History mattersBy Asian Correspondent Oct 13, 2013 2:47PM UTC
This week I took on a completely new challenge. On Tuesday I gave a paper on the history of the Scottish Home Rule movement to members of the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) London branch.One of the exciting things (even though I say it myself) about my research is its topicality. I take what is known as a ‘four nations’ approach to the history of United Kingdom, and look at reactions to proposals for Irish self-government in each constituent part of the whole. Pending the results of next September’s referendum, the United Kingdom could cease to exist in the form we know it. Had William Gladstone’s attempt in 1886 to restore Ireland’s defunct parliament proved successful, the United Kingdom’s constitutional make-up would have been fundamentally reconfigured.My work also pays considerable attention to the emergence of parallel ‘Home Rule’ movements – one of the most important being that fronted by the Scottish Home Rule Association (SHRA).