As I write this, it is the eve of the Referendum on Scottish Independence. Tomorrow,the residents of Scotland will vote on how they wish their future to be. We will find out soon after what they collectively decided.
Independence is the Scottish dream, one every Scot grows up with, and kept alive by the folk songs and monuments to William Wallace, the Scottish hero, who led the Scots to stand up to, fight back and challenge the rule and power of the English King.
Wallace himself was betrayed, captured and died in the attempt, in London, where he was hung, drawn and quartered. But he set in motion a movement which could not be stopped, culminating in the victory of Robert the Bruce at the Battle at Bannockburn in 1314. The English fled.
Scotland won back its independence, and the right to rule itself as a proud nation under Robert the Bruce, King of Scots.
Not everyone in the United Kingdom knows the story, especially in England, as English children are not taught Scottish history prior to 1603 when a Scottish King, James Stuart, King James VI of Scotland was crowned King James 1, of England.
The reign of the royal English line of Tudors came to an end after Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth 1, who never married, hardly a surprise when she saw what Henry did to his spouses. Ironically a Scottish King was next in line to the English throne And that is how it came to pass that Scotland and England came together
under one crown while still retaining their own legal systems, different religions, banks, education system and other cultural elements.
It would certainly be ironic if if the two countries were to become separate again
under another Elizabeth, some 700 years after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Lots of people, however, saw the film “Braveheart” starring Mel Gibson; a stirring tale immortalising a somewhat romantic version of the life and struggles of William Wallace in his fight for freedom, a fight to the death. It may have been told with Hollywood licence, adapting some details here and inventing some others there to make a rousing, good movie. But the important details of the story were true enough.
And tell about the importance of freedom and independence to the Scots, a message that stirs in the souls of many others around the world.
Man has his dreams and seeks to be free. He has no wish to be a slave to a machine, to a boss, to the clock, to another power.