Dear  United Kingdom

Hey Readers

This poem is written partly in sorrow and partly in anger at the United Kingdom’s attitude to Scotland in the post referendum period.

In the run up to the vote when the unionists were begging us to stay with them we were promised that should we vote to remain in the UK we would see Scotland treated with greater respect than ever before for staying in the family of nations. Now I don’t know why but I didn’t believe this statement at the time and at the risk of being smug time has proven me to be right. You see I knew this promise would last only until the voters counted and then we would see the British establishment turn on Scotland with the kind of feral vindictiveness you usually only associate with wild animals.

I could sense the beginnings of this hysteria in 2012 when we had both Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympic Games and some of us had to endure our favourite food being wrapped up in the Union Jack. Honestly it was so bad I found this absolutely cringeworthy. Even the X-factor got in on the act and named one of their boy bands Union J and for those who thought this would die down after the referendum it hasn’t in fact if anything its actually got worse as the Westminster establishment try a botched attempt at cultural brainwashing in to this One Britain One Nation British nationalism. I say botched attempt as one only needs to look at the rise in support for the Scottish National Party during this period to see this strategy hasn’t quite worked as well as those who believe themselves to be our imperial masters thought it would.

In fact to be honest it is getting ever so slightly ridiculous now and I have recently seen that there is a company who are trying to sell British Haggis when no such product has ever or indeed will ever exist. Not only that it was widely reported, that Tesco have now put the butchers apron (aka union jack ) on Scottish Strawberries because certain loudmouths in the shire counties couldn’t cope with seeing the Scottish flag on Scottish produce. To me this shows Tesco in a very bad light as I believe they should have just told these idiot’s to get over themselves because you can be gaurenteed that if we had made the same complaint about an English product we would and quite rightly in my view have been racist.

Fortunately, however we don’t go down that route but the inequality of treatment in this so-called union of equals has started to get on my nerves and that’s why I’ve written this poem in the form of a letter entitled Dear United Kingdom to warn the British establishment that sneering at or attempting to bully Scotland will not be tolrrated and to remind them once for all that they had to beg us to stay so bearing that in mind I think it’s time they showed Scotland a bit more respect as failure to do so could have consequences for the unity of the United Kingdom.

Do I think they’ll learn that arrogance doesn’t pay , to be honest no I don’t and their failure to do so can and will only hasten the demise of this unequal union. Anyway, that’s my rant over so I hope you enjoy the read.

Dear United Kingdom 

Dear United Kingdom
I write this letter
because you said we were better together
but it seems you need lessons
in history and manners
as your attitude to Scotland
leaves a lot to be desired
you seem to think we need to be lectured
rather than inspired to stay with you
in your arrogance you reject
any view that contradicts your imperial agenda
or refuses to surrender to Westminster’s will
You do this by attempting to place limits
on our aspirations
you need reminding
we are a nation
not a region
and this straight talking Glaswegian
has had enough
you don’t like it
that I answer you back
tough but that’s the way it is
Scotland holds the aces
so you play ball
or we wipe the smiles
form your smug sanctimonious faces
once and for all
and by doing so
we will liberate others
our comrades
our sisters and brothers
in England, Wales, and Ireland
we will not be silenced
by your union jackanory
your land of dope and Tory
only works on those who are prepared to let it
as for me forget it
your united kingdom died
a long time ago
as soon as I learned of the
of the genocide which masqueraded as famine
and heard of the blood on the snow
in the coldest month of a highland winter
what happened to Scotland and Ireland
taught me we will never be
better together
as four different traditions
will only blend into one
if the other three are erased
from history
and force fed a multi national cultural dominance
there is no such thing as British haggis
despite what Anglo normative narrative tries to suggest
this British is best
let’s bring back the empire
and the cricket test
is not the way to build a nation
it may be ego masturbation
for certain politicians and their cronies
you know the ones who made Tories
out of the Labour Party
and gladly went along with their every wish
to secure Scotland for the union
except it’s had the opposite effect
and driven a wedge between the people’s party
and those they are supposed to represent
Scotland is no longer content
to see union jack pillows
in every TV soap
or have this fake identity
rammed down our throats
on programs on just about
every subject you could name
yet somehow we get the blame
if we speak out against this indoctrination
as I said we are a nation
not a region
and remember you had to beg us to stay with you
keep the blue in the union jack
I voted yes it was never my flag
your country can never be mine
nor if they are honest
can it belong to any of the nations trapped in this union of elites
we are four nations not one
so Dear United Kingdom
as the sun sets on the last remnants of your empire
I have to ask why
you failed to inspire us
to mould a common identity and instead embarked on a relentless quest
to force us to accept
a Westminster centric view
where nothing else matters but you
this is not way to impress
your union jack dress always did look tatty and ill fitting
Mrs middle aged blue rinse Britain
can no longer pretend to be young
though flutes and drums will play your songs
this is country where I don’t belong
Dear United Kingdom
you never did style
forced smiles and stiff upper lips
were more your scene
like an aging drama queen
who can’t escape her past
you still think you are
star attraction on the casting couch
and can’t understand
why no one else wants to know
I learned of your cruelty in songs about Glencoe and Athenry
my ancestors where forced to emigrate or die
yet still you refuse to apologise
for the clearance of our lands
you have to understand
you need lessons in history and manners
but near death I suspect
you are too old and embittered to learn
and as you yearn for the certainties of yesterday
I look forward to the challenges of tomorrow
in a country which is ready to  embrace the future
and deal with whatever it brings

@ Gayle Smith 2016


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