I can’t be the only person to experience a momentary frisson of disappointment every time a website registration form or booking form asks me to state which country I live in, and, opening their list of countries to scroll down the alphabetical grading, Scotland is missing.
I am forced to record I live in the “United Kingdom.”
The United Kingdom is a big place beyond Scotland and England, bigger when you include Northern Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and the Falklands – all purporting, nay, proud to be British. It takes a brave Welshman to demand his real place of origin and culture is recorded precisely, free of generalisation.
I am not a “UK-ite.”
Nor am I a Briton.
I am a Scot who happens to live in a country within the British Isles, Scotland one of the two kingdoms that signed a treaty. My homeland is a country in itself. It always was. It never relinquished that status. What it did was to put it parliament into mothballs – never closed it – and then secede some sovereignty to a United Kingdom parliament. In return, England seceded some sovereignty to Scotland.
England relinquished some of its sovereignty too, (as it will sharing a currency union!) but it gained supremacy in all UK national and international matters save the few already under Scotland’s command, and it achieved that by the simple expedient of holding the greater number of MPs at Westminster devoted to England’s interests. It was always certain one country would be subservient to the other – Scotland. Who thought that that would lead to its name removed from lists of nations?
English opening website lists probably think nothing of identifying the United Kingdom as their home knowing its accepted worldwide as England. They have a homeland. But they too ought to have it specified so they can see it in black and white.
I want to see Scotland on those lists.
It is a matter of pride knowing it exists.
If Scotland exists, I exist.