We are all smarting from the duplicity of the politicians who rule over us.
The past 10 days have been an eye opener into what goes on in the corridors of power behind our backs. Those comfort letters leading to amnesties for terrorists during the Troubles must be our lowest point. Victims were never likely to get justice with all that in place. We were well and truly hoodwinked.
In fact, since all this was perpetrated by English politicians, how can we ever trust them again? Simply, we can’t. Politics is a dirty business and it leads to and has given us a ‘dirty peace’, to quote Mark Durkan. Which is why I’m thinking, why should Northern Ireland continue to be part of the UK? We have a glorious opportunity to change that. If Scotland votes for annexation from the UK in September, why couldn’t we become a province of the new, independent Scotland? I might even write to Alex Salmond to put the idea to him.
After all, a huge percentage of us in Ulster can claim Scottish heritage. I’m descended from Scots Moravians, something my late father was very proud of. According to historians the evidence of archaeology is that most Irish people ‘are descended not from Celts but from Mesolithic hunters and fishermen who arrived here around 8,000 BC, possibly from Scotland’. After all, we’re less than 20 miles across the sea from the Mull of Kintyre.
Many Catholics here prefer to think they come from a Gaelic or Celtic culture which wouldn’t include Scotland. Writing in this newspaper in 1999, leading Ulster archaeologist Richard Warner from the Ulster Museum believed ‘the whole Celtic/Irish thing was only invented to make the Irish different from the English. The notion that the Irish, Welsh, Cornish and Scots are ethnically Celtic is rubbish’.
He claimed that it was only in the 18th and 19th centuries that the idea of a common Celtic origin caught on ‘as a wellspring of Irish nationalism’. The Celts in fact originally came from Hungary to France and are believed not to have had any significant effect on the Irish gene pool and any Celtic blood lines now will most likely be found among the Germans.
Warner also dismissed as ‘rubbish’ the belief of many Ulster loyalists that they are ethnically British or ethnically Cruithin.
So who are we really? Is there anything in all this history to suggest we should stick two fingers up to the English after their appalling treatment of our Troubles’ victims? We certainly can’t go it alone because there isn’t enough of us to pay for the NHS. If we really are more Scottish than English, why shouldn’t we look to this new state (assuming it becomes independent) and ask them for permission to run up the Saltire since the Union flag is such a source of division here?
I spend holidays in Scotland every year – I even have a kilt – and my home library is full of books of Scottish history. Its aristocracy chased out the country’s Queen who, foolishly, then decided to try to take the Throne of England, losing her head in the process. Trouble is it’s doubtful if the Scots hate the English enough to sever the link with them. And they probably think Ulster has too many terrorists given get-out-of-jail cards, who, though they hate the English, don’t accept their Scottish heritage and could be a source of trouble.
We could be the flowers of the new Scotland, happy to start afresh, leaving the duplicitous English with only the Welsh to boss around. My father would be singing in his grave.