In a message dated 01/06/97 16:05:18 GMT, Steph writes:
<< I was surprised in the SNP's platform outlining their vision for
an independent Scotland that the monarchy would be retained. Is this
mostly out of respect for the Queen Mother? It's been my impression that
Scots tend to be quite sour on the Royal Family as a whole. >>
Depends where you live, I suspect. I have a feeling that the, largely
left-wing, areas of the Scottish midlands (especially round Glasgow) are not
very pro-monarchy. I wouldn't like to say the same about much of Edinburgh
where, in recent memory, 75% of children over the age of 16 went to private
schools. The situation is even more complex in the rural areas which tend to
be less left wing (the Western Isles is an obvious exception). Most of these
areas traditionally returned (Conservative &) Unionist (which certainly
implies a Monarchy) or Liberal (now Lib Dem) MPs.
In "Royal" Deeside, where I grew up and where the Queen has one of her small
desirable residences at Balmoral, the Monarchy was generally well thought of.
They certainly kept the local finances going either directly or through their
effect on tourism. Most people were politically rather right wing and not
especially nationalist. There was also an on-going propaganda exercise in
schools to ensure that we all gave suitable reverence to the monarchy. (This
process also involved, by the way, the attempted erradication of the local
dialect, which is near as dammit a language in its own right.) The local
landowner (laird) used to come and make a speech about all this on Empire
(later Commonwealth) Day and give us all an apple and orange, after which we
got a half holiday! The local "aristocracy" was largely rich landowners who
had come into the area from outside (often England) and who advised their
work force how to vote. It is my understanding that many people actually
followed this "advice." It is not for nothing that Marx talked about "the
idiocy of rural life," not everything he said was rubbish!
I suspect SNP is just trying to provide the broadest possible base for an
appeal to the "Scottish people" (whoever they may be).