Kevin McKenna and a Moral Duty

Reading this weekend’s Scottish Catholic Observer I was interested to see Kevin’s column dealing with the upcoming referendum. Kevin states that we have a moral duty to vote. This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. Kevin deftly points out the immorality of the policies pursued by our Tory and Lib Dem coalition and their attacks on the poor. There are moral issues here and we should take note.

Kevin’s point, however, seems to focus on how a vote for independence would free Scotland from immoral policies. He fails to show good examples of policies the Scottish Government has espoused which highlight morality. The same sex marriage bill seems to put great restraints on people of a christian outlook voicing their views and keeping their job in certain areas. It is an interesting thesis that leaving 90% of the population of the KU, the country we inhabit, to the mercies of the Tories is a moral act. Running away and making no attempt to change things does not seem like a moral stance to me.

For some reason Kevin seems to think that Scots are more moral than the English and Welsh. I must say that has not been my experience. Kevin is right to say that we have a moral duty to vote. He is right to suggest that we have a moral duty to work for a fair society. Picking up the ba and walking away does not fit the bill. Kevin is the very man to campaign against the greedy society, the immoral bankers (RBS anyone?) and politicians who rob the poor and help the rich.

Come on Kevin, you know you can do better than this!

You can read Kevin in the Scottish Catholic Observer. See what you think. Where does the moral path lead us?

Joseph

 

The Blockade Runner and the Independence Vote

Clydebuilt

 

I was recently watching this BBC Scotland program hosted by David Hayman. The episode I had recorded was ‘The Robert E Lee’. This episode centres on the Clyde built paddle steamer Giraffe which was sold to the Confederacy and renamed the Robert E Lee and became one of the fastest blockade runners of the war.

 

Steamship

The Clydebuilt Blockade Runner

I found this particularly interesting because I had just completed a course on the American Civil War at Strathclyde University, delivered by Robert Lynch. In the course I had learned about the importance of cotton to the Confederate states. Cotton provided the link with Scotland and soon some of my fellow students unearthed links between Glasgow and the Confederacy. These included evidence of Jefferson Davis having visited Glasgow to stay with some industrialists and collaborators after his release from prison. This is expanded on in the programme which also shows evidence of a Confederate spy network working from Bridge of Allan.

This program highlighted the role of Glasgow’s Shipbuilders and the blockade runners. It filled in lots of interesting details of the activities of the blockade runners and the Scots who made fortunes from the war.

It gives us a fresh look at the role Scotland played in supporting the slave owning Confederacy and is particularly interesting at this time. Scotland is about to go to the polls to vote on independence. The Yes camp has made much of the UK’s imperial past and their desire to dissociate Scotland from it. Is this moral stance justified?

Taking this closer look at Scotland’s history of support for a slave system and the fortunes made in extending the slaughter of the Civil War should encourage us to examine the myth of our historical innocence.

I believe it is important for the future of Scotland to expose the truth about ourselves and our past. We are not a people who lived under the yoke of imperialism but we were instrumental in promoting it and made fortunes out of our fellow man.

When we walk into the polling booth this autumn let’s make our decision based on facts and not myth.