Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Scottish independence

This has nothing to do with photography.

It's just to say that on Thursday this week, I strongly hope that the people of Scotland choose "no", and vote to remain in the United Kingdom.

Having read this quite good piece in the Guardian, I'd have to say that I agree with this summation of "Britishness":

"The markers of Britishness for me include empiricism, irony, the ad hoc approach, pluralism, and a critical awareness of its own rich and sometimes appalling history. It’s sceptical, too: it has seen a thing or two and knows nothing lasts."

Scotland and England are different nations, but they are both British, and for Scotland to lose England and for England to lose Scotland would be a disaster on many levels, as the article points out:

"The untangling of the institutions – military, administrative, academic, ambassadorial, commercial, cultural – that have sustained this identity can’t but be painfully destructive. The past 300 years have not been about nothing."

And I agree strongly with the summation:

"To find that the country one grew up in is now a foreign state will be an odd feeling. True, the bracken will still turn brown at every summer’s end, the train will still take us from Glasgow to Euston, and, as Alex Salmond says, children will still go out to play, and pensions, we hope, will still be collected. But the United Kingdom that made so many of us will no longer exist. If it happens, I shall grieve."

I'm not Scottish, but then neither am I fully English: part of my heritage is from the McLeods of Skye. I'm proud of that. I am not a particularly patriotic person (at all), but I believe the United Kingdom is better off staying united (though certainly with devolved powers, both for Scotland and for other regions).

I think a "yes" vote on Thursday would be an economic, social and cultural disaster, and anybody who believes otherwise has unfortunately been seduced by the romanticism of being an independent state. In this case, I hope realism comes to the fore.