Over on his own Blog the peerless Mr BangorDub draws attention to the Orange Orders demand that “Ulster Scots” have a vote in any Referendum on Scottish Independence.
Aside from the nightmare of actually working out who is real Ulster Scot…..perhaps a certificate of authenticity signed by Nelson McCausland himself……I am not really sure that the Orange Order has thought this one thru.
Does the extended franchise extend to nationalists with Scottish names? Or exclude unionists with Irish names? After all we are all a pretty mixed bunch.
Does the franchise include the descendants of those Ulster Scots…….who stayed a generation in “Ulster” before taking themselves off to New York and Pennsylvania to wage war on the British Government and form the United States of America? Does this mean that John McCain gets a vote? Or if still alive…does Elvis Presley get a vote?
And why not descendents of the wider Scottish diaspora……..like the Jacobite prisoners herded into boats in Liverpool, Whitehaven and Scottish ports to be slaves in the Virginias and Carolinas? Its unlikely that their descendants would have any axe to grind. And what about all that unpleasantness around the Highland Clearances? Who could possibly hold a grudge after a couple of centuries?
Yet extending the franchise seems ill thought out. If we ever get round to a Border Poll…..a referendum on Norn Iron and a United Ireland……then presumably the Orange Order would want the franchise extended to those residents of the Republic of Ireland witha “north of Ireland” heritage. It seems pretty logical.