‘PLEASE, DON’T GO’
British Ambassador Peter Westmacott appealed to Scots who might be considering voting for independence, as he addressed a gathering of Scottish-americans in Washington this week.
“Please, don’t go,” he said, noting that he is proud to be the diplomatic representative of English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
The governing Scottish National Party is planning a referendum on Scotland’s independence in 2014.
Mr. Westmacott spoke at the annual National Tartan Day reception, sponsored by the National Capital Tartan Day Committee to honor the House and Senate Scottish caucuses.
The House caucus co-chairmen — Reps. John J. Duncan Jr., Tennessee Republican, and Mike Mcintyre, North Carolina Democrat — also addressed the reception, along with Robin Naysmith, head of the British Embassy’s Scottish affairs office.
The most stirring Scottish words came from a House member who claims no Scottish blood. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, the fiery liberal Democrat from Ohio, is the son of a Croatian-american father and an Irish-american mother.
However, he recalled that his mother used to read him the 18thcentury poems of Robert Burns, widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet. She read them in the difficult Scots-english dialect, which Mr. Kucinich committed to memory.
He recited a few stanzas from Burns’ famous poem “To a Mouse,” which contains the off-quoted line: “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.” Mr. Kucinich said the poem also could be called “To a Partisan.”
“Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,” Mr. Kucinich said, referring to a crafty, cowering and timorous little mouse.
He went on to refer to the mouse’s haste to engage in “bickering brattle,” or, in standard English, “argumentative chatter.”