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MR: Stone of Scone

Poster: Bryn Watkins <bryn@tibinc.com>

>Poster: edh@ascc01.ascc.lucent.com (Alfredo el Bufon)
>By chance, I just happened to hear Paul Harvey (the
>conservative syndicated radio columnist) say that
>the Stone of Scone has been returned!
>Why isn't it _all_over_ the news?
It _IS_ all over the news.  Read the Times of London.  I'm sure it's front
page there, but I haven't taken a look today.  It was all over the news 6
months ago when last I was in Scotland.  
>Why did it take seven centuries?
It's a heavy stone.
>Why now, after seven centuries?
>(Why not in 1601, when England came under the Scots crown?)
>Could this be a prelude to independence?
Many people think it is.  Perhaps I should say many people in Scotland hope
it is, and some people in England fear it is.  It's a complicated issue,
tied up with that person who kept writing successively meaner and nastier
letters to higher and higher ranked people in the English government, being
more and more threatening (he's a Scot, though I can't think of his name),
and the people who want to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece, and the
Rosetta Stone to <blank (egypt?? It was in the egypt exhibit in the B.M.)>,
and so on.  In fact, I have a t-shirt that shows two people reading the
signs to: Assyria, Egypt, Greece, China, etc., and one of them is thinking
"I wonder why they call it the _British_ Museum?"  An English Heritage guide
at Stonehenge told me that he thought it a very timely t-shirt, very
suitable for the current mood.  He was referring to the Stone of Scone,
which isn't even (or wasn't) IN the B.M.

Anyway, yes, many people think it's a prelude to independance.  There has
been a movement afoot in Scotland since goodness only knows when, but it got
very active when the cease-fire in Northern Ireland held for more than a
month, a year or so ago. Lots of people fear a process similar to
Balkanization, and lots more fear the loss of all of that oil in the North
Sea.  But I think N. Ireland will have to resolve its conflict first, then
Scotland.  Maybe.  What after that, Wales?  Cornwall?  The Isle of Wight?
Will Brittany become independant from France?  

As a geographer mundanely and a historian avocatively (is that a word?) I
realise that the world is constantly fracturing and remaking its countries,
Ask me an easier question next time :)
Bryn Watkins                            
Tiburon, Inc. 
3333 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. E100       919-490-0034
Durham, NC 27707                         http://www.unc.edu/~watkins/
Be kind to dragons, for you are crunchy and go well with ketchup!

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