DECLARATION OF ARBROATH, 1320

696 years ago, Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, supported by his nobles and the ‘commons of Scotland’, drafted a document intended to be presented to the Pope in Rome. This document is known as the Declaration of Arbroath.

In effect, what the Declaration constituted was an assertion of Scotland’s independence from England.

Since 1306,  the Bruce had been at the forefront of the Scottish resistance movement. In 1314, he won a great victory at Bannockburn, against a much larger English force, effectively securing Scotland’s freedom.

Following his success at Bannockburn, Scotland’s independence was an undeniable physical reality: the next phase of the struggle was the transmutation of the gains made at Bannockburn into a political reality. The Declaration was the physical manifestation of this.

So, in effect, what Scottish Unionists have done since 1707 is dishonour the Bruce’s legacy, and everything that he fought for. Perhaps, think about that next time you ponder whether or not to vote Yes or No.

ISIS Hunter? For Real?

In recent years, I have come across several individuals who fancy themselves as ISIS Hunters (so-called on account of their choice of apparel). None have struck me as the type who have actually seen combat, let alone combat in Syria or Iraq.

In my estimation, what the ISIS Hunter trend actually represents is an expression of anti-Islamic sentiment: a hatred of Islam in its entirety, not simply the fundamentalist aspect of the religion’s ideology. I make this argument because when I engage with Islamophobes (as far as I can recall) none make any kind of distinction between moderate Muslims and their extremist counterparts. However, I am digressing. Time to get back on track.

I fully understand why someone would want to hunt down ISIS operatives. After all, they are murderous, rapacious, homicidal lunatics that must be stopped.

Yet, when the former individuals present themselves as engaged in physically combating ISIS, they demonstrate the most grievous degree of disrespect towards those combatants in the Middle East who, as I write this, are locking horns with ISIS. The brave warriors of the Peshmerga (and the like) deserve more than to have their life and death struggle co-opted by individuals far-removed from the conflict, for their own political agenda no less.

Before signing off, I would just like to express my admiration for the brave fighters in Rojava (Christian and Muslim alike), who are actually fighting to secure their future, and that of their children.