The Scots are a great part of the UK and I want them to continue with us

imagePhoto right: The “Squinty bridge” (aka the Clyde Arc) in Glasgow taken by me last week.

By “Scots” in the title, I mean Scotland, and therefore the people who live there, specifically.

Previously, I have avoided expressing a view on the Scotland independence debate, despite being asked for one. Let those in Scotland decide, unimpeded by me, a Sassenach – I reasoned.

Some of this was motivated by guilt. Believe it or not, some of us in England feel some historic guilt about the Highland clearances, the Battle of Culloden, the suppression of Scottishness in the late 1700s etc.

Part of it was knowing that if I expressed a view on the debate, it would just, in a small way, reinforce the stereotype of the domineering Englishman.

Encouraged by my week in the wonderful city of Glasgow and by the words of Nick Clegg, I have now decided to come out and say this. I am very proud of being in the same union as the Scots and Scotland. I want Scotland to continue in the union because of the immense breadth and depth of spirit and comraderie which the Scots bring to it.

My view is moved by emotion, rather than anything else. We’ve fought in two world wars together. Yes, there should be further moves towards Home Rule for Scotland. But, in the words of Al Green, Let’s stay together.

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3 thoughts on “The Scots are a great part of the UK and I want them to continue with us

  1. Hi Paul

    Just wanted to respond that the need many of us see for people in Scotland to be able to decide our own affairs isn’t based on history or historical grievances but on the present and future. Where there are grievances about suppression of culture it’s much more recent as well – my grandfather’s generation were caned for speaking Gaelic and our history and literature was never taught in schools in my day. But that’s really not what the vote is about – the past’s the past, we move on.

    It will not mean losing the strong ties, friendships and bonds with people in England. I’m half English, and many in the Yes campaign (and indeed SNP) are English. But Scotland is where they live and work; it’s their country. It just makes sense we have control over decisions made for us, rather than London.

    You say “there should be further moves towards home rule” but what does that mean? Westminster was debating (and talking out) home rule for Scotland before the first world war! Demands for it go way back into the 19th century. It simply isn’t going to happen with power structures as they are, and many of us are well past the stage accepting it’s OK to let Westminster decide what we can and can’t have control over.

    I really wish we could be having a decent UK-wide debate about this, as it does affect all of us, and we could be building something better together. Had home rule and a more federal structure been put in place decades ago via that kind of debate, I believe we could be living in an entirely different British Isles now. But what we have isn’t working for Scotland and isn’t right for the 21st century.

    My hope for the future is that a different, more federated British isles may well be able to emerge now, but it can ONLY happen with a yes vote that places sovereignty for Scotland back with Scotland. It would give us a healthier, more equal, and hopefully mature relationship.

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