WEEK after week we hear from your readers about the fact that Scottish history is not taught in our schools. This, regretfully, is a fact of life, or rather, education in Scotland. The history taught in our schools is the history England wants us to know, and not the history that actually happened.

In Kenneth Macrae’s letter in Thursday’s National Conversation, we see a very good example of this. Look, I am not decrying Kenneth at all. I am merely pointing out that he has been ill-informed by his school teachers. I used to be like that. In fact, I gave up history and took geography instead.

It was only later in life – I think well after I was 40 years old – that I rekindled an interest in history. It was then that I discovered, through reading Scottish history books, that I had been badly informed when I was at school.

Kenneth says in his letter, “The government that was created by the two Parliaments under the Union of Parliaments Treaty doesn’t work”. That is incorrect. There was no government created by the two parliaments as a result of the Treaty of Union. Certainly, the Treaty of Union stated that the Scottish Parliament would be dissolved; the English Parliament would be dissolved; and a new “British” parliament, with a written constitution, would be set up to operate in Westminster.

However, all that happened was the Scottish Parliament was dissolved and the Scottish MPs were given seats in the English parliament, which continued as previously with no written constitution and based entirely on the Magna Carta and a series of “Precedents”. The government at Westminster is not a British government. It is the English government continuing. There has

never been a British government and theoretically therefore there has never been a Britain – Great or Otherwise.

It’s rather like the Vow we were all given at the time of the independence referendum, when we were told that if we voted to remain part of England, (only they called it the United Kingdom) then we would get all sorts of extra benefits and powers. Has anybody seen them? We would

even be an equal partner – oh, yeah? David Cameron also stated that we would have a written constitution drawn up in London. I haven’t seen that either.

At the session of the Scottish Estates (The Scots Parliament) that met on October 3, 1706, to discuss the Terms of the Treaty of Union, Lord Belhaven, who spoke on behalf of the 75% of the common population who were entirely against the Union, stated,

“When I consider this treaty as it hath been explained and spoke to before us these three weeks past, I see the English constitution remaining firm; the same two Houses of Parliament; the same taxes; the same excises; the same trade in companies; the same municipal laws and Court of Judicature; and all ours either subject to regulations or annihilations;

[except] we have the honour to pay their old debts, and to have some few persons present as witnesses to the validity of the deed, when they are pleased to contract more [debt].

Good God! Is this an entire surrender?”

Yes, I think it was!

So, Kenneth, you are wrong when you say, “England hasn’t resurrected its own Government, so cannot voice an opinion on dissolving the Union of Parliaments Treaty”. They kept their government. They did not dissolve it. The government in London is the only survivor of the two governments who signed up to that treaty. It conveniently got rid of the other.

Since the present Scottish Government was not a signatory to the treaty but the government in London was, we are on a bit of a sticky wicket. Technically it’s us who cannot voice an opinion on dissolving the treaty, and England who can.

Nevertheless, I understand the Scottish Government can call an “advisory referendum” without England’s permission. That cannot be denied them. If they do this, and win it for independence, then, I am afraid, we are likely to be faced with a unilateral declaration of independence as our only option.
Charlie Kerr