Independence: a Slovak’s view


The white paper might be a help to us when it comes to making the big decision, but it is always good to hear from others outside, especially if they have had some real experience of what independence has meant for them.

I met Jan at a garden party following the wedding service of a special friend in Žilina a northern city in Slovakia.  His English was impeccable but he was keen to improve and he wanted to do that by learning some Scottish idioms in dialect. As usual my mind went blank and all I could come up with was “yerawrit big min” from Glasgow, “Fit Like?Foo ur ye aye daein’?”  from Aberdeen and the legendary  “Twa pehs an’an’inyin’in’an’a.” from Dundee. He practised these and went around the party muttering them under his breath while everyone else gave him a wide berth.  We corresponded by email afterwards and had some interesting discussions on politics, language and nuclear power (he and his wife were both nuclear scientist). On one occasion I asked him about the independence issue. In light of the Czech  Slovak  experience, did he think it would be a good thing for us in Scotland?  His answer came back, simple and straight to the point  “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye!” . So now I know.

Crawford Mackenzie

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