The bottom line, then, is that we do not fit this definition of an indigenous people — and for good reason; it was not written with us in mind. Scotland is a developed European nation, and Scots are the dominant ethnic or people group in Scotland. In the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples the UN uses ‘indigenous people’ to mean a people or ethnic group subject to colonisation or settler-colonisation in a situation in which they are dominated by the coloniser group in their own territory.
This deeply racist use of the term – no reflection on the Anglo-Saxons themselves of course – has continued on in British politics, and not merely in the street politics of the far-right. The relationship between the term Anglo-Saxon and the idea of white English-British racial superiority has sunk deep into the fabric of the Westminster political establishment, and this is particularly the case when it comes to the Conservative Party – David Davis’ party.
As a tactic, then, the imposition of such a definition amounts to the construction of a straw man argument. Regardless of this, it is employed by unionists in the debate because it is a useful propagandistic tool.
Melanie Phillips has given us another candid glimpse behind the veil of unionism – of Britishness, of her Englishness. All too often we are presented with the soft – “Fluffy” – face of duplicitous unionism; with its talk of partnerships, equality, and mutual benefit.
Britain’s empire was always thus, but now the battlegrounds are within England and the imperial mindset has infected the “lower orders;” the former cannon fodder, the worker ants.
Few would argue that peace is an undesirable outcome of international intervention in any regional or national conflict, but there are many differing constructions or models of peace, and one must ask whether that created or imposed by the UN is the best of all possible peaces.
The most significant, popularly held assumption of Traveller origins is that voiced in the 1952 Folklore Commission of Ireland which concluded on thin evidence that today’s Pavees “are descended from Irish peasants forced onto the roads, most significantly as a result of the Great Famine of the 1840s.”