Hugh’s Cairn and Leonie’s View: Scottish Independence


Hugh Paxton’s Blog with my esteemed wife made a trip to Gretna Green, a small town perched on the border between England and Scotland

And with us we had a sack of stones (quite a small sack but SAS Brecon Beacons heavy survival training exercise heavy, or so it felt, humping them around).

Each stone had been selected for its beauty or interest and had been painted with a picture and a message. The messages were all in favour of a No vote by the Scots when it comes to Scotland becoming independent from the Union, the UK.

Four stones were written by my nephews and nicely designed, very nicely designed, in three cases. One was perhaps a bit cursory. My daughter put her heart into hers. I found a fine piece of Westmorland slate and as a symbol of Union my wife and I signed it and added a few messages on behalf of friends abroad who would like the Union Flag to look as beautiful as it does. There were a few more stones ordered by other people we know and admire.

Gretna Green is on the “First Bridge To Scotland” or “The Last Bridge From Scotland”. It’s a bridge, has a river, and there’s a tea shop beside it. And you can get married in it or near it if you want.

Behind the tea shop hundreds of people were bringing their own stones.

Scots, Ulstermen, Welsh, English, foreign visitors who didn’t know that this wasn’t building a Berlin Wall, it was building a friendship cairn. The stones were being used to build a unity cairn. It is still being added to, although by now it should be visible from Scotland and England both. The Flags still flap – our Union flags, and I think it rather a good idea.

Of course Scotland can choose to go it alone and I suspect some English might like to see them do just that.

I’ve had enough Scots being drunk in my face in London and demanding money. And one Scot spent five or six years living free of charge in my parent’s house, pleading penury, while renting his own house out in secret.

But no nation produces perfection. Graham MacDougall was a constant ugly surprise.

Not Scotland’s finest ambassador. I’ve met many more Scots who have been delightful company.

But this “Yes” I think it might be a bit silly.

If the Royal Bank of Scotland is threatening to move all its HQ operations to London that looks like rather a ‘No’ sort of vote. Lots of other big businesses are planning to leave for England if there is a “Yes” vote for independence.

The 18th.

My wife’s verdict?

“Are they stupid?”

Over to Leonie:

If Scotland gains its independence
in the forthcoming referendum, the remainder of the United Kingdom will be known as the
"Former United Kingdom" ……….or FUK.
In a bid to discourage the Scots from voting ‘yes’ in the referendum,
the Government has now begun to campaign with the slogan "Vote NO, for
FUK’s sake"
They feel the Scottish voters will be able to relate to this.

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