Wed | May 22, 2019

Thwaites' piece on Scottish vote was a riot

Published:Friday | September 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Daniel Thwaites' article, 'We have a Bruce to lend England' (Sunday Gleaner, September 14, 2014), was enjoyable reading. It was an excellent, balanced mix of humour, satire and history, with the humour being quite reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live parody - but in print - with the same kind of comedic value yet with balanced serious analysis as commentary demands.

The tasteful invoking of satirical humour ("Tivolistan"; "judiciary of crocodiles"; and the bit about Alex Salmond) was masterful; I find myself laughing whenever I recall the piece.

On the note of the Scottish referendum on whether to break away from the United Kingdom, as a staunch believer in nationalism and the uninhibited right of expression of ethnic and cultural identity, I believe that independence is the most conspicuous way to achieve that desire.

I believe that most ethnic peoples have a longing for self-determination as the most conclusive way of announcing to the world their maturity and acquiring that feel that they are masters of their own destiny. That is what the Palestinians, the Kurds and many others are fighting for.

The dissolution of the Soviet Empire and the reversion to individual ethnic identities is the most recent example of the desire for nationhood, which started 100 years ago when that Serb fired the shot that killed Archduke Ferdinand and heralded the start of World War I. The days of empire are archaic and have no place in our contemporary historical experience.

The article, with its subtle humour, was an appreciated break, taking the edge off some very profound issues by providing well-needed comic relief.