Hey everyone. At the start of this World Cup Campaign I looked at Scotland’s group & the opponents we face over the next 14 months if we are to make it to the finals in Brazil. As I did so I realised that some of our opponents such as Serbia, Macedonia, & Croatia have only been independent countries for 20 years or less.

With this in mind I have written a poem on the changing geography which has shaped the new Europe over the past two decades. I have titled it Homecoming with reference to our coming referendum. It is my hope that in two years time Scotland will take the opportunity to join the family of nations with Wales following suit shortly after. I hope it illustrates the positive vision I have for my country. A country which I want to see harness the wealth of talent it has amongst its people to create not only a better Scotland but a better world.


The Geography of Europe has changed
If a stranger arrived from the seventies
they would never believe the growth of new nations
the death of old certainties came with the end of cold war
the fall of the wall saw winds of change
blow through the east of the continent with alarming speed
Germany unified as slowly but steadily the Soviet Union fragmented
Former territories discontented spoke up and slammed the door shut
on their former home
From the baltic republics to black sea
freedom came to all
but Scotland still cowered by 300 years of remote control
still put up with colonial madness
I felt sadness that we never moved on
at the same time as other nations
unionists would often use bullying language
like the balkanisation of Britain
to reflect the horrors of war in that region
never making mention to Fifer or Glaswegian
of the velvet divorce between Slovaks and Czechs
to show neighbours can remain friends
on moving from their once shared home
times have moved on soon the map will be redrawn
as finally another territory divides into three nations
Scotland Wales and England
no more a united kingdom
but independent lands with our own political geographies
each expressing identities unique to them
the sun will set on the past
rising again to shine for a new way forward
the geography of Europe is changing
the new map will see the return
of an old name
she will be Alba, Caledonia, Scotland
and the family of nations will be glad
to welcome her

@ Gayle Smith 2012

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