fools if we allow the SNP and Sturgeon to dictate YES strategy in the coming 18 months when that strategy will be absolutely critical and crucial. There is too much at stake.

    Liked by 19 people

      1. Strugeon is not a fit or proper person to lead the independence movement. Her track record of none confrontation with Westminster her lack of action on independence, her suppression of Key figures within the Independent movement. This is a British plant . If she has a referendum we should all be worried we are getting stiched up again with a rigged voting franchise designed to lose and keep you tied in to the failing UK state. A recreation of a feudal medieval society a Greater England. Dissolve the Union.

        Liked by 10 people

    1. Agree – a referendum led by Sturgeon would be intended to fail and bring with it concessions reducing us to the status of Catalonia.
      Westminster recognsed the Claim of Right – there is no credibility in their now claiming not to recognise it. Let Sturgeon disgrace the SNP with her incompetence and possible treachery over this next few months and let us campaign for self determination and meaningful democratic accountability for the way we are governed – unhook the argument from the SNP. Then come the GE I hope against hope that Alba will stand on the single issue of opening negotiations for independence.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 
    A national parliament with ten parties represented, boy, we’re a long way from that. This is not to be a wet blanket, our starting point is a thousand times better than the Westminster cackastrophy. We have to be realistic and recognise that Holyrood has settled into a five party hegemony and that situation is controlled by an embedded permanent managerial class composed by middle class humanities graduates.
    The limits of “acceptable” political doctrine are carefully curated by this permanent managerial class. Nothing too “radical”. Nothing to threaten the comfortable sinecures of our managerial class. In a sense, our elected representatives are secondary to our permanent managerial class. Our civil “servants” are actually our civil “masters”.
    And yet we started with a pretty decent model for proportional representation. Ten political parties was a feasible outcome. Where and how did it all go wrong?

    The high point in true, proportional representation at Holyrood was 2003 with eight MSPs outwith the five establishment parties. By 2007, Margo MacDonald would be the only independent voice at Holyrood. As of the 2016 election, Holyrood was reduced to the five establishment parties.
    You don’t have to support the political platforms put forward by non-establishment individuals or parties to support the general principle that a multitude of voices enhances debate. By design, we are left with slightly different flavours of our managerial class endorsed, bland menu.
    The fall of the Scottish Socialist Party was the result of various factors, but their political posters at election time were a feature of our streets. The ability of the SSP to harness the enthusiasm of their support and promote their message through poster campaigns will have played a significant part in their returning six MSPs in 2003.
    This display of “populism” was intolerable to our managerial class. By the 2016 election, 32 out of 36 Scottish councils has established by-laws prohibiting election posters on council owned street furniture.
    The four “hold-out” councils continue to allow election posters on street furniture, proving that any perceived “littering” issue can be managed rather than resorting to prohibition. It’s no coincidence that all four councils are rural and are substantially populated by independent councillors, free from the admonishments of any party head office.

    I can’t be alone in thinking it somewhat sinister that a chamber full of cooncilors can conclude that a wee bit of litter is a price too high to pay for a vibrant, broad spectrum democracy.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Very good points vis a vis posters. There are strict laws here about when they can be put up, and there’s even more strict censure if you don’t take your party’s posters down/collect them straight after the election, also the ones littering the streets/hedgerows. That said, posters go up everywhere. Some lamposts have 5 party posters! The other thing is, the Danish broadcasters are duty bound to platform all parties, even the new ones. The 2021 situation with Alba blanked by broadcasters on the debates would just not wash here. There is only one vote, which you can give to an individual candidate or his/her party. No votes are wasted, all extra personal candidate votes revert to the party and with 2% threshold, even small niche parties can achieve representation among the 179 members of the Folketing.

      Liked by 10 people

  4. What’s not mentioned (though it’s blindingly obvious) is the strong social contract Denmark has with each new generation. Danes working for Denmark. Alas, in Scotland, that was broken a long time ago with many graduating Scots taking up a one-way ticket to serve the interests of London.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Stiart, there was final paragraph (that didn’t quite get copied into the Yours For Scotland version) that alludes to this:

      “It’s now late, and a bit quieter than it was when I started writing this. Many of the ‘studentervogne’ will have reached their final stop where the students traditionally party, late into the night. Tomorrow, they’ll no doubt wake up a bit hung over, but secure in the embrace of their nation, and with the certainty that their country is not too wee, too poor or too stupid to care for them. They will awake in a nation free from a national broadcaster that tells them their country lives on handouts from their larger southern neighbour and that the country’s politicians are not genetically programmed to make political decisions. They will awake in a nation free of politicians and political parties based in another country whose representatives talk their own nation down. They will open their eyes in a country where independence is normal.”

      Liked by 12 people

  5. Another fine article Peter and I agree with Iain’s comments regarding your * deceptively * gentle style . There’s a strongly clenched fist in that velvet glove .

    Excellent as the article is ,beautifully conveying the well-earned joy and optimism of those young Danes , I couldn’t help but feel sadness at the contrasting probable future prospects of their Scottish counterparts ; not so much their academic counterparts – Scottish young folk who’ve completed their University courses successfully ie obtained degrees still have better prospects than others .

    It’s the legions of disadvantaged , unsupported , non-academically minded young folk whose prospects look grim if we continue being ruled by WM , particularly under endless , worthless Tory Govs – Labour under Starmer would not be much better as they’re just as in hock to Neo Liberal dogma .

    The truly awful thing is , if we also continue in this stasis ,under this Sturgeon-led ScotGov ,the prospects for our young don’t look any brighter . With the Scottish economy contracting and cutbacks in all kinds of services increasing and a useless , blame-deflecting regime imposing more and more demented prohibitions , policing behaviours , opinions , thoughts , things for our young people could actually be worse here than other parts of the UK .

    Stating the obvious …viz ….we NEED Independence , we need it bad , and we really can’t afford – in every sense – to tolerate the freakshow that passes for an Independence -seeking Party to frustrate our need much ( any ) longer

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Some years ago the Danish government addressed youth unemployment issues. It was aimed at those who didn’t do too well academically or were ‘skoletraet’, school fatigued basically. A great effort was made create further education options for a broader spectrum of youngsters, specifically for the ones who may not, in years gone by, have ended up on the lorries this weekend. I observed it as an effort to break the cycle of a certain % falling through the academic/further education cracks each year, with the resulting social/economic disadvantages. It’s had a great effect imo. Danes now have a very highly educated population and a nationally self-confident younger generation that punches well its above weight in many areas, from business to sports. Competent government, necessitated by coalition partners elected on key issues pushing the main party to act. Huge contrast to the SNP pals act where failed ministers are shuffled to new posts merely because they’re chummy with NS.

      Liked by 14 people

      1. Part of that change, Indy, must be that we accept that there will always be young people whose skills lie in their hands rather than their heads and reward these just as much, because they are absolutely essential to the good functioning of society. Unfortunately, – I don’t know about Denmark – too many of our young today are totally immersed in gender ideology, the propaganda being pumped into our schools, colleges and universities, to the detriment of sense. Many of these youth will be lost to this madness, and their halcyon days will never materialize – the girls, in particular, who have been betrayed completely by Nicola Sturgeon and her cohort may never achieve their true potential. That, to me, with the consignment of so many of our poorest children to the scrapheap before they even mature, is the real tragedy of Scotland in 2022. How on God’s earth did we allow this poverty of opportunity and this propagandised delusion happen?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m moving to Denmark , it sounds like the country I would like this to be. If Denmark won’t have me because I’m old and decrepit I will send my children and grandchildren instead – unless of course Scotland gets her collective finger out and completes the journey to independence.
    Sadly I cannot see the party which professes to want independence doing anything at all to achieve it , indeed it looks as though it works against it at every opportunity and there have been plenty opportunities.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. Gleaned this data from the Sunday papers – constituency seats won by party:

    Greens. Nil
    Labour. 2
    LibDem. 4
    Tories. 5
    SNP. 62

    To ensure a majority at Holyrood the SNP formed a ‘coalition” with the Greens, a party with no directly elected politicians?And two of said Greens are in position as Gov’t Ministers!

    So the d’Hondt election (selection?) scheme delivers unelected politicians into Government?

    Wouldn’t it be neater, even arguably democratic, to designate list MSPs as Lord MSPs – modelled on the celebrated Westminster House of Lords – as Advisory politicians – Murdo Fraser as Speaker?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The difference between Denmark and Scotland is immense.

    This article reinforces what a undemocratic shit hole Scotland actually is.

    Moreover, just watched a one hour interview with Jeremy Corbyn and what he experienced from the security services and MSM undermining him after he became leader.

    Makes you realize just how extensive the dirty war against the Scottish independence movement is.

    Frankly, democracy in the UK is an utter sham. But Denmark shows you it can be done.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Willie: I agree that Corbyn was hounded out of office, but some of it must be laid at the door of the hard left Labour types and the right-wing types who now occupy the Opposition benches. Corbyn was a decent man, but he, like all the rest, was viscerally opposed to Scottish independence when push came to shove. That’s the problem: even the decent ones cannot afford to back us for fear of the backlash at home. I don’t know how we can ever persuade the English population to accept that the fairy tales they have learned for many, many years about Scotland’s reliance on English largesse is a total fallacy, and, indeed, that the opposite is the case.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. An excellent article!

    It saddens me that the division caused by Sturgeon will cost us Independence. I of course would vote YES given the chance but I will not be running a stall every week as I did in 2012/13 and 14. I will not be fundraising, knocking doors, printing material etc etc as I did last time because I did that for the generations of Scots still to come. This current exercise is about saving the SNP and keeping Sturgeon in power.

    The lack of real enthusiasm is dramatic. The lack of a grassroot campaign is obvious. The entire performance is about short term election politics instead of a Nation’s Future!

    This is Sturgeon’s Referendum, not Scotland’s. Without the enthusiastic conversation neighbour to neighbour, workmate to workmate, shopper to shopper, etc etc it will lack drive.
    Without sufficient time to generate support the Referendum will take place as support is still getting it’s boots on. A drip feed of Press announcement over months is not a starting gun.

    Sturgeon is not fighting for Scotland. She is cornered and fighting to survive.

    This is a “We tried” SNP farce to keep a tight hold on power for another decade (at least)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s my perception too Clootie . This is the Arse-Saving Referendum . The Sturgeon get-out clause , a farce in all but name . Like you – and I assume most of us , I’ll vote YES , of course , but with zero expectation of anything meaningful resulting from doing so

      Liked by 2 people

    2. “A drip feed of Press announcement over months is not a starting gun.

      “Sturgeon is not fighting for Scotland. She is cornered and fighting to survive.”

      Yes, it seems so. The hope is that the Yes movement will reclaim the independence cause from a dyfunctional SNP that appears content with high-salary stasis within the British state.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes – that should be our focus now – campaign for self determination and show our lack of any democratic control over how we are governed (can there be a better time to do that than now as Brexit sends everything off a cliff?). But don’t campaign for the SNP. Don’t defend the SNP. Be prepared for Alba to stand on a single issue independence ticket in the GE and let Sturgeon play out her pretendy referendum – one that perhaps we should all boycott if she managed to stage it because we know it is designed to fail. Then we hope for Alba to use the Claim of Right and tell Sturgeon it is outside her remit to be in those negotiations, as she herself has so often said.

        Thanks so much for the glimpse of hope and happiness of a self confident, self determining nation.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. There are noises from some quarters that the tories might be preparing for an early general election in the autumn of 2023.

    After being let down for 8 effing years my trust in Sturgeon is zero. For the life of me I cannot see this “referendum” as nothing more than another of Sturgeon’s smoke and mirrors pish to push us away from a plebiscite election.

    Every single loophole that was open for the British state to enter and interfere with our process has been kept open today by Sturgeon. Every single one. So this referendum is not an exercise in self determination, it is another trap to preserve the union.

    Enough is enough. 8 years during which we could have been benefiting from our own assets. Instead, Sturgeon ensured it was the British state or somebody else who took the lion share of them. Meanwhile, our people struggle to pay energy bills. This is in my books total and utter failure and a dereliction of duty.

    The next GE and everyone after that must be a plebiscite election until Scotland is free. After 8 years of wasting our time, our resources, our mandates and opportunities and our patience, any more carrots or faux referendums from Sturgeon’s SNP are simply not acceptable.

    Sturgeon, do you want my vote?

    Then get up your arse and call a plebiscite election. Something you should have done already in 2015.

    Stop wasting our time

    Liked by 4 people

    1. On that topic, Professor Alf Baird, speaking to the Alba Party International Branch yesterday, pointed out that the SNP have now had three parliamentary majorities – each of which offered them an opportunity to revoke the Union. None taken.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Forcefully put, Mia, but you echo the feelings of all of us on this thread: another waste of good money unless the SNP gets its digit out of its rear end and faces down the British State. We really need to take this out of the SNP’s hands. Enough is enough. Another loss will finish it for good and probably lead to far more direct action. That will be her legacy: a country destroyed through its own of a spine when it really counted. We have lost so much of our inheritance and cannot pass it on to our coming generations because we have squandered every opportunity to save it. Hell mend the gutless wonders!

      Liked by 3 people

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