By Robele Ababya, 27/09/2014
I am not in the mindset of making comparison between two countries at the opposite poles on the poverty spectrum in terms of economy, social justice, and democracy. But in short Scotland is in the category of highly industrialized regions in Europe and the Scots enjoyed basic freedom of speech for centuries; whereas undemocratic Ethiopia under the TPLF tyrannical rule is one of the poorest countries in the world – just above Niger that is at the bottom rung of the poverty ladder.
Destitute Ethiopia is enslaved in the abyss of “unprecedented global crisis” – in terms of the nowadays popularly used in the media to describe the current political turmoil in the world in which neo-colonialists and their associated corrupt supper rich constitute a complex set of strange bedfellows that change alliances frequently. Political leaders of the industrialized democracies, blinded by lust for power and blatant greed, have lost their moral compass in our global village; wars and the scramble for natural resources are forcing unparalleled number of human beings to flee their homelands or villages either as refugees or victims of evictions in the name of development. Thus, nn the present circumstances in the face of widespread social unrest, revolution on a global scale is very likely. God forbid the prospect of a 3rd world war.
Snapshot on history of Union of England and Scotland
Scotland has been part and parcel of the British Empire, so big in its era of glory in which “the sun never sets”. Its rulers including Scots used the abominable divide and rule policy along ethnic and religious lines in order to maintain stability in their colonies – leaving a trail of ticking time-bombs that these colonies had to inherit as they became politically ‘independent’ but economically subservient.
The sun does set and rise in the UK of today that is militarily powerful, economically prosperous, and democratically exemplary with unfettered freedom of expression. In Scotland and the rest of the UK it is unthinkable to hold political prisoners or prisoners of conscience. But it is deeply hurting and disappointing that The UK is providing direct financial support to the regime in Ethiopia where gross human rights violations are the norm, political prisoners are in their hundreds, and all pillars of democracy are completely controlled by the EPRDF party.
Genesis of the United Kingdom (UK)
Quote The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland (previously separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch) into a single, united kingdom named “Great Britain”
The Acts took effect on 1 May 1707. On this date, the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster in London, the home of the English Parliament. Hence, the Acts are referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. On the Union, the historian Simon Schama said “What began as a hostile merger, would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world … it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history.” Unquote
The above paragraphs are presented for the readers to scrutinize and establish the uniqueness of the genesis of the UK 307 years ago that is entirely different from that of Ethiopia.
Intellectual giants and renowned universities of Scotland
The accomplishment and the impact of their outstanding works on civilization are I am sure quite familiar to graduates of American universities in science, economics or engineering:-
- James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematical physicist; In the millennium poll—a survey of the 100 most prominent physicists—Maxwell was voted the third greatest physicist of all time, behind only Newton and Einstein.
- Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was an eminent Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.[N 3]
Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876. Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. Many other inventions marked Bell’s later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. In 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.”
- Adam Smith (16 June 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus [great work] and the first modern work of economics. Smith is cited as the “father of modern economics” and is still among the most influential thinkers in the field of economics today. Souce:Google.
Unfortunately for the same periods stated above, Ethiopia did not even have institutions of higher in science and technology.
A list of ten top universities in Scotland is given below:-
University of Edinburgh (Founding date 1583, ranked 17th in the world)
University of Glasgow (Founding date 1451, ranked 51st in the world)
University of St Andrews (Founding date 1410, ranked 83rd in the world)
University of Aberdeen (Founding date 1495, ranked 51st in the world)
University of Dundee (Founding date?, ranked 219th in the world)
University of Strathclyde (Founding date 1796, 257th in the world)
Heriot-Watt University (Founding date 1821, ranked 369th in the world
University of Stirling (Founding date 1967, ranked 501- 550) in the world)
Robert Gordon University (Founding date 18th century, university status in 1992, ranked 701 in the word)
Note:- According to International Journal of Scientometrics, infometrics and bibliometrics, total number of universities in the world are counted to 17036. The information can be found on their website
The Scottish Referendum of 18/09/2014
Mr. Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the UK, listed seven “real risks” of independence that he said had been unaddressed by the Scottish Nationa Party (SNP):
- The uncertainty over what currency Scotland would use.
- The default from debt “threatened” by the SNP after Salmond suggested that an independent Scotland would decline to assume its share of the UK’s debt if Westminster rejects a currency union.
- The need to build up £30bn in reserves if Scotland resorts to “sterlingisation” – using the pound outside a formal currency union.
- Prices rising in the shops.
- Increases in interest and mortgage rates.
- A million jobs linked to Scotland’s membership of the UK.
- A financial shortfall that not even oil revenues can make up for. He said: “A massive financial hole that means the risk to the NHS does not come from us, it comes from the policies of the SNP.”
In his passionately powerful appeals to the voters Mr. Brown was able to show that the cost of separation is far more expensive than the cost of remaining united. The voters listened; the vote was a convincing result of 55% to 45% in favor of retaining the 307 years old Union!
I was listening to the BBC on the eve of the Scottish Referendum that I would like to share with readers. Two friends at a crowded pub in Glascow were expressing their optimism that their side was going to win. But both vowed that their friendship would come first no matter what the outcome of the votes may be. The pub was packed with enthusiasts 400 of which were supporters of “Independence” against only 66 in favor of Unity. I was pleasantly impressed with the maturity of democrats in the pub. The quasi-flawless vote resulted convincingly in favor of preserving the UK intact buts pledging to address other issue raised by SNP.
My plea to proponents of secession
Ethiopia is an ancient country that had a system of laws while Europeans were still barbarians. The gallant Oromo people have been and still are part and parcel of Ethiopian civilization for time immemorial. As a majority it is foolhardy and practically untenable for some OLFites to think of secession; on the contrary they should collaborate with the Amhara and the rest of the ethnic groups in favor of unity in order to expedite independence from the TPLF occupation.
Let the Scottish Referendum serve as an example in the noble undertaking of getting out of the trap of the obsolete “Nations and Nationalities” policy. The Ethiopian people have suffered for decades in waiting for the supreme rule of law in their country. Let us settle for the motto: “One country, Ethiopia, one person one vote!
All political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia including:- Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Andargachew Tsige, Abraha Desta, Bekele Gerba, Reeyot Alemu, Leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims, the 9 bloggers and 3 Journalists, et al should be released immediately and unconditionally!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!