Without Scotland, There Is No Great Britain

Without Scotland, There Is No Great Britain

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Bereft of vision, Britain is perishing.

Whatever the outcome of today’s referendum in Scotland, one lesson stands paramount: Great Britain is dead.

Even if the “No” vote prevails and Scotland and England remain united, it will be a Pyrrhic victory. Westminster will try to restore the confidence of the Scots, especially the young, but the inclination toward separation and independence is strong, and it has momentum. As they say, the die is cast.

Today’s referendum has left many of us dazed and confused. What just happened? How did we get here? What does this mean?

I think I know the answer, or at least part of it. Two weeks ago, when polls showed that the “Yes” campaign had a marginal lead, I, like many others, was shocked. Since then, the shock has morphed into fairly acute melancholy and sadness. In fact, I’ve been surprised at how personally I have taken this. The reason why is simple.

This is an assault on my identity.

Although I’m Scottish by heritage, I’m Australian by birth and by nature. For me, being Australian means being part of the British Commonwealth, a colossal network of independent and unique peoples united by a common legacy, by common systems of law, morality and religion, and by a common monarchy. Scotland is a fellow member of the British Commonwealth. But it’s more than that. Scotland is an integral member of the United Kingdom, an amalgamation of the four peoples that comprise the throbbing heart of the British Commonwealth.

Without Scotland there is no Great Britain. Without Great Britain there is no British Commonwealth, at least not the British Commonwealth I have always admired, and that has shaped my sense of identity.

Again, how did we reach this point?

Without Scotland there is no Great Britain.
The answer, at least a good part of it, turns on this question of identity.

Here in Britain (which includes Scotland, for now), it is no longer fashionable to be British. Since World War ii a multitude of factors—political correctness, revisionist historians decrying the British Empire, the onslaught of secularism, the rise of multiculturalism and tolerance—have converged to destroy the individual sense of national identity. There is no longer a defining sense of being British. At least not the British we once were.

Pretend you’re an average Briton, American, Australian or Canadian, and ask yourself: What does it mean to be British in the 21st century? Or American? Or Australian? Or Canadian? Now compare your answer to that of your great-grandfather. A century ago, he would have answered that question with vigor, sincerity and clarity. He’d have told you that being British meant being Christian, or in the very least subscribing to Christian mores and values. Being British meant possessing a clear sense of right and wrong; it meant having a morality that was a function of Britain’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Being British meant loyalty to God, King and country. Being British meant being the world’s chief proprietor of the English language, of the rule of law and democracy.

One hundred years ago, being British meant being an enthusiastic and unapologetic child of a globe-girdling empire. This empire wasn’t perfect (what human empire is?), but it was far more benevolent than others and was a force for great good and civility in the world. Scotland was an integral part of this empire, and made countless important contributions. Although it only comprised a small part of the empire, Scotland furnished some of its greatest explorers, colonialists, politicians, warriors, authors, intellectuals and inventors. During the 1750s, at least 50 percent of the East India Company—the enterprise at the foundation of the British Empire—were Scots.

This is not to say the British Commonwealth or Great Britain was culturally, politically or even religiously homogenous. Britain is comprised of different peoples, each with distinct and often clashing personalities and interests. The Scottish and English, in particular, have a long history of contention and war. But there has always been a larger sense of familial affection and loyalty. Despite the differences, the British have been one family. One hundred years ago a Scot was a Scot, but he was also happily, willingly, British. Same goes for an Englishman.

During the 1750s, at least 50 percent of the East India Company—the enterprise at the foundation of the British Empire—were Scots.
Today, that willingness to identify with being British is gone. The sense of identity no longer exists, at least not in the traditional manner. Today, depending on the age or class, being British means drinking on the weekend and worshiping football. It means using politically correct jargon instead of telling the blunt truth. It means unabashedly accepting, even adopting, foreign cultures and treating them as superior to your own. It means tolerating what was once considered evil, in the name of progressivism.

There is no longer respect and admiration for the empire and what it stood for. There is no loyalty to Judeo-Christian values. No admiration for Great Britain’s heritage, for its vital contributions to the English language and culture, or to the economies, infrastructure and legal systems of peoples and countries the world over. In contemporary Britain, there is no such thing as being British. Why?

Because select self-righteous British have systematically destroyed what it means to be British.

Melanie Phillips described it aptly: “It’s difficult to persuade people to stay part of a Britain that has fragmented its own collective identity and purpose on so many different levels.”

Contrast this with the views of Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond and the “Yes” campaign. Mr. Salmond has captured the imagination of his followers with a clear and exciting vision of what Scottish independence will look like. His vision is more fantasy than reality. But still, hundreds of thousands of Scots are moved and excited about his description of Scotland’s identity as an independent nation.

On Monday, James Naughtie interviewed one such enthusiastic voter on the Today Program. “I think Scotland’s woke up. Something’s stirring,” he said, passion infusing every word. “This means so much,” he sighed. “All my life, you feel as though you’re stuck in this same horrible trap. See for the first time there’s a feeling, there’s something happening and its … wonderful.”

It’s difficult to persuade people to stay part of a Britain that has fragmented its own collective identity and purpose on so many different levels.
Melanie Phillips
Mr. Salmond and the “Yes” campaign have given this man a sense of what it means to be part of an independent Scotland!

Contrast that with the “No,” or Better Together campaign. No one has provided a rousing, positive vision of what it would mean to remain part of Britain. No one has reminded the Scots of their illustrious history with England. No one has reminded them of what England and Scotland have accomplished together—and provided a vision of what they could accomplish together in the future. There once was a dream called Britain. Being British meant something—changing the world, righting wrongs, civilizing distant lands. But now the world is not our problem. There are no rights and wrongs—just British neo-colonialist arrogance—and sadly, a prevailing sense of shame of its history.

When Scots ask, “Why should we be Scottish,” the Yes campaign provides an hope-filled vision of a thriving, independent Scottish state. When Scots ask, “Why should we stay with England?” Prime Minister Cameron and the “No” campaign ramble on about the economic costs, or the impact on social welfare, or how disastrous life in the EU will be. These consequences are real and relevant, of course.

But they’re not the most important reason Scotland shouldn’t become independent!

Where is the hope-filled vision of Scotland’s destiny should it remain united with England? There isn’t one. Why? Because England doesn’t know what it means to be English—and consequently, it doesn’t have a clear vision of its own destiny.

As Phillips put it: “The Scots understand what it is to be Scottish and feel good about Scottish achievements. Many in Britain no longer know what Britishness is—and if they think they do, they are told they should hate it. The Scots are proud of their past; the British are constantly apologizing for theirs.”

We are here today because the very quality—the defining sense of identity—the clear and indomitable sense of what it means to be British—that for more than 300 years has bound Scotland to England, and England to Scotland, is gone. This sense of identity had been diminished for decades, chiseled away by revisionist historians abolishing the British Empire, by multiculturalists embracing other cultures and religions, and by politically correct politics undermining patriotism and loyalty to Britain.

Really, we shouldn’t be at all surprised by what we are witnessing today in Scotland. This moment has been brewing now for decades. It’s just as King Solomon stated 3,000 years ago: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Today there is no vision of being British, and Britain is perishing.

I can’t speak for you, but that makes me more than just a little sad.

Believing God’s Promise to David

God promised King David that his dynasty would continue—not for a century, not for a millennium, but for eternity.

Cartels Feed Australia’s Drug Problem

Cartels Feed Australia’s Drug Problem

John Moore/Getty Images

Mexican cartels are making inroads into Australian society.

Mexico’s largest bloody cartel is now the empire on which the sun never sets. When you think of gun-toting, cash-laden Mexican drug cartels, you probably envision their thugs against the backdrop of the United States or Mexico—not Australia. After years of growth, the Sinaloa Foundation is now well established in Australia, and ready to provide for one of its most lucrative customers in the world.

In a September 22 statement, Australian Crime Commission chief executive Chris Dawson warned of this relatively unknown threat that is spreading to Australia’s major cities: “Organized crime is motivated principally by profit, and criminals look to exploit markets which offer high returns for low or calculated risk. Recently, we’ve seen the emergence of Mexican cartel activity within Australia.”

Despite 8,200 miles of island-spotted Pacific between Australia and Mexico, drug cartels are not deterred from making inroads into Australian cities. The attraction: a booming market of drug users willing to pay top-dollar for their next shot, sniff or puff.

In Mexico, a kilogram of cocaine is worth $12,000; in the U.S., it’s worth $30,000. If it makes its way to Australia, its worth skyrockets to $220,000!
When you look at the difference in prices, you can see why the Sinaloa Federation is willing to travel halfway round the world. Take cocaine, for example. In Mexico, a kilogram of cocaine is worth nearly $12,000. If it crosses the border to the States, it jumps to $30,000. If it makes its way to Australia, its worth skyrockets to $220,000!

The traditionally cocaine-peddling cartels have started branching into heroin and crystal methamphetamine (ice) to cope with Australia’s diverse drug culture. These can rake in even larger profits than cocaine. A single dose of heroine in the U.S. can sell for $4.50; in Australia, it goes for $50.

In a July raid in Sydney, police seized $30 million worth of ice as well as $1.8 million in cash and guns. Two alleged Mexican cartel members were arrested and charged at the time.

The drug bust gave a glimpse into the growing power of the cartels within Australia, but shed far more light on Australia’s inability to combat the criminal organization. The well-funded Mexicans have easy access to Australia via the loosely guarded South American ports that send shipments right to the docks of Australia’s port cities like Melbourne. From there, cartels members—aided by many of Australia’s biker gangs—disperse the drugs throughout the nation.

The Daily Telegraph released an article stating that the average cocaine dealer earns $35,000 a week. When you think of the hundreds of dealers across the nation, then think of the dealers selling ice or heroin—making even more money—you get a clear indication that the single bust of $30 million in July barely scratched the surface of Australia’s drug culture.

The blame cannot be shifted entirely to some cartel leader in a mansion in Mexico. While he may be responsible for sending the drugs, someone on the other end was willing to spend $50 for a temporary high.

The truth is, one cannot exist without the other. The Sinaloa Federation could not have a drug trade in a nation on the other side of the world if there was no demand for it. Australians continue to demand the narcotics. They demand that the high-priced illegal imports continue so they can fuel their addictions. The cartels eagerly oblige.

If men like Chris Dawson are worried about the drug cartels, they should be equally worried about the drug users. The United Nations annual drug report ranked Australia first in ecstasy usage, third in methamphetamine usage, and fourth in cocaine use.

To remove the cartels in Australia, the party-drug pandemic that has swept across the nation must also be removed. Unfortunately, with Australia well and truly head-over-heels on the moral slide, the rise in drug use and the crimes that come with it are set to continue.

Australia’s drug problem is just one sign of the moral decline bringing the nation to its knees.

Germany Deploys Troops to Fight Ebola

Germany Deploys Troops to Fight Ebola

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Germany agreed on Friday to deploy as many as 100 soldiers to Senegal as part of a combined French/German mission to deliver desperately needed supplies to combat the Ebola virus. The troops will man a base in Dakar, from which two German Transall military transport planes will fly supplies to the surrounding areas. France will also provide planes.

“At the moment it’s not a question of money, but rather of capacity and logistics and quick implementation,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. Germany hopes to use its military’s logistics to collect aid from its neighbors and transport them to afflicted areas.

The German armed forces will also set up a treatment center in Liberia, and the French will build one in Guinea. Each will contain 50 beds.

Germany is notoriously reluctant to deploy its armed forces. Two thirds of Germans, for example, oppose arming Iraq’s Kurds.

This event alone is a positive use of Germany military. But it shows the trend of German leaders trying to persuade the public to support a greater use of the military.
But here is an opportunity to use the German Army in an unambiguously good way. There’s no evidence that Germany’s motivations are anything other than as stated. There is a crisis: Over 2,600 people have died in the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus on record. And the German Army can help.

There are few downsides or complications. No one debates whether the German troops are on the right side. German soldiers aren’t even being assigned to the mission—German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is asking for volunteers rather than ordering a deployment. They’re not fighting or killing people. The only possible debate is the cost effectiveness of the mission—arguments about means rather than ends.

This is proof that the German Army can be a force for good. What better way to persuade deployment-suspicious Germans that there are times to call in the military?

As an event on its own, this use of the German military is a positive development. But it is also part of the trend where German leaders are trying to persuade the public to support a greater use of the military. For more on this trend, and its consequences, read our recent article “Germany’s Identity Crisis.”

Al Qaeda Attempts to Seize Pakistani Frigate

Al Qaeda Attempts to Seize Pakistani Frigate

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Al Qaeda’s attempt to use a Pakistani frigate to attack U.S. forces could be a sign of events to come.

On September 6, militants attempted to capture a Pakistani naval ship docked in the Arabian Sea, the pns Zulfiquar. Al Qaeda’s newly formed South Asia wing claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it planned to use the hijacked ship to attack United States Navy vessels in the area.

According to a Pakistani security official, rogue military personnel planned to take over the ship then join other al Qaeda members who would make up the crew. Once close to American ships, they planned to attack the unsuspecting vessels. However, the rogue officers failed to obtain the ship. They were discovered and killed before they could carry out their plan.

This happened even as the U.S. withdraws its troops from Afghanistan, Pakistan’s neighbor. With the decrease of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan, al Qaeda has increased its presence in Pakistan. This has increased the recruitment of Pakistani military personnel.

The goal of al Qaeda’s South Asia wing, created in early September, is to convert non-believers in the area. Evidently, it is having success in Pakistan. This attempted attack shows how imbedded al Qaeda is becoming in Pakistan—even among the officer class. How did the infiltrators sneak on board the Pakistani vessel? They didn’t. According to a Pakistani security official, “The rogue officers were in uniform and had their service cards displayed. They simply walked on board.”

The al Qaeda-recruited naval personnel “simply walked on board.” What would stop other al Qaeda recruits from walking into another division of the military, such as the air force, to get their hands on other sophisticated equipment?

The rogue officers were in uniform and had their service cards displayed. They simply walked on board.
Pakistani Security Official
What if they seized something more lethal? What if al Qaeda recruits in the Pakistani military seized nuclear weapons?

As Trumpet writer Jeremiah Jacques recently noted, Pakistan is incredibly unstable. “The unrest has unnerved the country where power is often transferred by military coups instead of elections,” he wrote, in reference to demonstrations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in mid-August. There is great concern in the international community regarding the nuclear power of Pakistan. How easily could al Qaeda initiate a coup within the Pakistani military, giving it access to nuclear weapons?

In January 2008, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “Pakistan also has the nuclear bomb and could be taken over by radical Islam, with plenty of help from Iran. That means it could become a proxy of the Iranian mullahs. This would be the worst possible disaster!”

How compromised is Pakistan? The fact that al Qaeda can “simply walk on board” a ship and attempt to take the vessel over shows a great weakness in the Pakistani military. A compromised military allows for a Trojan horse-style attack. This could be disastrous in a nuclear nation like Pakistan. If you think the Middle East is unstable now, what will it be like with terrorists holding their fingers on the buttons?

The attempted capture of a Pakistani frigate could be a sign of more compromises in the Pakistani military, which could eventually provide al Qaeda access to nuclear weapons.

Caspian Horses and Nuclear Reactors

Caspian Horses and Nuclear Reactors

IIPA via Getty Images

Understanding the danger of giving Iran more sanctions relief

As Iran returns to the negotiating table with the P5+1 nations, the dangers of relieving sanctions on Iran need to be stated clearly. We need to consider what Iran hopes to achieve through talks, because ultimately those goals end with nuclear war.

To fully comprehend the implications of a deal with Iran, an analogy may help pierce through the haze of arguments for and against employing sanctions relief in exchange for Iranian promises. Consider the Caspian horse.

This particular breed of horse is said to have originated in the mountainous regions of northern Iran. Often described as short and stocky, due in part to the hard terrain it endures, this beast is endowed with zeal and determination that once made it an excellent courier in the Persian Empire.

This horse is renowned for its speed and agility. The short, wiry legs grant it incredible jumping ability. In the sixth century b.c., King Darius i used this breed to hunt lions, as depicted on the king’s Trilingual Seal.

In his book titled A History of the World in 100 Objects, Neil MacGregor called the Caspian horse the sports car of the equestrian world—fast and luxurious. Today, the Caspian still remains in use, although in a less glamorous role than lion hunting; it is content to pull heavy carts through bazaars in northern Iran.

To tie this stocky stallion to the geopolitical meetings now going on behind closed doors, Iran’s nuclear program could be seen as the Caspian horse, and the reactors and centrifuges spinning away in the Persian deserts as its wiry legs and steely muscles.

If Iran’s nuclear program, the Caspian horse, wanted to leap forward with speed and vigor, it certainly has the means. It takes 2,500 to 3,000 centrifuges operating for a full year to produce enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. According to the Jerusalem and Diaspora Ministry of Israel, Iran has 19,000 centrifuges, meaning that if they all spun at once, Iran would have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb in just six to seven weeks.

This is where the sanctions come into play. The economic sanctions established by the international community are the cart that keeps the horse anchored, however loosely. After a series of intermediary deals over the past year, the cart has been significantly lightened, but it still prevents Iran’s nuclear program from shooting away at breakneck speed.

Ideally, Iran hopes to reach a long-term deal in which sanctions are relieved but Tehran also maintains its nuclear infrastructure. Past deals certainly indicate Iran will achieve this goal. The intermediary deals have not required Iran to destroy a single reactor or centrifuge, not one nut or bolt. The West has only required an empty promise from Iran not to advance the nuclear program.

In effect, the P5+1 nations will merely trust the horse not to bolt as they tentatively unhook the cart.

But knowing Iran’s past and its constant pursuit of nuclear weapons, you can be sure that the Caspian will take off in a hurry.

The intermediary deals have not required Iran to destroy a single reactor, only a promise that Iran not advance with the nuclear program.
And what happens once the horse leaves the P5+1 in a cloud of dust? Will these all-too-trusting world powers reattach the cart? They can certainly try, but with a window of only six to seven weeks, could economic sanctions really stop Iran?

The same scenario played out in North Korea. The Koreans made promise after promise to the international community—then raced to build a nuclear arsenal before anyone could stop them. The P5+1 nations should have learned that hollow promises do not equate to meaningful concessions.

But here we are at the negotiating table with Iran again. And again, Iran asks for everything and gives nothing.

Once sanctions are eased or lifted, all that the P5+1 nations will be left with is a cart full of sanctions and a nuclear-armed Iran. Like the Caspian horse, Iran’s nuclear program will leap forward, and there will be nothing the international community can do to catch it in time.

For more on where Iran’s nuclear program is galloping off to, read our free booklet The King of the South. It will explain why this horse should never have been let loose from the stables.