Colonial tongue should not hinder Scottish independence

Scottish flag

Scottish flag

By Arian Mufid:

More than three decade ago, in 1980, when the Zanu party won the election in Zimbabwe, the British colonialists of the day were devastated and the conservative nationalist prime minister Margret Thatcher found it very hard to accept. Zanu advocated independence and the eradication of white domination. The British had fought to maintain white supremacy in the country the whites called ‘Rhodesia’ (after the imperialist Cecil Rhodes) while indigenous Zimbabweans wanted independence. In April 1980 Zimbabwe became independent and the Brits have never had anything good to say about Zanu leader Robert Mugabe, just calling him stupid and criminal. Mugabe may have turned into a tyrant but at that time he delivered the aspirations of his people.

Kurdistan is the largest stateless nation in the world, still victim to the colonialist agendas of a century ago. In the course of the First World War the rival colonialist rulers were always looking to redraw the map of the world in their favour. In particular they were hungry for political and economic gain in the Middle East region which they called Mesopotamia. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916 was a secret pact that had catastrophic consequences for Kurds, who are still paying a heavy price. At the time few Kurds were aware of the real intentions of the colonial powers, which included plans to carve up Kurdistan, with one part going to Britain, another to France and some more territory to Russia, their then wartime ally. After the First World War, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Britain and France largely implemented their plans at the Kurds’ expense. Since then the map of Kurdistan has being torn apart by these powers and their local allies who have used Kurdistan as a political football. The Kurdish nation now realises that Kurds have been the victim of imperialist greed and expansionism. In more recent years, Kurds have had several opportunities to establish their own statehood – for example, in 1991 and 2003 in the south of Kurdistan. However the UK rulers have never made a clear statement in support of the right to self-determination of the Kurdish people.

When I was studying economics it was never revealed to me that Adam Smith, the great economist, was Scottish. The books we had in those days had been translated to Arabic and they referred to him as the great British economist Adam Smith. After several centuries of Scotland being a part of UK, that nation is now holding a referendum on the issue of independence. As usual, the British have managed the ‘No’ campaign, while the Scottish Nationalist Party is leading the ‘Yes’ campaign for independence.  It’s just one week away from the poll and the British are exercising the old colonialist tongue to control the minds and dampen the aspirations of Scottish people who want to vote ‘Yes’. Some recent opinion polls put the ‘Yes’ campaign in front and this shocked the British establishment which has raised several issues to try and frighten Scottish voters. They are saying that if Scotland becomes independent its companies will be devalued by £4 billion; there will be a currency crisis and the economy will collapse; and the National Health Service, state pensions and other benefits will be at risk.  The British should stop scaremongering and accept whatever Scotland wants. The British must accept the wishes of the Scottish people, if they choose to exercise their right to self-determination and have their own homeland, and lose the colonial tongue.

5 Responses to Colonial tongue should not hinder Scottish independence
  1. zubir ahmed
    September 14, 2014 | 15:06

    The British colonial tongue is a product of the Scots. It was under the banner of union and with Scots at its forefront that the British Empire reached its Zenith as the empire upon which the sun never set. The austere buildings of Glasgow and its position as “the second city of the empire” are an irrefutable demonstration of Scotland’s complicity in the colonial era and how it benefited from the trappings of colonialism.

    It is absurd to suggest and an affront to the intellect and capabilities of the scots of the last 300 years, that we have been subjugated by a higher power when we were the ones who orchestrated this union – the most successful union in history. The union that ended the slave trade, the union that conceived modern parliamentary democracy, the union that cancelled third world debt, the union that defeated the forces of fascism and nationalism in Europe, the only union that when it stands tall still has the ear of the powers of the world and the ability to temper even the most fervent voices of neo conservatism (as exemplified by the Syrian vote in the commons).

    And so Scotland when we vote yes we are not voting for the emancipation of a country but a destruction of a union of like-minded people. The prospect of painting Scotland as a colonial subject is as paradoxical as painting a future independent Scotland as pro green and pro oil exploration, anti trident and pro NATO, anti big business / anti big banks and pro low corporation tax, pro public spending and pro low income tax. But the biggest paradox of all is that after all this fighting and wrangling of our “sovereign powers” we will at the strike of a pen give back the determination of monetary policy and inflation control to the Bank of England whose operational powers will then be determined by a completely foreign legislature in which we will have no representation or say. That is when we will truly become passive consumers of Westminster politics. It’s a bit like the wife who spends two years asking for a divorce and access to her assets only to then cede control of her bank account to her former husband.

  2. […] Kurdistan, the largest stateless nation in the world, with its people spread across Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, also supports the ‘Yes’ vote. […]

  3. […] current international borders of the region were largely devised leaving Kurdistan, as proponents like to say, as the largest stateless nation in the […]

  4. […] current international borders of the region were largely devised leaving Kurdistan, as proponents like to say, as the largest stateless nation in the […]

  5. […] to control the minds and dampen the aspirations of Scottish people who want to vote yes,” the Kurdistan Tribune warned in an […]

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