If I Ruled Scotland!

If I Ruled Scotland!

May 28, 2017 Blog 0 Comments
It’s hard to steal the show when President Barack Obama, rock goddess Annie Lennox and comedy giant Kevin Bridges are on the same bill but that’s what 13-year-old Mila Stricevic did at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday evening.
The former President was making his first visit to Scotland — though having now received his official Obama tartan he will surely ‘haste ye back’ — at the invitation of leading Scottish businessman and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter.
Funds raised on the evening were split between the Obama Foundation, poised to build a new library in Chicago’s south side focusing on engaging citizery, and The Hunter Foundation with its mission of eradicating poverty.
With First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell MSP
With First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell MSP

I was a guest of Scottish entrepreneur Marie Macklin, a strong supporter of Belfast, who was also hosting Scotland’s Finance Minister Derek McKay and the country’s Minister for Brexit negotiations (who represents most of the Gaelic-speaking islands) Mike Russell. The pair are staunch supporters the peace process and of ongoing efforts to build an inclusive and progressive Executive in the North.

But the night belonged to Mila who delivered this poem, which won a national schools’ competition for a poem entitled ‘If I Ruled Scotland’, with an assurance and confidence well beyond her years.
(Mike Russell is also quite the authority on Scots and on the bold Robbie Burns. He was able to tell me that the reference in Mila’s poem to “Jock Tamson’s bairns” is just another way of saying, “we are all Scots”.)
See you on the campaign trail.

If I Ruled Scotland 

If I ruled Scotland here is what I’d do

I’d make everything equal for me and you

I’d educate Scotland on hope and peace

And make the minorities feel at ease

If I ruled Scotland here’s a law I would pass

When the sun shone no kids were in class

Instead we’d play rounders or read in the shade

(after all it’s unlikely to last more than one day!) 

If I ruled Scotland here’s what I’d do

I’d keep the night safe from crime and misuse

I’d treat prisoners like humans – guide them back to a life

Filled with prosper and respect, doesn’t that sound nice? 

If I ruled Scotland here’s some stuff I would ban,

Like mars bars deep fried or those pies in a can

But don’t fret even though it has a strange hue,

I would never get rid of our loved Irn Bru! 

If I ruled Scotland here’s what I’d do

I’d save all the dying accents so people knew

That in Scotland there is more than one type of man

We celebrate our differences as best as we can 

If I ruled Scotland here’s what I would teach 

That football’s no place for hate to be preached

That supporting a team shouldn’t dictate

Which people we like and which people we hate

If I ruled Scotland I’d invest in our schools

To ensure rich or poor our kids all had the tools

To pursue their own dream regardless of class

And Scotland a nation where no one comes last 

If I ruled Scotland here’s something I’d try

We’d fund our NHS to keep it alive

Then when people get sick no matter how deep their pockets

We’d always have medicine on hand to stop it 

If I ruled Scotland I wouldn’t allow 

Any racism nonsense to interfere with my vow

That no matter the colour or tone of your skin,

We’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns and that means we’re all kin

About the Author

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is the outgoing Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast and a civic activist in Belfast.