I got a lump in my throat reading this one.
My own family, several generations past, emigrated to the furthest corners of the Empire in search of a better life. They found it there in Canada, the USA and New Zealand. Maybe it was simply the adventurous nature of my ancestors pursuing the uncertainty of a future in a foreign land (because in those days there was No Going Back – once you emigrated that was generally you for life) or perhaps it was the economic necessity of not quite having enough and not seeing any realistic possibility of every getting enough that drove them to leave their homeland. I am the result of one of those descendent of emigrants coming back to Scotland and I, myself, have emigrated to NZ and then back again because this is home. But there have been many times when I have considered following my ancestor’s footsteps and taking my chances in Canada, France, Norway or returning to NZ. Should we all vote No in September I fear that I will be forced to emigrate for good because this Great British Union of ours serves many of us so very badly.
“O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion.” (Burns)
There are moments in your life when you see something through someone else’s eyes, and it feels as though you are seeing it for the first time. In a way you are. Your own life, especially when you are relatively young, just seems normal to you. How could it be otherwise? You need an alternate point of view in order to get perspective. Most of us will experience moments like this in our lives, perhaps many. I want to talk about one that happened to me. The moment I knew I was a member of an oppressed minority.
Since I have become involved in the debate over Scottish independence I have encountered a bit of resistance. I’m not talking about the resistance…
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