God Save the Queen
Welcome to The Rose and the Thistle, a British traditionalist's blog run by yours truly. What do I mean by "traditionalist?" Well, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, traditionalism is "adherence to the doctrines or practices of a tradition" or "the beliefs of those opposed to modernism, liberalism, or radicalism." In a political context, "traditionalist" is often seen as synonymous with "conservative;" traditionalist conservatism is a particular brand of conservatism associated with a wholesale rejection of modernity, as opposed to the more pragmatic, progressive and fiscally focused conservatism of the mainstream- what my be called "Neoconservatism" in an American context. In this particular case, I chose the label "traditionalist" precisely to distance myself with the British Conservative Party and mainstream conservatism here in the UK. I believe in tradition, but neither I nor this blog endorse any particular political party, and what I have to say would likely find no kinder reception among the Conservatives than Labour or the Liberal Democrats.

This is a blog written with a focus on- though by no means restricted to- Scottish politics and culture, written by some who was born in England and has never lived in Scotland. My sole claim to Scottishness is that I am half Scottish, but I have always loved Scotland and thought of it as being as much my homeland as England. 2014 was the year of the referendum on Scotland's secession from the United Kingdom, and I was dismayed at the thought of having the homeland I loved torn asunder, like a child fearing the imminent divorce of their parents. What I found most devastating was that so many nationalists advanced the view that one could not truly be a patriotic Scotsman and vote against independence at the same time, as if mere political independence was all that made a nation. And so I launched this blog, as a celebration of both Scottish and British patriotism, to defend those institutions I see as definitive of our identity as a people. Chief among all of these is the Monarchy. It was the Scottish House of Stuart who unified England and Scotland under one Sovereign, just as their ancestor, the legendary King Kenneth MacAlpin, founded the ancient kingdom now called Scotland by unifying the Gaelic Scots and the Picts into one nation over 1,100 years ago, around a century before the Kingdom of England was founded as a unified state.

This blog is therefore a defence of traditionalism, unionism, and monarchism. Anyone who favours the dissolution of the United Kingdom, to be replaced by four independent nations or a single republic, will not find themselves welcome here unless they are prepared to open their mind and change their views. I am what might be called a Romantic nationalist, but I am not a petty xenophobe, and to me the true determiner of British identity is not ethnicity but loyalty to the Crown. I am not, as I have said, a conservative; I am a traditionalist who is prepared to advocate change, sometimes radical, in our society in order to protect and preserve those institutions that are truly important. I hope you will all enjoy reading my posts, and encourage polite commentary, criticism and debate. Above all, I hope to inspire my readers to think. If any person, anywhere on Earth, reads my blog and goes away calling themselves a traditionalist as a result, I will have won and all will have been worthwhile.

Yours faithfully,
The King's Man

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