The Mirror has an excellent post featuring a recent radio discussion in the United States on Scotland’s upcoming referendum on independence that pretty much nails the negativity and scare-mongering that has driven the British Unionist “No” campaign (not to mention the hypocrisy of Alistair Darling, the Labour figure-head of the cross-party “No” side, who has been revealed to be personally benefiting from the privatization of Britain’s health system or NHS). It’s well worth a listen to and sharing with others. In a similar vein we have news of the latest polling from Scotland which places the “Yes” vote on 47% (+4%) and the “No” vote on 53% (-4%). The survey was carried out by YouGov, a polling company whose methodology artificially raises the “No” vote by including theoretical “shy” anti-sovereignty voters. We are now within margin of error territory.
At this point it is worth remembering what an independent and sovereign Scotland means to many ordinary Scottish men and women. As in our own case it is about far more than just political or economic autonomy. Wee Ginger Dug has a particularly personal piece that places the upcoming referendum in its true context. As for why the Scots may seek nationhood of their own separate from that of “Greater England” Vice magazine has one good reason: escaping the as yet unacknowledged horrors of Britain’s imperial past:
“In 2013, The Guardian revealed that Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) had illegally withheld 1.2 million (later revised to 600,000) historic documents from the public, in flagrant breach of the UK Public Records Act. The documents… were being held at Hanslope Park, a secretive, high-security compound in Buckinghamshire that the FCO shares with intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6.
The whole document saga began in 2009, when a group of elderly Kenyans brought a historic lawsuit against the FCO, claiming damages for abuse they suffered under British colonial authorities (which, in the case of these particular plaintiffs, included rape and castration). At the time, FCO officials denied having any relevant documents that might shed light on the crimes. Only two years later, in 2011, did the FCO admit it was unlawfully holding 1,500 Kenya files at Hanslope Park.
Later, it confessed to possessing 20,000 undisclosed files from 37 former British colonies. The documents include incriminating evidence of murder and torture by British colonial authorities.”
In a Q&A with the magazine Dr Mandy Banton, formerly a colonial-era specialist with Britain’s National Archives, expresses her shock at the whole cover-up:
“I was appalled. Shocked. Staggered. But I’m most concerned with the files secretly brought to the UK from the former colonies. The question is: Why did the Foreign and Commonwealth Office not do anything with them over all these years? Why did it just leave them sitting there?
I think it was deliberate concealment. And who knows what secrets may still remain. The Kenya files that were released, for example, spelled out how badly the British had been behaving in Kenya. But there is still a little batch of Kenya files that have never been found. Of course, whether that’s genuine – whether they really have never been found, or whether they are secreted away somewhere – I have absolutely no idea.”