Please don’t leave us. An English Ex-pat’s plea to ScotlandPosted: September 9, 2014
With the vote getting closer, questions about the U.K. splitting up come up at least once a day to me, the resident Brit in a foreign land. I’m not begrudging the people asking because if I knew someone whose country could potentially break up I would pick their brains about it non-stop. The short answer to “Do you think Scotland will become independent” is: No.
I’m not Scottish… I mean a little bit, my dad’s family is from the borderlands around Carlisle, and, despite visiting, I’ve never lived in Scotland; the fact that I think Scottish independence is a terrible idea at this point comes from a place of concern less about Scotland and more about the rest of the U.K. I really do believe that my home country is going to get actively worse if our northern brothers and sisters leave us. This isn’t just because the resulting flag would look terrible, even though that is genuinely my main emotional reaction to the Yes Campaign. I mean just look at it, the English Flag is boring, the Scottish part makes our flag look cool. Since I’ve been talking to people about this issue, I’ve developed certain concerns that I want to bring up with Independence campaigners.
So I have a lot of sympathy with most of the practical Goals of the S.N.P. Apart from less Westminster domination, the general social democratic bent of the vision of the Scottish parties in general is something I wish the southern part of the island embraced. Particularly that Ospreys outnumber cconservative members of parliament is something I profoundly envy; so much so that the consistent polls showing Scottish people are consistently more satisfied with the Scottish parliament than any other part of the U.K. is with its local government makes me really hope that we’ll one day have parliaments like Holyrood in Wales, London, Cornwall and the English regions in the model of U.S. states, something I think can only happen if Scotland stays in the union. I don’t seriously think this will happen by virtue of Scotland staying in, and that isn’t my main fear regarding Scottish Independence; England and Wales will be measurably worse.
I Understand that Scottish nationalist have limited interest in what happens to the English but please have some Britannic solidarity. I understand that the belief is that once you gain independence you will throw off the smug aristocratic southerners that are currently formalizing the unpleasant public school oligarchy in Westminster. You are wrong. Firstly please remember that once Scotland withdraws its fifty-nine M.P.s from the U.K. Scotland will lumber England with an inbuilt Conservative majority. Remember also that the S.N.P.’s proposal for independence includes using the British pound and keeping the Monarchy and other things that link the British ruling classes, north and south of the border whilst physically separating the rest of us. This will mean that the increasingly solidified oligarchy of parliamentarians, banking executives and media producers is still going to dominate the what will be the former UK with a weakened opponent in a divided populations. Yes the current National parties are dead against Independence but do remember that despite evidence to the contrary they are emotional beings with an emotive connection with the idea of “BRITAIN” existing despite the fact that Scotland and England will be easier to control once separated.
I’ve mentioned that English nationalism is weird and bitter, and will only get worse with the loss of Scotland. My parent’s generation are the ones who lived through the dismantling of the British Empire, a social move that resulted in the creation and popularization of the U.K. Independence Party, and other reactionary organisations, I can only imagine how ugly about right-wing England is going to get, particularly run as it will be by a series of political parties that will increasingly use begrudging Scotland as their political bread and butter.
My point, Scottish nationalists – and English people who support Independence at higher percentages than the Scottish do; is that whilst It will be initially satisfying to see David Cameron’s smug, flabby face sadly fill the screen of our T.V.s to tell us that he will go down as the British leader who was so bad the part of the country split off. That initial satisfaction will melt away as the new English government cracks down, firstly on the notion of autonomy for regions and secondly by ratcheting up pressure on Scotland, which will still be using the pound. A political situation which will mean that my homeland will become a sadder, hollower shadow of its current self.
If you do leave you need to take Northern Ireland with you. That whole mess is your weird step-child.