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Scotland (Alba in Gaelic) is an ancient European nation state founded in the early 7th cent, located in the northern half of the British Isles to the north of England. It has been Europe's oldest independent nation states for over a thousand years; its proximity to, and economic and political links with, its southern neighbour England has shaped much of its history. Scotland also has a long history of association with France. This association was brought to an end during the Great European War in 1936, when Scotland sided against France for the first time in centuries. In modern terms Scotland is a socially progressive society with an economic bases that has improved markedly through innovation and advances in technology. Scotland also has the oldest state flag still in use, the Saltire of St Andrew.
- Scotlands national flag
According to legend, in 832 A.D. King Óengus (II) (or King Angus) led the Picts and Scots in battle against the Angles under a king named Athelstan near modern-day Athelstaneford in East Lothian. King Angus and his men were surrounded and he prayed for deliverance. During the night Saint Andrew, who was martyred on a saltire cross, appeared to Angus and assured him of victory. On the following morning a white saltire against the background of a blue sky appeared to both sides. The Picts and Scots were heartened by this, but the Angles lost confidence and were defeated. This saltire design has been the Scottish flag ever since.
Scotland is a major player in diplomatic affairs, often being cited to overcome disputes between its neighbours across Europe, notably between England and France.
As a military power, techonology has allowed Scotland to assist those nations that it views as sharing its social & democratic values notably the Aotearoa Empire and Free Canada. It has sought to reduce its reliance on nuclear power and has sought to enhance the use of hydro and other alternative power sources. Though this has placed the present government under intense scrutiny from private business and energy companies involved in oil exploration, as Scotland's continental shelf has 80% of Europe's oil reserves
The historic sovereign state of Scotland traces its roots to the unification of the ancient Irish state of Dál Riata (also Dalriada or Dalriata) and the powerful druidic pictish state of Alba, formally unified in 843 by Áed I.
Its ancient and impressive royal city of Dunadd lies to the west with the administrative government capital now residing in the An t-Oban (Oban) the burgeoning metropolises of north West Europe, which has direct sea inks to the nations of the Americas, and Baltic’s
Other notable towns include the four historical university cities of Glaschu (Glasgow, 483AD), Dùn Èideann (Edinburgh, 600AD), Obar Dheathain (Aberdeen, 765AD)) and Dùn Dèagh (Dundee, 1065AD) which continue to lead the way in scientific and philosphical research. Additionaly, the island of Ì Chaluim Cille (Iona) is the spiritual home of Celtic Christianity and home to the Abbot of Ì Chaluim Cille (Iona) spiritual leader of the the Celtic Rite. The Celtic Church considers the Pope as head of the Church, though it is considerably more liberal than the Roman Church. The present Abbot is Mugron II .
The monarchs of Scotland have tradtitionally not been the sovereign, as sovereignty lies with the people.
In religion the crown became Roman Catholic after the marriage of Malcom Can Mor to Margaret of England. Nevertheless, the Monarch has sought to support were possible the traditional Celtic Rite which has agreements with the Roman Church. This proces eventaully saw the monarchy formally re-enter the Celtic Rite in 1789 with permission of the Pope.
The present Monarch is James XII (Seamus XII)
The Royal Standard of the King or Queen (though not spouses of Monarchs) of Scots, also known as the Royal Flag of Scotland or the Lion Rampant, is the flag used historically by the King of Scots. It remains the personal banner of the monarch and use of this flag is restricted under the Act of the Parliament of Scotland 1672
Scotland is one of the earliest examples of a European constitutional monarchy, with the monarch currently being James XII of Scots. The elected proportional Parliament, is headed by a Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and has a bicameral chamber with a Seanadh (upper chamber) and the Dàimh (lower chamber) where most direct power lies. The Crown and Parliament historically quarrelled for control and squabbled over their powers; the Statute of Perth finally concluded this argument in 1403 and laid down the founding powers of each, though earlier attempts notably in 1320 at Arbroath laid the principle foundations of the present constitutional set up. These formal pacts between the three states and the Crown ensured some form of early European representative government. Only Parliament may raise revenue (including taxes) or declare war, the King though Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and defender of the faith (Celtic Rite) has little if no executive authority; in line with Scottish political history this lies solely with the people. The present Taoiseach is Alex Salmond, of the Scottish Peoples Party.
The Taoiseach is supported in their position by the priviy council (cabinet) which is appointed by the Taoiseach from governement members
The Celtic Church having seen off the expansion of the Roman rite at the Council of Dunkeld in 1020, agreed to a mutual recognition treaty. The Celtic Church though recognising the Pope as head of the church nevertheless retains independence in liturgey and theology. The Celtic Rite Church sends 1 representative to the conclave for the election of a Pope usually the Abbot of Iona (exluding female Abbots who send a male representative), no Abbot has ever been elected Pope.
Scotland (Alba) recognises the role of the church as being the national church whilst upholding religious freedom. The Celtic Church is liberal in theology, with differing orders from the Roman rite. Notably, the church has no Bishops but Abbots or Lord Abbots equal to an Archbishop. These Abbots can be either male or female, though the majority of the clergy can marry senior clerics such as Abbots must be celibate or widowed.
Though once a major power in the country, the Church no longer has a presence in the upper chamber and has lost the majority of its lands after the Statute of Perth under presure from the main European reformation.
The Church has provinces not only in Scotland but also in Northumbria (Britain), Armargh (Kingdom of Ireland & Manx), Wales (Britain), Canada, USA and Mexico.
Scotland has large a Jewish population who were driven from England and other Catholic nations in the 1200's, it also has smaller Muslim and traditional druidic communities in the north (the druidic peoples have special protection in law).
The political structure of Scotland is that of a consititutional monarchy with power residing in the sovereign parliament elected under a proportional system. Traditionally soveregnity has resided with the people which was formalised under the Statute of Perth. Both upper and lower chambers are elected to a four year term.
The present parliamentary split is
Independent - 25
Peoples Party (Social Democrat)- 15
Liberal (Centre Right) - 10
Farmers (Centre / Liberal) - 5
Peoples Party - 40
Liberal - 39
Farmers - 16
With a proportional system the government includes a coalition of the Peoples & Farmers Parties which has been in control of the present parliament since 1993.
Bill of Rights (Declaration of Arbroath) (Updated)
Constitution - Separation of Powers and Disestablishment of the Celtic Church (Statute of Perth) (Updated)
Since the European war of the 1930's Scotland has concentrated its international efforts in alliances away from its traditional European partner France, concentrating on the USA and Free Canada both of which have strong links historically to Scotland. Scotland nevertheless, has a strong though sometimes difficult relationship with its neighbour England (England & Wales) which is as an absolute monarchy leading to difficulties over human rights, notably in Wales and Cornwall. Scotland has been seen to interfere in internal English politics by supporting greater cultural freedoms within the prinicipalities of Cornwall & Wales celtic speaking nations.
Though essential a non-imperialist power Scotland in the 1720's did venture to colonise Aotearoa (New Zealand). After a disastrous expedition the colonists ventured to live amongst the Māori population. Subsequently, the Scottish population has been become a integral party of Aotearoa society, allowing strong links to exist with Scotland to this day. Scotland and Aotearoa signed a military pact in 1835 to defend Aotearoa's pacific empire from the expansion of the English and Japanese Empires.
Scotland, Britain & the Kingdom of Ireland & Manx agreed a mutual protection pact after the last European war, though militarily based it has brought about substantial economic benefits as well as combating organised crime.
Scotland also maintains close military & economic links with Russia, Japan, Mexico and the Zulu Republic.
The Scottish Armed Forces
Scotland has had a proud and noble military history, full of tales of heroism and bravery and stunning victory whilst also filled with defeat and glorius failures. The current military is a highly effecient, multi-purpose force with strong co-operation between the RSN (Royal Scots Navy), the Scottish Army and the RSAF (Royal Scots Air Force). These three branches come together under the umbrella term of the Scottish Defence Force (SDF for short) which was created by the Strategic Defence of the Realm Act 1993 (SDRA). The purposes of the SDRA were to do the following;
- Create a modern, well-equipped, multi-purpose, rapidly-deployable force which could be used for a variety of missions from defending the Scottish mainland and her off shore resources, that could be used as a Expenditionary Force on high intesity military operations or in peace time mission such as peace keepers and aiding nations local and abroad at times of natural disaster.
- Modern and Well-Equipped; The SDF is to be equipped by findings of a Strategic Defence Review every 6 years, which will take note of on going foreign conflicts, military advances and missions in which Scottish Forces themselves have participated. With the aim being to learn form mistakes where any have occurred and to be ready for any eventualities which may require Scottish attention.
- Multi-purpose; The Scottish Army, Navy and Air Force are to be ready for all eventualities, from high intensity combat operations against nation states, to aysemetrical combat operations, to peacekeeping and international assistance missions, both independently and as part of a multi-national coalition.
- Rapid-Deployment Capability; The old and out dated Scottish Armed Forces High Command will be replaced by a more integrated and co-operative grouping known as the Scottish Defence Force . This SDF will be under the command of the Crown, represented by the Prime Minister or the Minister of Defence in an operational capacity who will be under the direction and advice of the Scottish Joint-Forces High Command, or Scottish High Command (SHC) for short. This will be composed of the Crown's representative (head of government) along with the Chief-of-the-Defence Staff, along with heads of each force, the Lord Admiral of the Navy, the General of the Army and the Marshall of the Air Force. This organisation will oversee command of the Defence Forces through co-ordination of men, equipment and the mission of the forces on operational and non-operational duty. All equipment used by the forces will be available for use by the other forces. The forces will rely on each other in operational situations and will together form the basis of the Force's Rapid Deployment Division (RDD) in times of war and other operational needs. This force will consist of units of the Army, Navy and Air force and will be made up of a certain number of units from each force depending on where the operation is occuring, the needs of the mission and the involvement of allied nations in a multi-national force.
As of 2009 the Armed forces where organised in the following manner;
The Royal Army of Scotland;
Total number of serving soldiers (both standing and reserve, officer and NCO); 110,000 (85,000 front line combat officers)
Number of Armoured Vehicles; MBTs - 62 (12 for training)
Light/Recon. Combat Vehicles - 100
APC - 120
Number of Vehicles - Land Rovers - 200
Other Vehic. - 350 (inc Ambulances and special mission vehicles)
Number of Infantry Regiments - 5
Number of Heavy Infantry Regiments - 1
Number of Armoured/Cavalry Units - 3
Number of Logistical Units - 8
Number of Special Forces Units - 2
SMCs (Scottish Marine Commandos, jointly with the Navy)
PR (Parrachutist Regiment)
Royal Scottish Navy;
Command and Air Support Vessel (CASV) - RSS Alexander III (carries helicopters, can be adapted for 6 RSAF VTOL aircraft)
Destroyers - 2 Castle Class (RSSs Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle)
Frigates/Corvettes - 5 Monarch Class Frigates
8 Warrior Class Corvettes
Logistical Vessels - 2 Refuel Tankers
3 Supply Vessels
1 Hospital Vessel
Troop/Landing Ships (TLS) - 2 River class - RSS Tay, RSS Tweed
Officers/NCOs - 25,000
Combat Aircraft; 40 Multi-purpose Harrier VSTOL aircraft (12 Naval capability)
Transport; 1 Government Transport/ Royal Flight
4 Hercules Transports
Logistical; 3 DC10 Tankers
Heliopters (Joint Force) - 10 Combat 20 Transport 5 Search and Rescue
Officers/NCOs - 10,000