Broken Nation – A Poem in Response to the Debate on Scottish Independence

There is a lot of debate going on here in Scotland just now, most of it surrounding the issue of Scottish Independence. When the SNP won the Scottish parliamentary elections in May 2011, they ensured their manifesto contained a promise to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. Now, with a majority of 69 seats behind them and a mandate to go through with it, they’ve set a date for 2014.

Why not hold it now? I hear you ask. Well, if you look at history you will see that the Scottish people have been asked if they want to be independent before, each time turning it down. Does Alex Salmond think he can win if he held it now? I’m sure you can read between the lines. Holding it off a couple of years will suit him more, and allow him more time to sway the people towards his way of thinking.

Most of what we are hearing in the Scottish media just now is hysterical, with a whole host of pro-independence slogans and anti-English sayings being rattled out. It’s as though everyone has jumped onto a band wagon being pulled by William Wallace himself.

One of Scotland’s best talents in the writing game is Alan Bissett – I’m a huge fan of his work and of his performing prowess. He recently made a video of himself expressing his views on the whole issue, and while I don’t agree with him, he put his voice across (as is his right to) in a very powerful form: poetry. You can view his poem called VOTE BRITAIN here, and read the poem on his website here.

So I got to thinking… I’m a poet, so why don’t I give my view – an alternative view – on the Scottish independence discussion, and do it in the same form? Thus, under my poetry moniker, Chas Stramash, I wrote and recorded a poem in the same vein as Alan did. And here it is.

Remember, this is an issue that will affect not just us, but all our kids’ kids for decades to come. All I’m saying in this video is to ignore the hysterical smoke screens and think the whole thing through. Then vote.  The poem is called BROKEN NATION and you can read the text of the poem below the video.


If you cannot see this video, please click here.


Scotland’s fucked the nation’s broken
the people mad with English token
the votes were counted, the people have spoken
Wallace and Roy, their spirits awoken

We needed somebody to stand up and lead
to stop this country’s eternal nose bleed
to cut off the pipeline of Westminster’s greed
Alex Salmond – our saviour, marching onward – God-speed

The only solution from behind those eyebrows
to be independent and run our own house
self-determination is a right that he vows;
the right to lift taxes and flow of natural endows

Through his passion he dispels a vision romantic
Scotland without England, alone in the Atlantic
but his long term plan is hidden by an ego gigantic
a danger to us all: Salmond the sycophantic

Don’t get me wrong, I’m scottish one hundred percent
born near Paisley, I’m from nowhere near Kent
but if the union is broke then we should not vent
our anger through a vote; a referendum that’s bent

So what if Paxman gets up your nose
or English commentators curl your toes
splitting the nation won’t defeat your foes
in the end you’ll find it’ll only add to your woes

And what if in Grampian they start their own fight?
Salmond has always claimed it’s “every people’s right”
so they claim all the oil for a highland future bright
and leave us penniless, bankrupt overnight

Our ideas of being parochial and the eternal underdog
of being called a region not fit for a web travelogue
exist only in our mind; they’re our own monologue
we’re our own spokes, the oil, and the gears for our cogs

President Salmond would have you believe
in a future that’s rosy, he’s not out to deceive
but is there another way for us to achieve
a better future for all without being naive

We’re at the mercy of one man driving it all
imposing his dream on us even if we free-fall
sure we have problems: homelessness and alcohol
independence won’t fix that; it’s not the be all and end all

Egotism and self-indulgent praise
won’t lead you to the land of honey and hollandaise
and President Salmon with his passion ablaze
might he not guide us to ruin through anti-English cliches

Divided we fall, united we stand
in Britain we should be proud of the diversity at hand
in the countryside, the hills, and the cities grand
under one flag, Scotland, the UK, all our homeland

Copyright © Chas Stramash/Colin Galbraith 2012

About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
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4 Responses to Broken Nation – A Poem in Response to the Debate on Scottish Independence

  1. Brenda says:

    That was wonderful and well-said. Sometimes a leader can whip the masses into such a fury, they cannot think for themselves or listen to reason. We see it here in the US as well.

    I love, love, love your accent.

  2. Wonderful poem, Colin! And so well said! Brenda is so correct saying we have this in the US. I worry about what’s going on over here and what’s going to happen. We all have a tendency to not learn from history’s mistakes.

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