2007 - 2021

Who Helped the Scotsman Fly

tap-9882(an Open Letter to the People of Scotland from the People of the Forgotten Comhairle) by Warren Draper

If we should fall due to austeric cuts, think only this of us:
That there is a corner of northern England
That will be forever Scots.

If you get the chance to enjoy the beautiful Scottish Diaspora Tapestry then you will see that a significant proportion of the English panels hail from the historic South Yorkshire market town of Doncaster. These include Sir Walter Scott (author of Ivanhoe, which was inspired by Doncaster’s Dearne Valley), Sir Nigel Gresley (designer of The Flying Scotsman, which was built in Doncaster) and the never knighted (for obvious reasons) working class hero, Jock Kane (ardent union activist). But I would like to focus on the panel which portrays Prince Henry.

Henry was son and heir to the crown of King David I and the grandson of St Margaret, Queen of Scots. Who was also known as Margaret of Wessex; the House of Wessex being the true lineage of the Anglo-Saxon crown traceable to Aethelstan, the first King of England. Henry’s titles included 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, Earl of Northumberland and – what I’m guessing was probably his most proudly held title – Lord of Doncaster.

The times in which Henry lived (1115 – 1152) were a period of great upheaval. With control of the Kingdom of England already hotly contested, Kind David of Scotland – who, as descendent of the House of Wessex, had legitimate designs upon the English crown – sought to create a Scoto-Northumbian realm which included Scotland and the ancient Kingdom of Northumbia; an area which once stretched from Edinburgh to Sheffield. King David seized control of many northern regions and rather than fall into all-out war Kind Stephen of England signed the first Treaty of Durham. A document which awarded Henry his titles and Scotland areas of land which included Doncaster.

History moves on as history does and not only was King David’s vision for a Scoto-Northumbian kingdom never realised, but 21 years after the first Treaty of Durham the forces of King Henry II recaptured the lands held by King David. But in a strange twist of fate, when the new treaties were drawn up Doncaster was never formally rescinded. It does appear to be the case, legally speaking, that Doncaster is still officially a part of Scotland.

If the United Kingdom were truly united, and if the people of Britain were treated in fair and equal measure, then this quirky little fact would only interest historians and pub-quiz researchers. But in reality the people of Doncaster have suffered the same injustices and betrayals at the hands of Westminster (or ‘Westmonster’ as The Artist Taxi Driver, Mark McGowan, has christened it) as the people of Scotland. Indeed during the 1984/85 Miner’s Strike the Westmonster state machine invaded the mining towns of Doncaster, physically attacked its people and destroyed one of the region’s key industries; leaving a 30 year recession in its wake. Now, wearing the Mask of Austerity, it seems determined to kick us when we’re down.

The people of Scotland have voted to rally against the Westmonster and deny it its cruel desires. But what of the poor and the vulnerable of England? Through no fault of the Scots a bitter, black-hearted minority hold the reigns of the beast and the English have no political mechanism whatsoever to protect themselves from the ravages of austerity. So I beg of thee Scotland. Gaze upon Doncaster as a child of Alba. As a child in need. Welcome us into thy bosom and allow us the choice between the tired old tyranny of Westminster and the progressive promise of Holyrood.

Not that we would deny the people of Doncaster their say. Unlike Westminster we believe in true democracy and true representation. Let us hold a ‘Doncaster Referendum’ where the people of Doncaster can decide what nation and what parliament is better for the future of our region. Give us the right to determine our own fate. And then give that right to the rest of the former Kingdom of Northumbria – I know plenty there have a highland heart. And then, when the North is won, give it to every other town and region in England.

As Freeborn English shouldn’t we have the right to be Scottish if we do desire?

Don’t get me wrong. As a self-confessed Anglarchist I love this beautiful land and its equally beautiful, ever-mongrel people; I share in the joyous visions of Williams’ Blake, Barnes and Morris; I live by the values of tolerance, diversity and fairness; and I am immensely proud of Magna Carta and the Liberties of England. But while the politicians show a blatant disregard for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society; while the Bank of England is willing to sacrifice the health and well-being of one section of the country to line the pockets of another; while bigotry and bitterness cloaks itself in the folds of patriotism; while we have no equal voice, England will remain divided. And while the North continues to receive relentless body blows from Westmonster it will continue to have more in common with Edinburgh than it does with London. So please, people of Scotland, bring Frae Bonnie Donny into the fold so that we might take the lead in the secession of the North.

Warren Draper
Twitter: @DoncopolitanMag

Comments (12)

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  1. Diogenes says:

    as a fellow Northerner I love this 🙂

  2. bringiton says:

    My wife’s grandfather,a Yorkshire man with a very Yorkshire name,used to wear a kilt and claimed that the border between Scotland and England should be much further south of where it currently is.
    Looks like he was right.

  3. Born Optimist says:

    There are already a number of northern parties and together with the Greens worth considering by anyone who aspires to see the implementation of progressive anit-austerity policies at Westminster, though I think most of these are centrist rather than progressive. Numbers, however, make policies and parties change with their membership .

    If people dropped their allegiance to parties that have had their day (I can only mean the Labour Party since it swung ever more to the right) and supported collaborative efforts then working people and small businesses would once again have their say in parliament.

    It would love to see an English/Welsh equivalent of the Scottish outcome – one Tory MP, one Liberal Democrat MP, one Labour MP (just elected by the skin of their teeth). Combine community action with political activity and it is a (very slim) possibility (but I’m an optimist as indicated by my pseudonym).

    1. Diogenes says:

      out of interst Born Optimist who are these small parties?

  4. Alan Flockhart says:

    Loved reading the article , whether it’s all true or not it makes for very interesting reading. I’m almost 70 yrs old now and love my country which I consider to be Scotland . We are very fortunate that we have a political party that speaks now for the majority of Scots , to be honest we have had enough and whether it will make a difference only time will tell, any I don’t hate anyone from England Wales or Northern Ireland , it’s time England woke up and hope that one day you will have a party that’s speaks for ordinary working people. I wonder if the SNP had fought some seats in Northern England how they would have fared, ?.

    1. Diogenes says:

      Alan,I think theyd have done very well,as it Scotland Northern voters are dubious about whether the post Blair Labour party represents them in this day and age

      1. Strategist says:

        They include the North East Party http://www.thenortheastparty.org.uk/ and Yorkshire First http://www.yorkshirefirst.org/

        1. Diogenes says:

          thanks Strategist as a proud Lancastrian I dont feel either of those parties apply to me

  5. bjsalba says:

    I very much agree with Born Optimist. If these smaller parties are to gain membership and thrive there are a bunch of additional ideas they need to take a look at.

    SNP gets almost all its funding from individual memberships. No unions no corporate donors no sugar daddies – they all want just for their group and they expect value for money.

    Competency in government. – no fixed ideology that ties you in to prescribed ways of doing things – not exclusive public ownership not exclusive privatized. Government offices and agencies should not be padded with make-work jobs at any level, not grossly underpaid at the basic level or grossly overpaid at the management levels.

    Changes to public service practices should be tested out (and sometimes several options tested out) before they are implemented nationwide. Grandiose projects should be avoided.

    Infrastructure and large government projects should be carefully set up with properly regulated tight contracts and monitored to get value for money for the taxpayer.

  6. Ian says:

    Here is one of those small Northern Parties web sites: http://www.northern.party/

    Stumbled across them on Twitter a few months before the election.

    1. Strategist says:

      Two others covering the North East and Yorkshire are the North East Party http://www.thenortheastparty.org.uk/ and Yorkshire First http://www.yorkshirefirst.org/

      The Northern Party only stood candidates in Lancashire at the election.

  7. Ian says:

    Thank you, Yorkshirefirst are interesting.

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