Nigerian artist Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy works on a portrait of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Reuters
As The Commonwealth no longer recognises Scotland as a ‘country’, who’s pulling the strings?
Over the past week or so there have been significant moves in the constitutional wrangle over Scotland’s future. Notwithstanding the oft repeated Unionist charge that any actions on such matters at this time of pandemic are reprehensible, these moves have all come from one quarter, the Unionist establishment.
We learn of the royal family becoming active in ‘saving the Union’, thanks to an article in The Sunday Times. This is necessary, we learn, because the politicians are ‘losing’ Scotland and the Windsors think that the Union (both unions?) is their possession. It’s being suggested that the efforts of royal ‘Will-n-Kate’ will now be directed towards Scotland in order to persuade us for the Union.
We’ve been made aware of a meeting between the head of the avowedly political campaigning organisation Our Scottish Future, Gordon Brown and a member of the royal family thanks to C4 News. Notably, this meeting occurred at an official royal residence during an official visit to Scotland when the family member in question was formally representing the monarch at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
And now we’re learning of instructions from the British government to its staff, including UK diplomats, to stop referring to the four nations of the UK and instead to refer to the UK as a single country.
Scotland no more a country – the ‘big idea’ already bearing fruit?
It’s reasonable to speculate that the British establishment has already had an international success in pursuing its objective regarding the regionalisation of Scotland within a unitary UK. Just look at the change in public information provided by The Commonwealth Secretariat.
For context, it’s worth remembering: (i) the British monarch is head of The Commonwealth; (ii) the Commonwealth Secretary-General who is responsible for representing The Commonwealth publicly, is the Right Honourable Patricia Scotland, aka Baroness Scotland of Asthal (look out for irony!) since 1997, and is formerly a minister in the UK Foreign Office, its Home Office and its Lord Chancellor’s Department; and (iii) PM Boris Johnson just happens to be the current Commonwealth ‘Chair-in-Office’, representing the Commonwealth at high-level international meetings.
“The UK is an island country’!
The graphic below is a screen shot of The Commonwealth’s website from today. It tells us that the UK ‘is an island country’. At least it is still acknowledging four constituent parts but without giving them any further status.
However, there is still some work to be done by The Commonwealth Secretariat and its influencers. It missed something! The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) website has a directory of participating ‘teams and countries’. England, NI, Scotland and Wales are all listed here. (Source: https://thecgf.com/countries )
This is from the CGF website’s description of NI: ’As one of the Home Countries in the UK, Northern Ireland is ..…’ Oh dear, failed to spot this ‘error’: how long until an edit is done?
As an aside, in the CGF’s comparable description of Scotland, where there is no mention of country or nation status, it does in compensation have this wonderful phrase: ‘Scotland is located above England ..…’!
But Scotland was a country as recently as last year!
The graphic below is a screen shot of The Commonwealth website taken c. 12 months ago. The change from then until now is very marked. We learn here that the UK consists of three countries plus the ‘province’ of NI or alternatively, of four countries including NI. What’s a country here or there? So a year ago The Commonwealth Secretariat was content to mention twice in this short profile of the UK that Scotland is a ‘country’. But no more!
What led to the change? Which part of the Unionist establishment in the UK influenced or enforced this significant change? Can a country be discarded so easily? And where will the ‘influence’ behind this strike next?