Slugger O'Toole

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Hope, delusion, memory and trauma in the Scottish referendum of 2014: Prof Murray Pittock (QUB, Wed 12th)

Mon 10 February 2014, 8:54pm

Cultural historian Prof Murray Pittock (University of Glasgow) is delivering a lecture entitled The British people? Hope, delusion, memory and trauma in the Scottish referendum of 2014 in QUB’s Canada Room (Lanyon Building) on Wednesday afternoon (12 Feb) at 4pm.

Murray Pittock The Road to Independence Scotland in the BalanceHis presentation will be followed by the launch of his updated book The Road to Independence? Scotland in the Balance (whose foreword has been penned by First Minister Alex Salmond).

Murray Pittock’s book concludes:

A loosely federated or virtually confederal UK with clearly distinct locales for control of politics, culture and society and their representation through the media could be the most stable solution the Union can now enjoy: indeed, Ireland would probably still be in the UK had this begun to happen a century earlier.

However, serious doubts must remain that this will be recognized by Westminster, or that English politics can change enough to accommodate a multinational policy, taking account too of control over natural resources and the development of a new generation of weapons of mass destruction.

Devo max is too much of a unilateral sweetheart deal for Scotland to be accepted at Westminster as it is now constituted, while pure federalism is both unwanted in England and would be unstable given England’s relative size.

You can also still listen back to his Radio 4 series on The Roots of Scottish Nationalism.

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Comments (7)

  1. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Having a politician foreword your book…neither good for sales nor reputation for impartiality?

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  2. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    England and Germany would make an interesting country, you could call it Deutchengland. I mean they already share a monarchy, their languages are very related, they have the same tastes in sports and a mutual dislike of the French, and both their national anthems come from Germany, and used by Germany. And there’s Auf Wedersen Pet as well!

    And think of the achievements the new citizens of Deutchengland-Anglogermany would achieve, the people of England could claim Sebastian Vettel and the people of Germany could claim, And erm Mo Farrah! With a bit of federalism, they could have their own special European Union, home to the most efficient nation of shopkeepers in the world!

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  3. Greenflag (profile) says:

    ‘Ireland would probably still be in the UK had this begun to happen a century earlier.’

    Probably .

    ‘while pure federalism is both unwanted in England and would be unstable given England’s relative size’

    Federalism seems to work very well in Germany where there are 16 Federal States ranging in populations from 17 million in North Rhine Wesphalia to 600,000 in Bremen , But then there’s a long history of federalism in Germany

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_of_Germany

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  4. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Future physicist,

    ‘they have the same tastes in sports and a mutual dislike of the French’

    Last time I checked German rugby was almost as thin on the ground as Scotland’s .

    Both countries owe their existence to the French anyway .

    Can anyone imagine what England /Britain /Ireland would have become without the Norman French invasion ?

    Germany owes it’s existence as a State to Napoleon who imposed unity on all those hundreds of little German ‘kingdoms ‘ and thus made Bismarck’s Zollverein and First German Empire possible . Not only that but the French under Napoleon 2 or 3 declared war on Prussia and by capitultating after 6 weeks or so helped to get the new German Empire off to a successful start with a victory .

    It appears that haven’t looked back since despite the 1914/1918 and 39/45 setbacks :(

    It’s not that they dislike them (the French ) it’s just that they envy their cuisine and their croissants as does everybody else .

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  5. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Professor Pittock’s book might be worth a read for those in NI who may be more concerned with the implications for NI of a Scottish Yes vote . Most Irish people rightly believe it’s primarily a matter for the Scots themselves . At least their vote will be respected by the Westminster Parliament which can’t be said for earlier 20th century votes in Ireland .

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  6. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    Oh Greenflag, Family disdain is the greatest disdain at all … I mean weren’t the Franks for want of a better term Germanic?

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  7. Greenflag (profile) says:

    ‘I mean weren’t the Franks for want of a better term Germanic?’

    Frankly they were franks . The French were the West Franks whereas the Germans were the East Franks .They ended up with different languages and nations because the West Franks (Gallia) was ruled for centuries by the Romans whereas the latter did’nt rule moost of the East Frankish east of the Rhine terra incognita at the time .

    Had the Normans not conquered England -English today would sound like Frisian a dialect of Dutch – and Scotland and Ireland would be predominantly Irish.Scots Gaelic speaking as the weather is freezing enough without having to learn Frisian if you catch my drift ;)

    I’m okay either way with how the Scots vote . Either way it won’t be the end of the world .

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