Or Smell the Heather and Vote for Independence
To be honest with you, I really appreciate George Orwell the writer of 1984, Animal Farm, and many other novels and short stories. He was a British writer who lived during the first half of the 20th century. I liked him for his honesty as he looked at the world. Orwell died in 1950 due to tuberculosis. I regret his premature death but also that I never met him. Nonetheless, we shared many of the same thoughts, ideas, and dissed many similar things. Politically, he and I are both left of center...way left of center.
In addition, we both spent time in what was called Burma, which is now Myanmar. Both Orwell's and mine time in Myanmar were transformative times for us. He critiqued the British colonial rule as oppressive of the Burmese. He disliked doublethink whether it was in 1984 or in British conduct in Burma. Doublethink occurs when people accept contradictory thoughts or beliefs while people do the opposite. Applied to Britain, they admired themselves while oppressing the Burmese. They do not see the contradiction or the logic in these conflicting statements.
Orwell wrote in his novel, Burmese Days, about the British attitude about the locals that "after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally...an inferior people." Additionally, he wrote the doublethink of the British colonial rule as "the lie that we're here to uplift our poor black brother rather than to rob them." Both these attitudes are addressed in his essay Shooting An Elephant.
In Orwell's Animal Farm, they originally had Seven Commandments as a type of constitution for farm-rule. However, the commandments were modified with this maxim, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
While I love Orwell's left of center Weltanschauung, I have not read anything that he wrote about Scottish independence. He wanted Burmese and Indian independence from colonial rule of the British. In addition, in his Animal Farm metaphor, he wanted the Western world to remain free of the Soviet pigs. Nonetheless, I have not read any of his prose about Scottish independence. Having said this, I see precise parallels between all his writings like Shooting an Elephant, Burmese Days, Animal Farm, and 1984.
Scotland is going to vote for independence on September 18, 2014. How they vote is of great interest to me for several reasons. My family came from Scotland several generations ago. I studied at the University of Edinburgh at New College in the late 60s and returned last spring to study what was happening regarding the independence movement.
While those seem personal reasons that someone whose ethnic background might be German, Italian, Ukrainian, Chinese, or South African, they would not have that ethnic tie as I do. Nonetheless, since my college days, I have been absorbed all the social movements starting with the civil rights movement in the States. In the past half century, my drive has gone global and have traveled to many countries that have recently gotten freedom or are still attempting to acquire it: East Germany, Yugoslavia, Mali, Egypt, Nepal, Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, South Africa,
What intrigues me is that full circle.... In 2014, I am still dissing the birthers and the tea party for their doublethink, and I am still questioning why all Scots are not behind independence. Those opposing independence have a slogan:
I ask for whom and why? It is better for the English to be together with Scotland for economic and psychological reasons. Scottish offshore oil should benefit Scotland not England. Scottish tourism and whiskey are not there to benefit the English economy. Since union with England, Scotland was without a parliament for 300-years. After three centuries, Scotland finally got its parliament once again in the last dozen years.
England needs Scotland economically and psychologically. Northern Ireland will in time leave the UK and join with the rest of Ireland. Wales is certainly looking at the future. In 1922, the British Empire controlled 458 million people and a quarter of the landmass of the world.
This is what remains of that once vast empire, which has dwindled down to about a dozen small islands scattered around the world, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England.
The question is why all those other nations including America leaved the British Empire. Orwell has an answer. "A family with the wrong members in control; that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase." The British lacked having equality with those that it ruled in the past. That is why the British no longer rule them. That is pretty simple to understand.
Orwell wrote in The Lion and the Unicorn about England,
If Orwell were still around, he surely would edit that quote to encourage Scots to wake up, smell the heather, and vote for independence.
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