1. General Norman Arthur Better Together Campaigner for the Military
a. Norman’s family are extremely well connected in the South East of Scotland and enjoy a long and distinguished tradition of military service. He was destined, from birth to take up a position with a Scottish cavalry regiment and after boarding School at Eton he went on to attend Sandhurst Military Academy, from where he was first commissioned into the Royal Scots Greys. Members of his family also served with The Royal Company of Archers, a Scottish ceremonial unit that serves as the Sovereign’s Bodyguard in Scotland, a role it has performed since 1822 and the reign of King George IV, when the company provided a personal bodyguard to the King on his visit to Scotland. He had a long and distinguished military career and achieved the high military rank and other prestigious appointments expected of him.
b. He writes beautifully and possesses a wide and persuasive vocabulary. He is, as is the case with elderly gentlemen of means a bit of a romantic who sees the UK through the perspective of his privileged and sheltered upbringing in England. If he were ever wounded he would bleed, “red white and blue”. It follows therefore that he is entirely blinkered when, if ever, the subject of Scottish Independence is raised in his presence.
2. An extract from a letter he circulated to persons of influence seeking financial support for the, “Better Together” campaign
a. We need instead to debate the real prospect of fundamental and permanent change to the constitution of a great and ancient kingdom. The decision we come to may be the most important of our lives together. My thoughts focus on the history and greatness of the United Kingdom, and on its standing among the nations. Britain s strength comes from the contributions of all four of our own family of nations, so that the UK s gifts to world civilization are totally and indivisibly shared among us. This Union, which is Britain, is as old and true a parliamentary democracy as any in the world, perhaps the oldest. It is the prime example of a union of democracies, so closely woven that it may be called a family. How can we even consider splitting so great and long matured a state? What is the worth of divisive nationalism beside it? Our British voice is heard throughout the world, whether speaking from the heart of the 53 nations of the Commonwealth, as a trusted and reliable member of Nato and the western nuclear powers or just as a veteran nation with a rich, varied and stable 300 year history. Consider what Britain has given to the world in those years, in engineering, science, farming, the arts and music, medicine, literature, and, yes, in the practice of the Christian faith. We are both diverse and united, with Scotland giving much and receiving much.
b. There you are. There is absolutely no point in trying to persuade Norman to a different view. At the same juncture his perceptions are so right wing his opinions and/or pleas for a continued support of the Act of Union should be ignored.
3. COMMENT: Don’t throw away a shared history to be proud of in independence referendum