What a Precious Place this Britain is!


April 6, 2020 is the 700 Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. We speak about the Declaration over on this page and on our Podcast here.

As we point out, it is an important piece of British constitutional history, but thank goodness we have moved on!

We much prefer the following words which more properly describe our modern relationship here in the United Kingdom, today.

The words are taken from two articles by Neil Oliver, the President of the National Trust for Scotland.

The first is from his Sunday Times Scotland article of 1 May 2016, and the second is from his article in the same paper of 13 November 2016.

Breaking something into pieces is infinitely easier than the act of creation. Allowing a great work to fall into disrepair for want of maintenance is easier still.

The Union has been the work of centuries, taken on and completed by countless selfless people — statesmen, soldiers, common citizens.

Great Britain has been here so long it can be easy to think it just happened, a work of nature like a mountain or an ancient tree. The truth is, it was ever a fragile thing.

Union is a dream shared by a people and kept real only by their imagination and conviction. If we neglect to maintain it, the temple will fall.

All of it will be destroyed and so the work of centuries will be undone. (1)

Here in the UK we live in a wonderland, protected by the rule of law, free from oppression — the sort of place the tattered outcasts of the Earth tell their wide-eyed children about.

We are so spoilt we are throwing stones inside our magical dome.

I've begun to think that for those of us born since the end of the Second World War, this unreality we have enjoyed has come to seem like something that just happened — that has always been and always will be.

What will it take before we realise what a precious place this Britain is? When will we see it as others do — as an elegant cruise liner, afloat on a storm-tossed, shark-infested sea.

Places like this don't just happen. This Britain is the product of millennia of strife and it's a safer, better place to be than anywhere else on Earth. (2)

References

1. Neil Oliver, "SNP vision of independence is same as the Union, but dead",

Sunday Times Scotland, 1-5-16

www.thetimes.co.uk/article/snp-vision-of-independence-is-same-as-the-union-but-dead-shwfm3r6l

2. Neil Oliver, "We claim to value democracy yet treat some votes with contempt",

Sunday Times Scotland, 13-11-16

www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-claim-to-value-democracy-yet-treat-some-votes-with-contempt-wvp5nmhrq

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