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Why is Lord Robertson afraid of Scottish independence?
Sasha Uzunov - 6/25/2013
For those Balkan Watchers, Lord George Robertson was Team Blair's and later Team NATO's Scotsman the Brave acting as one of the mid-wives, oops I meant to say mid-spouse (I don't want to be accused of misogyny by pro-unionist Scottish spinner John McTernan), to Kosovo independence. So feisty Albanian Kosovars can have their own nation-state but not canny Scots?
I just can't figure that out… If we follow his Lordship's reasoning - Scotland the creator of much of the modern western world through philosophy, commerce, democracy is not able to stand on its own two feet but Kosovo, an economic basket case, has the guts to go it alone.
It says so much of the fear mongering used by Scotsmen opposed to their own nation becoming independent. It is the Nanny State argument…oops there I go again, I meant Grandparent State….I have to be careful- I don't want to be labelled misogynist by John McTernan !
The Kosovars had to fight for their independence from then Yugoslavia---but were smart enough to get NATO assistance in 1999. Again, if we follow Lord Roberston's logic, Kosovo should not have broken away from Yugoslavia because it was economically unviable and it would have caused disruption to Kosovar Albanians serving in the Yugoslav Army.
One of his Lordship's argument against Scotland going solo is defence.
"Lord Robertson was also dismissive of the idea that Scottish units could simply be removed from the British Army.
It is simply not serious for the SNP to propose surgically amputating Scottish regiments from the British Army without any consideration to what members of these regiments think of it or what it would mean to already formed units. For example, the Scots Guards are a key part of the UK Brigade of Guards and cannot simply be cut out of the brigade on the basis of a political whim, he said."
If I remember correctly the current Prime Minister Agim Ceku, began as a Major in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), and in 1991 switched his allegiance to the Croatian Army and rose to Major-General before leading the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)--without even batting an eyelid.
I met his Lordship and his media enforcer Mark Laity in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, in 2002 at a press conference. Big George was the Good Cop to Laity's Bad Cop. Both were in town to throw their weight around…In 2001 an ethnic Albanian insurgency erupted in Macedonia, which had helped Kosovo in 1999 by acting as a staging base for NATO. It was initially and correctly labelled as a terrorist action by his Lordship but when he realised his "boys" north of the border in Kosovo were involved so he changed tack.
But his Lordship belongs to a group of people called the About Face Activists or U-turn ideologues: you just don't know where they really stand. Others in this group include Joschka Fischer, Helen Clark, Peter Hain, Mike Rann, and many others.
Lord Robertson began his career opposed to nuclear weapons but hey that did not stop him from later becoming UK Defence Secretary under British Prime Minister Tony Blair and later NATO Secretary-General.
Joschka Fisher was a militant German leftist who battled against "US imperialism" and in 1973 beat to a pulp a West German Police officer during a violent protest. Later as Germany's Foreign Minister he supported the "US imperialist" war in Afghanistan.
Helen Clark, was a long time peace activist who cut her teeth opposing the Vietnam War but as Prime Minister of New Zealand sent in combat troops into Afghanistan.
Another ex-British politician Peter Hain in his youth campaigned against apartheid and the Vietnam War but later shouted: "We must not be effete: it's time to fight" in Afghanistan.
Iron Mike Rann, English born, was a New Zealand Greenpeace activist who sent in boats to disrupt French nuclear testing in the South-pacific. later he migrated across the the Tasman Sea to Australia and became Premier of the state of South Australia and became a strong supporter of uranium mining in his political backyard. Iron Mike Rann is now Australia's High Commissioner to the UK in London.
One thing is certain London has nothing to fear from an independent Scotland who won't be sending in rebels to "liberate" Wales or Northern Ireland. And I am sure that the Scots are big enough to formulate a pragmatic defence plan.
Scotland through the centuries took up arms to achieve independence but it only has to raise its hands in a ballot next year to achieve that goal without bloodshed.
Next year Scotland will hold a referendum on independence. The status of the United Kingdom is being called into question and it has an ideological impact here on Australian politics.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Scottish spinner John McTernan was recently caught in a war of words with popular Sydney radio host Ben Fordham (2GB) after McTernan "jokingly" went touting for work after this year's federal election should PM Gillard lose.
Well, McTernan has other options: his shtick as the anti-Scottish independence Scotsman is well known. He can go back to the UK and campaign against Scotland's independence or join arch enemy Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's team....
Damn you Mel Gibson and your Braveheart film ! You make Scottish independence so romantic and attractive and in this climate of European Union economic meltdown, feasible. The status of Scotland reverberates here in Australia, and especially how it unites two political opponents—locked in mortal battle at this year’s federal election.
As a non-Scot I get the sudden urge to scream in mock Scottish accent “Freedom for Scotland” – all because of Gibson’s stirring Hollywood version of history. As a former Australian soldier who marches on Anzac Day every year, listening to military bagpipers piping “Scotland the Brave” sends patriotic chills up and down my spine.
The Scots will hold an independence referendum in 18 September 2014. The status of the United Kingdom unites two political opponents—locked in mortal battle at this year’s federal election.
Some conservative pundits have talked up the behind the scenes strategic significance of John McTernan, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Scottish Svengali like spinner. But McTernan and his quarry, Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of the Liberal Party, have more things in common politically than meets the eye. And a question missed by our media is shouldn't McTernan be actually spinning for Abbott and not for Gillard?
Influential Australian conservative columnist Andrew Bolt has alleged in his influential blog that McTernan's master plan is for Labor PM Gillard to smear Abbott with claims of misogyny in order to beat him in the next federal election due on 14 September 2013 because Labor is so on the noise with voters on many issues such as the economy, carbon tax, refugees and so on.
The irony is both McTernan and Abbott are staunch Unionists, that is supporters of the existence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or UK for short. The UK consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland broke away in the 1920s after a war of independence and in 1949 became The Republic of Ireland (Eire). Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to loosely as Ulster remained with the UK and has a large Protestant pro-Unionist population, who are descents of English and Anglicized Scottish settlers in the 17th century.
Scotland, known as Alba in Scottish Gaelic, was granted its own parliament recently, but has not been an independent nation-state in 300 years.
Abbott, born in London to Australian parents, is a dedicated monarchist, who supports Australia's status as a Constitutional Monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II, also Queen of the UK, and her successors as Head of State of Australia.
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has a strong current of Republicanism within it, and a substantial faction, Irish Catholic, historically supported Irish independence. Prime Minister Gillard, born in Wales, has gone on the record that once Queen Elizabeth passes away, Australia should become a republic. Wouldn't this be in contradiction to McTernan's pro-Unionist stance? Wouldn't McTernan's Unionism offend PM Gillard's Australianess and Welshness?
London-born McTiernan is seen by some as a fanatical Unionist who in 2007 denounced his own nation Scotland as "narrow, Presbyterian and racist," and whose comments were regarded as offensive. If Abbott is an alleged misogynist, does that make McTernan a misoscoti/misoalbin, a hater of all things Scottish? I am laughing my head off at that last comment. I don't know if I have just coined a new phrase: misoscoti or misoalbin?
McTernan's recent history indicates a discomfort, to put it middy, of the very notion of an independent Scotland breaking away from the Union. Perhaps as an Australian of non-English speaking background, the son of Macedonian migrants, I am viewing McTernan through Balkan eyes or the prism of the collapse of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union in 1991 and being grossly unfair to him?
Okay, before we go any further I have to declare my interest. I support Celtic over the pro-Unionist team Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Premier League Soccer competition. In 1977 my father and I squeezed into Melbourne’s Olympic Park stadium to watch Celtic beat Red Star Belgrade of the now defunct Yugoslavia 2-0 in exhibition match.
Glad that is now out of the way and back to the political analysis.
But why would any Scotsman or woman oppose in principle Scottish independence, if it can be achieved peacefully? Some might say an independent Scotland is not viable. But with EU members Greece and Spain bankrupt, perhaps Scotland going it alone may not be so scary. But it remains to be seen if an independent Scotland, should the referendum be won, would enter the EU.
McTernan has built an aura or shtick or routine as the quintessential or clichéd foul-mouthed Scottish spinner who ironically dislikes being Scottish. It is an unintentionally hilarious routine. But foul-mouthed media spinners who try to intimidate journalists are nothing new.
In 2007 McTernan, as a trouble shooter, was sent by then British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who acting more like Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic trying to hold Yugoslavia together, pardon my Balkan goggles once again, to save the naughty Scots from themselves and stop an independence referendum from taking place. In 1999 Blair was, paradoxically, a supporter of Kosovo's Albanians fighting for their independence from Serbia. Perhaps the Albanians don't wear kilts. That could be the reason!
A Daily Mail newspaper (UK) story at the time reported: "A "panicked" Tony Blair warned the Scots they would be "crazy" to quit the UK as he prepared to launch a last-minute campaign blitz to save the Union."
McTernan's brief was to discredit the Scottish National Party (SNP) led by Alex Salmond in the 2007 Scottish elections but the campaign failed. Salmond became Scotland's First Minister, the equivalent of Prime Minister. A referendum on Scottish independence is scheduled for 2014. A prominent supporter includes famous actor Sean Connery whilst comedian Billy Connolly opposes it.
European-based Australian journalist Paola Totaro revealed McTernan's messianic task in stopping his nation Scotland from gaining its independence but first he had some more mundane, earthly work for republican-minded Prime Minister Julia Gillard to complete: ''After the ALP gets re-elected, the next step is to save the United Kingdom and defeat Alex Salmond in the general referendum.''
Perhaps actor/director Mel Gibson will make a sequel to his 13th century Scottish nationalist themed Braveheart film with a contemporary setting:
McTernan as the liege or vassal sent to do the English's (Sassenachs) work in subduing the wild Scots. Perhaps Salmond can play the combined hero role of Sir William Wallace / Robert the Bruce who delivers an independent Scotland for the first time in three centuries. It will be either "FREEDOM FOR SCOTLAND" or "STAY INTACT UK."
I just can't imagine Mel being big on someone yelling "STAY INTACT UK" with a fiery Scottish accent; it just doesn't have the same romantic and mythical sound as "FREEDOM FOR SCOTLAND."
|Sasha Uzunov graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, in 1991. He enlisted in the Australian Regular Army as a soldier in 1995 and was allocated to infantry. He served two peacekeeping tours in East Timor (1999 and 2001). In 2002 he returned to civilian life as a photo journalist and film maker and has worked in The Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. His documentary film Timor Tour of Duty made its international debut in New York in October 2009. It picked up a Platinum Reel Award from the 2009 Nevada Film Festival (US). He blogs at Team Uzunov. His camerawork featured in a 2010 Canadian documentary film, "Afghanistan: outside the wire," Produced by Scott Taylor.|