England, My England

There have been some plaintive pieces appearing in the Press recently from English people on the need to express themselves over the referendum and yet feeling excluded from doing so.

They have a point. I was trying to imagine what it would be like if was They who were discussing leaving Us and wondering how I would feel. My first thought was that I would regard it as their democratic right but almost immediately I had the more human response of disappointment and the question: Why am I being rejected?

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We can talk as much as we like about this not being a separation at all except in political terms…that there will be no border, no limits on trade and movement, shared currency (?!) etc…but when you’ve only ever known your country as one unit, faults and all, it seems a natural reaction to resist it being changed under your feet when you don’t even get a (direct) say.

Scots like me have never truly bought into the idea of a United Kingdom, seeing Scotland as an individual member of a Union which we can leave, but to most – I guess 90 per cent – of English people it is just Britain and always has been. It’s the price of the traditional conflation of England with Britain in their mind and a benign acceptance of a celtic fringe, so long as it remains generally on side.

To be truthful, it IS a rejection. That isn’t our impulse, it is not the origin of the Yes movement, but it would be naïve and insensitive not to acknowledge that an ordinary English voter would interpret a repudiation of the country they love as also a mark of disapproval for them.

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I don’t think any of this is helped by the overbearing posturing of our so-called equal partners in Union who have unilaterally decreed that everything belongs to them, unless it’s nailed down north of the border. That just creates the impression of a fringe area with few rights of their own upping stumps and leaving, rather than a partner dissolving a relationship.

Nevertheless, I think many of the letters and emails I see are genuine and well-meaning. They also don’t have a way out as we have through independence and are left contemplating a vote for Nigel Farage as a means of demonstrating.

I wonder if I should compile a simple list of Reasons for Independence designed for an English audience in an attempt to explain what I at least think is going on? They aren’t going to get logic from the politicos, are they? One of the reasons some English people are dismissive is that they firmly believe their tax pounds keep us afloat and not one Unionist MP has taken the trouble to tell the truth and deny that.

If you have some points I should include, post them in. I’ll compose a message of respect to go with the reasons England should relax about independence and think of ways of getting it out to a wider English audience. (We can also do jokes to make the point but I mean this to be a genuine statement, as in a kind of manifesto of independence for our English friends). Don’t laugh, but I may call it England, My England. And before you start, I’m not going soft. I have been touched by some of the messages from those who perhaps don’t understand too much about Scotland – as I don’t Cornwall for example – but who don’t want to think of Britain without us.

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78 thoughts on “England, My England

  1. Sorry Derek, this I cannot do, I got to the point where I got totally fed up explaining that Scottish Independence had nothing to do with the English People but about Westminster. I got fed up explaining that I had never been unemployed or ever been on benefits, that I still paid tax to the Westminster Government and the only reason I wanted Independence was that my Government would be the one which served me and mine and not of a flavour we really did not like. That it was more a case of Scotland wanted one thing and those whose votes counted in England wanted something else. All fell on stuffed ears, I would say deaf but that was not true.
    Good luck, I wish your campaign well, I just cannot join it.

  2. There is only one reason for Scottish independence. We have to get our self respect back. What kind of country goes begging to the folk next door? That’s what it looks like, and we have to bring that to an end.

    • Andrew Brown

      That’s it in a nutshell.

      • Dr JM Mackintosh

        No – that is not quite right.

        What country lets its assets be plundered by its neighbours and then goes begging to the folk next door?

        That is it in a nutshell.

  3. For me it’s about democracy. We are a country and always have been but the Treaty of Union was grossly undemocratic and has led to Scotland being ruled by political ideologies which most of us find abhorrent (neo liberalism, illegal wars, corruption in Whitehall and so on – the list is long).Time to do something about it and I believe many English people would agree. We have an opportunity to make a start. Let’s do it.

  4. Maybe not top of the list, but we don’t like being seen as some kind of experimental territory where if things go wrong, well it doesn’t really matter it’s not in England.
    Examples, Anthrax experiments on Gruinard Island, Dounreay nuclear experimentation, Dumfriessire uranium tipped missiles, and of course Faslane, Number 1 target only a few miles from Glasgow.
    I’m sure you will be inundate with others.

  5. Scottish independence is the best way of ensuring that there is still an England football team, and not a ‘Team GB’ (sic) in world football.

  6. I think plenty of English people on the liberal left completely understand the Scottish desire to leave the Union and rather wish they could do likewise. However there is a demographic found in both Scotland and England who don’t ‘get’ the democratic case for independence, I suspect (perhaps unkindly) that it is because they personally find themselves in comfortable circumstances and don’t look beyond that. What is so badly wrong that needs such a radical fix? – is their attitude.

    Whether Scots or English it is quite difficult to reach these people, and as a campaigner I have been obliged to try. Nearest I can get is to point out that what goes around comes around, and enjoying security in the UK now is no guarantee that your luck will continue. Everyone experiences misfortune at some time in their life, to themselves or to someone close, and all but the very wealthiest will need the social safety net at some time. I was a career high-flier, earning 30 years ago what would still be considered a high salary today. But I’m entering retirement after a long spell of unemployment and poor health, savings gone and my pension pot sorely depleted. I wasn’t as safe as I thought.

    Perhaps a good example of WM cuts hurting people who thought themselves beyond danger is the change to Legal Aid – look here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27238201
    http://www.itv.com/news/story/2014-04-13/nigel-evans-wants-cps-to-pay-130k-legal-bills/

    I also think that the welfare cuts being carried out by the Tories, to be continued by Labour if they take power, will make the country a dangerous place. There have already been riots in England, and each day of neocon rule creates more dry tinder waiting for a spark. So my main reason for independence: physical safety for me and mine.

  7. Perhaps an explanation that it’s more a rejection of the Westminster establishment than of our neighbours South of the border might help. Also pointing out that independence is a much more practical way to effectively deal with different issues faced in Scotland: it gives fisheries better representation in EU, we actually require an increase in immigration not a decrease, bedroom tax made literally no sense in Scotland as there weren’t enough single bedroom houses to house those affected by it, etc.

  8. Self respect, would you hand your wages to your neighbour every month and tell them to give you back what they think you need and to keep the rest. Self Respect.

  9. The reversal of the situation – imagine you were ruled from Edinburgh etc….

  10. I think we need to consider the two distinct English audiences – the ones living in England and the ones who have chosen to settle in (often retire to) Scotland on the understanding that that they had not migrated to a different country. I say ignore the first group – they are just going to have to live with it – but the second group does concern me, not only because they have votes in the referendum. Here in this Highland village, I have a great many English-born friends. Most of them, but not all, tell me they are voting Yes – and I mostly believe them. But we need to make sure that they get all the reassurances they are entitled to.
    For example, let’s make sure everyone understands that no-one will take their nationality from them. As the White Paper makes clear, no-one will be forced to take out a Scottish passport if they don’t want to; and everyone will be able to renew their British passport if that’s what they want. In fact, you can have both a Scottish and a UK passport if that turns you on – dual nationality is not a problem for either the UK or the Scottish Governments.
    So I’m with you on this one, Derek. As Noel Coward would say “Let’s not be beastly to the English”.

  11. Drew Campbell

    Hi Derek – What a thoughtful piece. We have good friends and close family in England who all appeared shocked when my wife, son and I became active in the Yes campaign. When we explained we are not Nationalists, or even SNP voters, they were even more baffled.

    There are so many, many reasons, we said but not a single one comes from any antipathy, much less hatred, of the English people or the English nation (…the possible exception being their football team around about the World Cup – much less this year, have you noticed?). Anyway, we sent them a brief trot through the main points and I’m pleased to say that, mostly, they understood. Here’s what we told them:

    1) Westminster in institutionally and probably irretrievably corrupt. MPs’ expenses are only the tip of the iceberg but for conciseness let’s highlight one little known fact that makes our blood boil and our skin crawl: The Remembrancer.

    This shadowy figure is a special officer of the City of London who has the power to refuse entry to that sacred mile – even to bar the way of the monarch. More to the point he – and it is always a he – is the only unelected person permitted to sit in the House of Commons (excluding clerks, etc. who are employed to service the chamber). He is stationed just behind the Speaker’s chair and is always on hand to drop the right word in the right ear of the right person at the right time. Remind them, perhaps, that pursuing that a particularly awkward question might upset the City, or maybe sidle up to a minister to whisper that political life is short, and sinecures on arms-length subsidiaries of certain players might be available if things are played their way.

    The majority of the public no nothing of this privileged figure, yet the post has existed for centuries.

    2) Since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, we’ve realised things don’t have to be run like an Eton Mess. All that pubic school rahing and booing diverts debate and demeans democracy. Our lot a faaaaar from perfect – ham-fisted, hare-lipped and hen-toed as my Gran would’ve said – but they’re ours and they’re just a wee bit frightened of us. Which is good.

    3) The UK voting system is undemocratic and unrepresentative, gerrymandered and bias towards established parties. Our MPs aren’t even required to give us, their constituents, an annual report of their activities and accounts, for Christ’s sake! I want to know how they’ve voted, where they’ve been, why they went – and who paid for it.

    4) The BBC is not an oracle of objectivity. But we’d like to hang on to Dr Who, please, at least long enough to see if Peter Capaldi’s any good.

    5) Party funding is also corrupt – never mind Labour and the unions, government parties of the past 35 years have been funded by multi-million & billionaires. You know, the ones who pay less tax than you do. Hold on… do you think there could be a connection?

    6) Having an independent Scotland per se will not solve any of this for you or us. It will, however, give us a fighting chance for profound reforms – a written constitution that affirms the sovereignty of the people, not the Crown bestowing this on Parliament. And rather than waiting over 100 years for any meaningful reform – like Robin Cook said, you’d be quicker Waiting for Godot – we will take this opportunity to increase elected representation in ratio, accountability and transparency. It won’t be perfect but it will be closer to us, in every sense of the word.

    Basically, we want liberation from the corrupt cabals that run this island. And if we succeed – and I feel in my bones we will – it will stir something so deep in you, dear friends, that you just might decide to declare independence too.

    Either way, you’ll always be welcome up here.

  12. Colin MacRaild.

    The vast majority of English people have the same problem with Westminster as we do, namely that it’s run like an old boys club, where the ruling body is enlisted from a very limited gene pool. These people, I’m referring to the Oxbridge crew, have led a totally privileged existence and are largely out of touch with the rest of Britain. This allows them to make decisions about how the country is run without counting the human cost. For me, Margaret Thatcher was a butcher but to them, one of the great Prime Ministers.
    We have the option of independence, they don’t.
    The many English people who have elected to make Scotland their permanent home, should consider whether the future is rosier in an independent Scotland or not. It shouldn’t be about the old country. Australians went through this a few years ago when they detached themselves from the strictures of Westminster.

  13. I’m very glad to see this issue raised. It is a crucial one to address, not least for those Scots who are wary of voting Yes out of loyalty to English friends and family.

    I have just been reviewing Donald Smith’s (“Freedom and Faith”) and Doug Gay’s (Honey from the Lion) books on the theology of the Independence debate, and doing so for an English religious magazine, Third Way. It’s a long review that won’t be published for another month, but I think I can quote some passages without preempting too much of what’s not yet in the public domain. I start by saying (and I’ll concatenate the paras to make what’s being quoted clearer in this blog format):

    “To introduce these books may require a little background… The motive force for this are cultural differences that reflect in political colour. In the eighteen general elections since the Second World War, only twice, in 1964 and 1974, has the Scottish vote tilted Labour to a ruling majority. Set against that is the asymmetry by which my children’s generation, now in their early thirties, have seen the greater part of their lives ruled by Conservative governments for which their compatriots never voted. Indeed, the last general election returned but a single Conservative MP from the whole of Scotland. Scotland holds itself to be a nation, not a province or a region; one that entered into an equal partnership with England in 1707. We have now overwhelmingly voted for a Scottish National Party government in Edinburgh that pledged to hold a referendum on this settlement. The rest of the UK (rUK) has recognised the constitutionality of this process: after all, it would no more make sense for rUK to control our future than it would for France or Germany to control whether or not the English should be allowed to vote on separating from the EU. The Scottish Government is very clear. It is not our social union with rUK that is under question: it is our political union. If we choose independence we would no more see the need for physical borders, or even a different currency, than France and Germany do within the European framework.”

    And here, again concatenated, is the non-religious part of my conclusion:

    “Where does all of this leave rUK and, specifically, England? Few can speak without reflecting on ourselves. I was raised in the Outer Hebrides of a Scottish father, having been born in Doncaster of an English mother…. I yearn to see an England freed from such ongoing imperial pretentions as when Boris Johnson, in his recent “Spirit of Envy” lecture to commemorate Mrs Thatcher, suggested that Britain’s history of having invaded ninety percent of the world’s countries is what made us “great”. Imagine if reciprocal sentiments had been expressed by a prominent Moslem! … But whether Scotland votes Yes or No, here, too, is a paradoxical request. Seek, dear England and rUK, to understand us and stand with us. This is about respecting difference. Here is an invitation to every corner of the UK to make the spiritual and political space to hear the call of our respective destines ….”

    … and I’d better leave it at that, or I’ll be preempting too much of what’s still at press with Third Way. But what I’m suggesting is similar to what Bob Thomson has said in holding that this is about solidarity with, and not opposition to, what is greatest and radical in England – see
    http://www.independentwithlabour.org/perspectives/yes-can-be-an-act-of-solidarity/

  14. Be sure to include this quote from RB Cunninghame Graham- founder of the Scottish National Party.

    ’The enemies of Scottish Nationalism are not the English, for they were ever a great and generous folk, quick to respond when justice calls. Our real enemies are among us, born without imagination”

  15. I jist want shot o the hale clamjamphrie and hiv for near 60 years.

  16. I wished a good friend of mine in Wolverhampton a ‘Happy St George’s Day’ today by text.

    This is his reply:

    ‘A chance for proud Englishmen and women to proclaim their love for their
    country…and for me it stops about there…proud to be part of a system that
    inculdes poverty, food banks & areas of the economy propped up by charity
    shops…not a chance…I live in a country that has lost its identity…I don’t recognise
    it anymore, at least you have a chance of independence in some way, shape or
    form. Still searching for a manifesto that mentions building a brick wall round
    London, maybe on the M25. St George needs to slay a few of those raping and
    pillaging this country of mine…’

    My feeling is that Independence for Scotland may bring hope too to those in England who suffer under a despicable, right-wing Westminster; change IS possible. At the moment, as you say, we have a ‘way out’, hopefully that way out will show the less fortunate in England that there is hope. Many may even move here and no doubt be welcomed. I posted the above quote on an Independence-friendly Facebook page and within a day it had over 100 ‘likes’. For me it shows people here know it is not about disliking the English but a recognition that many in England feel powerless against all the right-wing Westminster policies too.

    • Should say ‘on the 23rd’ – not ‘today’….doh!

    • It’s funny that the English have no real sense of national identity based on the common folk, isn’t it? English identity (such as it is) is elitist and upper crust. Yes, there are folksy paradigms, the colliery brass bands, clog dancing in Northern towns, sea shanties, but there is not any real pride in the ordinary people is there for their people’s culture or history? All these folksy paradigms are more objects of fun than of genuine respect and affection.

      I often feel sorry for the English, the ordinary, decent, kind English, who came up with expressions like ‘a cat may look at a king’ or ‘sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander ‘ that they don’t have a national tradition like us, because most of them are not of the boss class, they are just indoctrinated by the boss class.

      • MBC – what you say here reminds me of an English professor of religion and sociology who once said to me, “The thing about you Scots is that you have a high low culture, which we don’t have.” It took me a while to figure out what he meant. He was coming from a place where culture is divided along social class lines into high and low. In Scotland he was encountering grassroots culture that should have fitted his category of being “low”, but in its music, poetry, etc, had all the “noble” characteristics of being “high”. My reply to him, once I’d grasped that this is what he was meaning, was that whilst the social class system has implanted itself here, it is not validated here (I generalise, of course). In contrast, the poor English had it hammered into them by both the Romans and the Normans, with even the Commons and the Lords representing this binary mindset by which “some are born to rule, and others born to be ruled.”

        Understanding this is why Scottish Independence is as much about English emancipation as it is about our own. As Paulo Freire rights in Pedagogy of the Oppressed – and I quote this in respect of the Anglicised social class system as distinct from Englishness per se, and with apologies for the time-conditioned gendered language: “Although the situation of oppression is a dehumanized and dehumanizing totality affecting both the oppressors and those whom they oppress, it is the latter who must, from their stifled humanity, wage for both the struggle for a fuller humanity; the oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, is unable to lead this struggle…. The pedagogy of the oppressed is an instrument for their critical discovery that both they and their oppressors are manifestation of dehumanization. Liberation is thus a childbirth, and a painful one … as the oppressor-oppressed contradiction is superceded by the humanization of all men.” (Penguin, 1972, p. 24).

        Incidentally, the Brazillian Freire made visits to Scotland through until the 1990s, just before he died. He conducted workshops certainly in Dundee and Edinburgh, probably elsewhere, in association with the WEA and the Adult Learning Project. Gerri & Colin Kirkwood produced a related book called Living Adult Education: Freire in Scotland that appears to have been reissued in 2011. Ian Fraser of the Iona Community (still going strong in his mid 90s) worked beside Freire when they were both at the World Council of Churches in Geneva. So many fascinating wheels within wheels, and all spinning in these present unprecedented times.

        • Thanks for this. Yes that’s exactly what I mean: that the English don’t have a high low culture. But that’s not normal. Most European countries have high low cultures, take Austria. It has a high culture, but it’s low culture is a high low culture too. If you want to buy a national costume it will set you back several thousand pounds, equivalent. These are really high class pieces of kit, much cherished and passed down as family heirlooms.

          I think the English have never recovered from the Norman Conquest. I put that to an English historian once. ‘The Norman Yoke? That old chestnut?’ was his dismissive reply. Yet I perceive this schizophrenia in the English. In their social customs they are basically fair, hard-working, honest, and egalitarian. Very likeable. Yes, socially, I like the English! But in their political and judicial culture you meet the brute, the jack boot. Evidence in my mind of this dualistic mindset that has become so instinctive for them that they don’t even stop to think about it.

          Take for instance penal policy. In the eighteenth century visiting Scots literati like William Robertson were horrified by the number of gallows you saw dotted about the English countryside by the roads as they rode by. Apparently this was not common in Scotland, where a great many minor crimes were punished by floggings rather than hangings. And even those condemned to death were offered the alternative of banishment. Most took it. So that of those transported to Australia, it was said that in Scotland a man is transported for a great crime, in England for a small crime; and in Ireland, for no crime at all!

          They used to hang children – children! – for stealing bread to eat! What kind of Christianity is that? Where had their consciousness got to that they thought that was OK? Tough, should have known better, little rascal? Was there no reflection? Did nobody stop to think? This to me represents the kind of spell that a basically decent people have been placed under by authoritarian jack boots since 1066 that nobody stops to question such inhumanity and injustice.

          • Well MBC, on this question of “high low culture” – I should confess that I have not researched whether this is a term used in ethnographic analysis, so my interpretation of what my English professor friend meant is intuitive, and possibly wrong, but when you hear pibroch, or the great Scottish/Gaelic ballads, you have to ask where is the equivalent in English culture (Shakespeare would be one very good answer from the literary world, of course). There does, however, seem to be a lacuna in English culture, and when you consider that the popular music revolution of the 60s and 70s was substantially English led in the world, I do often wonder if this was a form of resurgence, a kind of groundswell from within?

            I was only 4 when we left Doncaster for my father (a Scottish doctor – 50:50 Borders and Highland roots) took my English mother up to Lewis, where she still lives as a widow in Stornoway, now in her mid-eighties, but when my sister and I were children nothing was more exciting than when she’d pack us off to go on holiday to Doncaster. When I think back to those days now, what I remember most apart from childhood treats was the warmth of those Yorkshire people that you’d meet in the marketplace, and how long it would take to walk down the High St with my avuncular grandfather because he’d be stopping and swapping jokes with everybody. Warmth, that is my enduring memory, and yet there was something culturally missing that is found in Scotland, and which attracts many Yorkshire people to Scotland. I felt I started to get a possible understanding of this only when a) I encountered the Quaker tradition, and learned how most other radical English traditions that took root mainly in the north and west had been brutally suppressed (even the great early Quaker, James Naylor, was silenced by having his tongue bored through with a hot iron, and he died not long afterwards). And b), when an English friend recently sent me a copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (of the monks in the north of England), that described the scorched earth policy of William the Conqueror in the Harrowing (or Harrying) of the North. Most English folks have not been taught about this – and why not? Why not, indeed? Instead, there remains in many parts this obsequious deference to the Big House and its occupants with their long Norman noses that they proudly trace back to the conquest. My English musician friend, Luke Concannon of Nizlopi, has written a song inspired by what he’s seen in Scotland called, “England Up Rise” – very rousing – and great to see, as I’ve seen, a Glasgow crowd joining in rapturously in the chorus. That’s what I hope will come of our independence debate for the grassroots English – that they too will rise up – and that is why we in Scotland must be careful not to allow our angst at being oppressed by that same Normanesque feudal social class system don’t allow our reactions to become attacks on “the English” per se. “Go heavy on the issues; gentle on the people.”

  17. I’ve been through the argument/thought process as well. I try to liken it to anyone from Wales, England or Northern Ireland who asks me, as the same desire as a large minority of English people on looking to leave the EU.

    The UK in my eyes is no different from the EU. It is political Union of 4 nations compared to the 28 of the EU. The difference in todays climate is that the EU is Political Union of nations that is worth being in and for Scotland to have proper representation at that table, we must be Independent and not have our voice squeaked across that table by a govt that is primarily concerned with the aims of London and not Scotland.

    We are just looking to govern ourselves, whilst in partnership with the Union that means the most on the world stage the EU. At one time the UK was the political body to be a part of, toddy its the EU. We are just taking back our powers from the UK, the same way as many are arguing for those powers to be taken back from the EU.

    The biggest difference is that we surrendered an awful lot more powers to the UK project than the UK has to the EU project.

  18. You may find some ideas in an article I wrote back in November 2013 under the title, “Vote Yes to save the union” – http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/vote-yes-to-save-union.html

  19. Hmmm, well, as others have said, you can talk until you are blue in the face, they just do not believe the truth, nor do they really want to. Why waste your breath.

    • Because they’re not all like that. I find a spectrum across 3 responses. At one extreme, there’s the people who are as you describe, and if one wastes one’s breath one only antagonises and further fuels their resentment, with probable unhelpful knock-on effects.

      In the middle are the majority, who frankly and very understandably feel divided loyalties. On the one hand, if they’ve been long enough in Scotland, and connected enough to native Scottish circles, they’ll have a good understanding of the issues. However, many of their friends and relatives south of the border don’t have those insights, and are moving in such a different cultural milieu, that it would take a long time (and experience) for them to understand. These people are in a very difficult position, and for those of us decided on Yes we need to show empathy, and not mockery, otherwise we will force inauthenticity into our friendships and probably move them covertly to a No position.

      At the other end of the spectrum – about a third of English-born Scots (or Scottish residents) according to the polls, are those who have decided on Yes, and see this as their badge of honour in fully coming to belong to Scotland, with a dual sense of Anglo-Scots (or wholly Scottish) identity. These are the most important ambassadors of independence, and again, we must be careful lest thoughtless generalising remarks cause them to feel that their welcome is only half-hearted.

      One last observation, is that I have noticed that a number of my friends who I am pretty sure will vote No on the day say that they are undecided. We need to remember that these are often people who have not asked for this debate, but feel that they have had it thrust upon them. They’d rather be talking about something else and would often see themselves as “non-political”. The more we can show understanding of this, and give them the inner space necessary to process their feelings, and respect that in the balance of things they may in the end vote No and not have to feel ashamed about so doing, then the more we demonstrate the values to which an inclusive new Scotland aspires.

  20. I spoke to an English couple today who seemed quite taken aback that I was being polite and pleasant to them. I was wearing my YES vest and the guy kept looking at it. He told me it was a great shame that we are leaving. I said we’re not actually going away, we’ll still be here. For him, EU and immigration are the big issues. I told him we need to be in the EU and we need more immigrants. I also said that we need our own media. I’m quite sure that he understood exactly what I was saying and why. But his views are the opposite of mine. Many English people agree with us but many don’t. They still think of England as owning Scotland, as part of their empire. He did mention the empire, saying that it was coming to an end. It seems that many Scots see a future, a progressive, enlightened political future but also a cutural future. We seek connections and direct communication with the big, wide world. Where we see the possibility of friendship and cultural exchange, many English people see only “foreigners”. It seems so deep in them that I doubt that it will ever change. It seems that they know we are right to want to govern ourselves but that they are so locked into an odd sort of victim mentality that they would deny us that. Thankfully, that’s not all English people. Lots of English visitors come to the street stall for YES and wish us well. Some say they wish they could get away from Westminster. Others see independence as a positive step towards reform in rUK. Many YES activists are English, which is great because ‘THEY’ are ‘US’. There are limits to how much we can really engage with those who are against us. Facts and figures might help. Some clearly do believe that they subsidise us, or that the oil will run out for us but not for them. But many Scots still believe that too. It seems to turn on an almost religious belief in English authority. That their media, their politicians, their armed forces, have some sort of right to rule over other peoples. By our willingness, in their view, to become ‘foreigners’, to want to engage with other ‘foreigners’, to invite ‘foreigners’ to come and live and work here with us, we reject their core beliefs about themselves and others. We are moving on, leaving them stuck in an imaginary past. Ta-ta.

  21. Scotland and England have been growing further and further apart, politically speaking, since 1979 and that’s the essential reason for the divorce. The post war consensus was rejected by the Tories under Thatcher and her successors and this was accepted and continued by New (neo-liberal) Labour. Privatisation (ie the theft of public services), PFI, the worship of market forces, the denigration of anything in the public sector – none of this has ever been accepted in Scotland in the way it has been in England. The growing dominance of the political and financial power of London and the SE of England has stretched this divergence the point where Scotland has no option but to seek independence. It’s tough luck for the left in England but Scotland is a nation and therefore has the option to break away from the inherent corruptness of westminster and we would be foolish and irresponsible to allow notions of “solidarity” to stop us.

    • Here, here. As Alistair says, it’s not the social union, but the differences in political culture. However, there is a third circumstance which makes political culture all important. And that is the declining union, post-indistrialisation. And the centralisation of the British state.

  22. To echo what many have said, as well as those in prior posts on this blog, Scottish independence has the capability to demonstrate that there is another way, not founded in the greed of the market, the venality of politicians on the make, or the worship of the rentier class.

    Oh, and by the way, since the Union was formed by two countries, Scotland and England, when Scotland dissolves the Union there will be no “rUK”. It is not helpful to describe it as such, as it ascribes properties to the remaining parts of the former UK which will properly be up for negotiation post YES.

  23. Westminster refused to allow us Scots to remain within the UK but with full fiscal autonomy which,if we are to believe the Westminster propaganda,would be a great relief to English tax payers.
    This proposal would almost certainly have carried the day in a referendum choice but we are now faced with independence or the status quo.
    We are in a situation,forced upon us by the Westminster establishment,so our English cousins need to ask Cameron and friends why they did this.

  24. Graham Hewitt

    I want independence because I believe we are a separate nation, with a distinctive culture, identity, history and political outlook (although similar in many of these respects to other parts of the UK). We need independence for self-determination and the chance to create our own political settlement.

    The Power in the UK has more and more accrued to a metropolitan elite, increasingly privately educated, moneyed and divorced from the majority of the non-metropolitan population, and especially us in Scotland. This elite has been captured by rent-seekers, trans-nationals (both corporate and individual) and global financial players such that the policies of all three major parties are constructed with the interests of these oligarchic forces taking precedence over those of ordinary citizens. This is well illustrated by the austerity measures currently being forced on the UK public (a thoroughly discredited dogma) combined with an attack on the Welfare State whereby benefit claimants are demonised while those walking away with grotesque tax breaks are characterised as the wealth creators who will save the country.

    Incidentally, is it significant that 3 of the most prominent politicians who helped to create the financial mess are metropolitan Scots: Brown, Darling and the ex-Scot Blair?

    A No vote is a vote for more of the same, punishing the poor and rewarding the rich, for there is no UK party standing up for something different. A No vote is to vote for continued interference in the affairs of other countries, while at the same time drawing further away from Europe as the island mindset reasserts itself.

    A Yes vote is a repudiation of all that and a vote for the chance to put things into our own hands and to change the settlement towards something more equitable, fair, redistributive and internationalist.

  25. Good luck with your letter to them. Personally I can’t wait to shot of them and their nastiness/snobbery/aggression.

  26. Well my message to English folks would be that we are not going away. We will still be here. We will still be your friends. We will still have joint security issues which we will honour, should any threat to the both of us ensue. As in 1939. All we want is to be able to pursue our own path in life, as when people leave their parents’ home. The family is not split. It has merely evolved into a different form. That’s what families are supposed to do. It’s natural. It’s good. It’s not rejection, it’s evolution. This is about democracy, we are different, we want to pursue things (the economy) in a different way but they are still welcome. We all have friends and relations on both sides of the border and these will still go on. There are business partnerships with Scottish and English departments and these will still go on… by the way, a currency union would help us all out here, so please try to explain to them that this is not some kind of evil ruse on the part of Alex Salmond to defraud the English, but something that is the best for everyone, as Mark Carney recommended, and Scotland would not have an equal or a majority presence on any currency board, so what’s the sweat? It would be pro-rata, relative to the size of our economies.

    Just try to explain our grievances, the loss of our oil, our despair at the neo-liberal course being taken, and how if there was any serious prospect of a left leaning government ever being elected by English voters that would reverse the damage done by Thatcher and still being carried out by neo-liberals in Labour as well as Tories, we would not be going our own way. But fair enough, if that it what they want, then that’s their right, and good luck too them.

    But let us off the bus please, at our stop, because it is our democratic right to pursue our way, differently from England.

  27. Perhaps it might be worth a what-if scenario to help them empathise… what if England and France were in a political union and had been for 300 years, and that during that time the population of France had grown at a faster rate than England, that the marginalisation of English businesses and industry had seen it’s brightest and best move abroad, permanently or temporarily, their infrastructure an after thought, and mostly paid for via the EU, and now after managing to re-instate a devolved parliament at Westminster they were now in a position to hold a referendum, how would they vote?

  28. It’s a very tricky one Derek, my wife is from Englandshire and is a surefire YES, however….. a few months ago we packed the necessary food supplies and ventured “beyond the border” ( anti disease shots first of course, only kidding for Daily mail readers) . Upon reaching the wonderful and beautiful county of Northumberland ( after a 5 hour drive ) we checked in with chums of my 80 year old mother in law. Over the dinner table, son of said chums asked me ( cos I was the only one he knew ) to explain why we would want independence.
    I did the “imagine you’re Scottish and have been independent for the last 307 years argument” he didn’t reply when I asked if he would vote yes to ” join the union” . The table was hushed by his 80 year old mum and brilliant hostess with ” let’s not talk about politics”.
    From that i gathered that people in England just don’t want to talk about it because the don’t really understand WHY we want to run our own affairs and decide our own future when they can do all that for us at Westminster.
    By the way food supplies were some amazingly fresh Aberdeen landed fish and haggis from the butcher in Bucksburn who was only too happy to share his recipe with the butcher friend of my hosts in Northumberland ( apparently he makes rubbish haggis )

  29. It’s not a Union. Never has been. It’s s take over and with their selective versions of their own history, never mind Scotland’s history, we can expect no less.

  30. Dr JM Mackintosh

    MBC – A very good post. Summed up my views perfectly.

    There is no need for the fear and antagonism that is being whipped up by the MSM.

    I think we can be “Better Together after Independence”.

  31. Dereck – my opening line with any discussion with friends from South of the Border around constitutional change in these islands is “England’s a great country, I’m sure you will manage fine by yourselves”

    May be flippant, but I always fine it redefines the conversation, especialy if you answer every question about Scottish Independence with “So why are you so uncomfortable with going it alone, whats Englands problem with XYZ”

    Tends not to work with Scottish expats though, especially family………

  32. It’s also worthwhile pointing out to them that the devo-max option which most Scots would have preferred, we being basically not keen for dramatic changes, like them – nobody really likes big changes, do they? – the devo-max option was refused by David Cameron. That is why we are being pushed into a polarised position, Cameron taking the chance that if push came to shove, with the indy vote rarely mustering above 30% on its good days in Scotland – that most of us would vote No.

    So most folk would rather have stayed in the Union, but with more powers, but that offer was not allowed us, so they should blame Cameron for us being forced to vote Yes or No, not Salmond. Most of us would have taken the in-between position, had we been allowed.

    However the effect of a long campaign has allowed a long and serious ‘national conversation’ the like of which has never been seen or heard before in Scotland, and this has allowed for a fairly seismic change in public attitudes. It has allowed matters of weight and substance to be debated, and gradually, for many folk anyway, the veils of deception have been lifted, and folks’ eyes have been opened. That much of this ‘national conversation’ has been undertaken outwith the MSM within the blogosphere and from grassroots citizens movements, is remarkable, and a sea-change is gradually taking place. People are losing their fear of independence and a genuine energy is being released. This is an astonishing phenomena, and even if there is a No majority, it is likely to be by a slim margin, but the energy and momentum for Yes is now unstoppable. The genie is out of the bottle. People sense a real power for change, and that genie cannot be put back in the unionist bottle. It is in this sense that Gerry Hassan reckons that they Yes vote has already won, and I agree. There is a new volksgeist. It’s incredibly exciting, inspiring.

  33. I am with you on this Derek. We must change the paradigm and let the English people, who think about these things see that it is the presumptions and privilege of Westminster that is the enemy of a modernised democracy in Britain.

    Scotland can do this because luckily for us the terms of the Act of Union allowed for Education, Law and Church to remain separate and that allowed is to steer clear of the North Britain tag (an interesting chapter in its own right) The fact that Yorkshire or Cornwall can’t follow us is not the fault of the Scots.

    It is obvious, seeing the likes of UKIP make a strong showing in England and Wales that there is an anti-politics agenda there. That situation is more subtle in Scotland where the Scottish Government remains popular amidst the same disdain for politicians generally. So we have the means and the leadership to go our own way. England is more in the melting pot and will not escape unless we can demonstrate that there are alternatives to the liberalising agenda. Billy Bragg owns that paradigm. Let’s make as many aware of it as possible.

  34. kishorncommando

    I don’t agree that the genie is out of the bottle. The devil still has a good strong grip. Many helping hands still needed.

  35. With a YES vote, perhaps the people in England will wake up and think about what sort of country they want to live in because just now the westminster government are a disgraceful bunch with their own interests at heart, not those of the people that they work for, well supposedly work for. Being from the N E of England, and living in Scotland for 25 years, I pray that it is a YES, because it will move Scotland forward and ensure that the people and the environment come first while being part of an international framework working towards a more positive future for our kids.

    I would hope that this will also be a beacon for the people in England to make sure they take an active part in shaping their own future, and not let the bully boys in London dictate to them anymore by enforcing their own destructive ideologies and attacking the poor and vulnerable while doing absolutely nothing to create jobs, nothing to help the disadvantaged, and creating hatred and distrust among those who really all have the same basic needs but many are denied even those.

  36. I am with you on that, Hetty. Many of my English colleagues admire Scotland for its free university education, and many want to live here, want their children to live here, not to ‘free-load’ on Scotland in that way, but because they genuinely admire our values in supporting free university education.

    Yet apart from these sympathetic folks, who would make good Scots if they were to move here, as they are ‘on message’, I’m actually not seeing much sign of any protest movements for free university education in England.

    Instead what I’m reading is of resentment that English students don’t qualify for free education in Scotland unlike European students. I get what their anger is, but I can’t sympathise with their lack of reflection on the matter.

    Scottish students (and English) would qualify for free education in Europe, so there is no lack of parity in European students qualifying for free education here.

    So we have to charge English students because our students would have to pay in England (unless the Scottish government pays for them? I don’t think this is the case!). So something that ought to prompt reflection, and fair consideration of the Scottish case – we are five million people, England is sixty million – how can we afford to offer free education to so many English students as would likely stampede to the north, especially as our own students would have to pay in England? Yet that perspective, which involves seeing it from the other party’s viewpoint, and also being prepared to reflect on one’s own possible shortcomings – that perspective and voice seems singularly lacking in England. They just seem to be incapable of self-criticism, of self-reflection.

    The nearest that comes to it is when (surprise, surprise) they do the sums, and find out that large numbers of students are not paying back student debts, but simply absconding to distant parts of the globe where they deploy whatever skills they have acquired in the English educational system by contributing to somebody else’s economy, than the economy which provided their education. Well, who’d-a thunk that!!!

    It’s that kind of insane economic thinking and lack of grasp of social capital and social dynamics in the southern polity that most convinces me to leave. If they came up with fair and workable common sense policies I’d feel far less inclination to want to leave.

    So, whilst I share your aspiration – Scotland might provide an alternative policy framework that might provoke change in the south – I feel increasingly pessimistic that this will ever be the case.

    Basically, the Labour party has caved in. It no longer pushes socialism, it is no longer interested in genuine change for the poorest in society. It worships neoliberal ideology.

    • When Jim Murphy was a boy revolutionary Student leader of the Scottish Union of Students and member of the Revolutionary Communist Party and Irish Freedom Movement he successfully destroyed the SUS for the English National Union of Students on the grounds that the English were more left wing. Amazing what a six weeks CIA course in America can do for one’s career. Scotland still has a separate and more egalitarian education system.

      The EIS is the only Scottish Trade Union left in the S(?)TUC. All the Scottish Trade Unions were bought over, sorry amalgamated into English Tame Unions in 1974 and the bosses were given second top jobs in the English TUs with higher salaries and perks. (Gorman and other rich Tame Unions were recruited into MI5). The SCWS was bought over by the English (corrupt?) Coop. This included all their assets, insurance, funeral services, halls, factories and farms. Remember the large boot and shoe factories in Sheildhall and the Coop dairy factory that made jams, butter, etc. They had furniture and electrical and whit goods factories, all removed to England. This was organised by the Labour party in fear of the rising tide of Scottish Nationalism.

      Ironically, in John MacLean’s day teachers were not allowed a trade union and he joined the SCWS. He became the Soviet Consul for Scotland in 12 Portland St, which was not recognised by the British State and he had to operate from his home in Auldhouse Rd, due to police harassment. and raids.

  37. English and yes here

  38. I came across this quote by Cicero and it suddenly occurred to me he was describing Britain’s problem as seen by BetterTogether. How prescient he was. . (The parenthesis are mine)

    “A nation (Britain) can survive its fools ( Labour MSPs), and even the ambitious (Labour MPs). But it cannot survive treason ( campaign for an independent Scotland) from within. An enemy at the gates (Europe) is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor ( all them separatists ) moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers (facebook and twitter), rustling through all the alleys heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor (separatist) appears not a traitor (independist); he speaks in accents ( Scots), familiar to his victims and he wears their face and their arguments ( wants a better country), he appeals to the baseness (self-belief) that lies deep in the hearts of all men He rots the soul of a nation (tells the truth), he works secretly and unknown in the night (campaigns by day and blogs by night), to undermine the pillars of the city. He infects the body politic ( Alistair Darling) so that it can no longer resist A murderer is less to fear. The traitor (separatist) is the plague ( or as Johann Lamont says – a virus)”

    Marcus Tullius Cicero (Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer, Scholar, Orator and Statesman, 106 BC-43 BC

    Sent recently to all on my Independence mailing lists

  39. JM spouting as usual on GMS this morning. So thankful I can connect with clear minded thinking on my lap-top. Thanks to all who contribute.

  40. As I started the replies to Derek I feel the need to say that whilst I have no intention of myself engaging in informing the English again I have no problem with others doing so.
    I had many friends on the pages of the Independent, both English and Welsh, I had many enemies also, some were Scots. I have always regarded those who are willing to sell the country and countrymen and women by the good old fashioned name that it is. I cannot say I have found many English willing to do the same as those Scots. Who do down their country and their own people for the sake of money/position/power, or even the good old tick in the box.
    One of my last conversations, on the Guardian was with a lady who was describing us as the usual racists. She mentioned that number of people who had moved to Scotland, I said they were on the whole very welcome, they had done much good in bringing in attitudes which some locals could not have because of employment issues. She was amazed at the number of her countrymen who were working for Scottish Independence in the Scottish National Party. So whilst I will not go down that road, please do.

  41. Free Scotland

    If anyone needs a reminder of just what a muppet JM really is, have a look at this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW319ooPFu4
    What a donkey!

  42. Didn’t know, until this morning that your old boss, John McCormick, was the head of the Electoral Commission for Scotland, Derek.

  43. Your mention of Cornwall struck a chord with me. A couple of years ago, while hunting on-line for a holiday destination there, I came across a report where Cornish politicians were bemoaning the largesse sent to Scotland at their expense. I involved myself on the thread, in an effort to correct some of the views expressed and have done so in subsequent threads regarding Scotland.

    Many are supportive, especially with Cornwall having it’s own debate regarding it’s place and identity in the UK, but there are the usual voices we hear so often.

    The worst believe Scotland is small and poor, sucking funds from England. That we hate the English. Also, the independence issue is Alex Salmond and his cohorts attempt to break up this wonderful country for their own self interest. All obviously stemming from the media’s dishonest handling of this issue.

    I was challenged by one individual, who stated that people had more sense than to believe everything they read and view, yet he was one of the worst when commenting on the First Minister. I asked him if he didn’t believe the media, and chose to make up his own mind, where his opinions stemmed from. He has no experience of Salmond’s government where he stays and made no mention of personal contact with him, so where, if not the media, did his extreme views emanate from? I received no reply.

    The point I wish to make is that I challenge such individuals to check out the on-line media for a more balanced view. This has included links to various articles on NNS, Wings and others, including your own. If they still hold their opinions after doing so, that is their choice, but until they do so any opinions they hold are purely a reflection of the British establishment’s in all it’s guises. Any appeal should definitely include the phenomenon that is this and other sites. I believe yourself and others are making history. By all means include our English neighbours in this process. They will need use of it after a YES vote to understand what the hell happened and why. It may also be a pointer for them on how to deal with their own democratic deficit.

  44. I know what you mean Derek. Over the past couple or three years I’ve spent online the overriding sense I get from many a poster in England is a confused hurt. The reactions to which vary from outright anger to a pained and well meant why?

    And its not just England. The rUK electorate were sold a false narrative. We are not and never have been a single cohesive country. The union flag itself is testament to this. It is one flag made from ‘many’. A political statement in cloth, yet no one thought to ask themselves what that union was, how it was constituted. They simply bought into the line that GB/UK was ‘a’ country. Nobody told them that in any such partnership there was always the danger that some day, if it wasn’t working out too well, it could always be brought to an end.

    If we vote YES in September (and things are beginning to look up), I feel almost sorry for what comes next for the rUK electorate. Some veils are going to be lifted and some hard truths will be at long last revealed on how they were manipulated, mislead and indeed simply lied to by their government and their media. I’m hopeful though that this will be a good thing in the long run. That it will start a change in all of the British Isles for overhauling the systems of government and making it a fit democracy for the peoples of these islands.

    • I agree Macart with what you are saying. I don’t know how many times I heard that they the English would vote to get rid of Scotland because the believed every thing they have been told in the media. Problem for Westminster is that it has continued with very little in the way of democracy or fresh thinking, In a way John Major was correct in saying it has lasted for a thousand years but what he did not add was it hasn’t changed much. The children of those sitting in the House of Lords sit in the Commons, those who do not come from their exalted ranks are subverted, look how easily those of Labour have been. Having never been beaten, well apart from William of Normandy, and those pesky Danes before him, they have never had fresh ideas permeate their government. We are now choosing to let some fresh air in, perhaps it is time they did the same.

      • Agreed, the power structure, the hierarchy hasn’t changed a jot in centuries. It is and always has been a country run for and by those and such as those. The cosmetic trappings of democracy does not a democracy make, so to speak. The top is still the top and the bottom…? Well we’re used to being there. 🙂

        The system of governance itself needs replaced or at the very least seriously overhauled. There will be no easy way of doing this and if it takes Scotland’s independence to act as a catalyst, then that’s what it will take. By this point the peoples of the UK really should be asking themselves, just what has prompted this action by Scotland’s electorate?

  45. Perhaps this poem by Alan Bissett will be of help

  46. The stupidity and futility of the anti-Salmond brigade was at its worst on the Kaye Adams propaganda show this morning.

    At FMQ yesterday he gave a perfectly acceptable explanation of the one-line comment he made about Putin, both in terms of other world leaders comments, but more importantly, that they were made in a balanced article which also included criticism of Putin and Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, none of which was factored into Kaye Adams’ BBC approach as she got busy with the flame-thrower.

    However, her outcome, which was clearly designed for was achieved, AS ended up damned by it all and one wonders at just what cost are these pro-unionists prepared to put onto Scottish democracy to score political points, even the ghastly Simon Pia was wheeled in and given wisdom status to also put the boot in.

    My point Derek, is this, we should not dwell on the impact independence will have on our friends south of the border, thoroughly laudable though that may be, while all of our energy is being drained countering the disgraceful tactics of fellow Scots.

    And if it is to mean that AS has to be extremely circumspect with all future comments, so be it, but the real farce is that Lamont, Rennie and Davidson, having already tried to blow the whistle on every single scrap of supposed weakness in Salmond; from the type of chocolate biscuits he serves in Bute House, to the purchase of a pair of trousers, it is they who are the careless fools, but they are reckless wreckers too and in the long run it’s we the Scots who are endangered.

    We really must get the YES vote in.

  47. Morning Call was the type of smearing that comes out of Westminster. It is one of the behaviours that turn voters off in a big way. But how do they know it is No voters they are turning off?

  48. I, like others on here, have spent time on the Guardian arguing against all the old clichés and providing links from WoS etc, which were fully sourced and I doubt if I changed one single view.

    After a week of sheer bile and anger thrown at all of us indy supporters, I decided enough was enough and have more or less given up on the Guardian.

    I, again like others on here, have been astonished at the lies from the BBC.
    Even though I have always supported an indy Scotland, I believed that the BBC was truthful, honest and held in high regard around the world.
    I believed that the ‘British way’ was honourable – now 2 years down the line, I don’t believe a single, solitary word that comes from the MSM and I am gob- smacked at the corruption in the British establishment – they really are just one big club.

    So I don’t think the ordinary people of England will believe us versus the MSM as they have not been through the journey we have and I also think after the hatred thrown at AS over the last few days for making a simple remark – although he should have been wary of Alistair Campbell, the master of spin – I think we need to spend our time working on the DKs who have a vote.

    • Although the English haven’t been through the same radicalising process as many Scots they are far from stupid. A great many of them realise that Con/Dem/Lab are an utter waste of space and the Ruritanian shite that surrounds their ridiculous parliament is giving them a bad deal. Hence the rise of UKIP. Rev Stu’s recent piece on the massive UKIP meeting in Bath seems to confirm their unhappiness.

  49. I heard some of Kaye Adams show this morning and I get the impression that she is open to a broad range of views but, like many of her colleagues, is dealing live with editorial and production staff that are working to a specific agenda. It seems to me that a narrowly focused, single issue specific agenda, is desperately held on to at the expense of allowing additional and very relevant material from other specific issues to provide a better balance. Is that a deliberate attempt to try and keep the mud stuck to Alex Salmond or is it just fear in the control room that if the agenda broadens they won’t be in control anymore? I don’t know the answer but I do think Kaye Adams was doing what she could to acknowledge these other very related issues that suggest that David Cameron and Lordy George Roberson have their own share of Putin skeletons in their closets. She was happy to let callers to the programme mention and discuss them. The most dreadful thing about the show was motormouth Simon Pia suggesting that Alex Salmond should apologise for being misquoted in the press and at the same time dredging history for any old mud that might possibly stick to Salmond. I guess, if you take it all to the extreme, some of these, up themselves, big twallypot Naws will still be unhappy when Alex Salmond goes down on both knees and begs forgiveness for being born.

  50. The Rough Bounds

    Och, dearie me! The poor wee English folk feel hurt. What a shame!

    And just how many times have the Scots been hurt by so called comedy comments about mean skinflint Jocks, mars bars, sweaty socks, sheep shaggers and haggis munchers? Just how often was I supposed to watch BBC ‘entertainment’ programmes featuring people dressed up in ridiculously long tartan skirts with whitewash brushes hanging where a sporran should be without feeling aggrieved?

    We see it everywhere on TV. On ‘Flog it’ a comment was made about tiny wee antique snuff boxes that the ‘expert’ informed us were known in the antiques trade as ‘Scotch snuff boxes’ because they were so small; the jolly jibe of an implication being that the Scots are too mean to have a decent sized snuff box.

    Just a couple of minutes after that we were shown a large snuff ‘box’ that was actually made in Scotland. It was made from a large ram’s horn and you could have stuck two or three of the tiny ‘Scotch snuff boxes’ inside it. It transpired that the so called ‘Scotch’ snuff boxes were actually made in England for the English market.

    This sort of thing just goes on and on. It never stops. I am heartily sick of it and I want shot of England and its idea of fun. If they want to feel sad that we are intent on going well that’s tough luck. They have place one straw too many on this particular camel’s back and it’s leaving this caravan.

  51. As already said (mjaei and others): point is:

    It’s only ‘goodbye’ to Westminster rule.

    Just like anyone else, we need governed in accordance with our own priorities; not those of someone else’s city. The English would never tolerate that; nor the French, etc etc. And we don’t want to any more either.

    Visionless Britnat unionists lacked the vision even to discuss a federal outcome – they’ve got to be in total charge, they imagine.

    Good news is that we keep our friendships with our closest friends in the world.

  52. Can’t really agree with you Derek. Almost all the English (and i dont inc Irish or Welsh ) i have spoken to see Scotland through rosey tinted empire glasses. Everyone i have spoken to are blinkered and refuse to debate. As for English people here in Scotland who see daily how well the SG has run the country can debate and see things at ground level.
    My friends in Manchester say little of the referendum . Casually regarding it as a small matter and expect a no vote . Very few mention the problems without blaming the immigrants for all. Walk into a pub down south and chat to the locals. Scotland rarely comes up.
    I am pretty much certain that we will vote YES and this will cause a shit-storm down south. Losing Scotland’s oil, food and drink exports and the like will cause serious problems down south…….. watch for the riots nearer xmas as the full extent of Scotlands worth come out.
    This sympathetic view to educate our English cousins is too late. The ukip and eu elections take presidence over most Scottish matters. I fear the shock will only fuel the immigrant blame but with the Scots thrown in to give us the blame for all their woes.
    I spent 14 years as a soldier down in the south west and viewed things like they did , only to realise returning home and living here just how apart we really where in so many ways. With austerity on the cards for the rUK and Scotland gone i wouldn’t like to live back down there. I fear they are in for an almighty shock.
    I don’t consider my self anti-English , more pro Scot and am proud we are trying to change Scotland . The English are quite happy for the status quo regardless of the bedroom taxes and foodbanks etc . It’s always someone else fault. Immigrants, EU , the bloody weather….. have a look at the comments page s on any media site. The anti-Scot feeling is there and there are lots of it.
    Many hope that the change in Scotland will start debate and change down south and i have no doubt it will , but i can see things getting a lot worse before things change in rUK. I hope i am wrong…..

  53. James Coleman

    I don’t care what the English think. As far as I’m concerned it’s none of their business. And like one or two others above I am long fed up with the ‘banter’ seen on English TV programmes and in their newspapers where English character faults are projected as insults onto Scots and others. But when Scots do similar ‘banter’ it is called racism.

    This latest goofy idea of yours is about on a par with your continuing claims that the BBC is unbiased.

    Good riddance I say.

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