I am both Scottish and British and generally glad to be both.
My identity changes depending on the situation I am in. Outside of Scotland I generally identify as Scottish. I lived in England for eight years and was fully accepted as Scottish by my English friends. I lived abroad for two years and found calling myself Scottish rather than British as generally I got a better reception. (Worldwide the films Braveheart and Highlander have done more for the Scottish reputation than almost anything else I know)
When in Scotland I identify as British.
Does this seem perverse?
Quite simply - I believe in the power of union. I believe people are stronger together; working together than we ever are apart.
We have all had different experiences. I've found that there are many
people born in England and Northern Ireland that I get on with. Growing
up on an island community in Scotland I was an outsider to many. Some
accepted me for who I was, others did not.
Since then I have had close friends who were born in Scotland and many who were born South of the Border of across the water.
do not exagerate when I state I would die to protect English and
Northern Irish friends or that some of them have placed themselves in
harms way to protect me.
A few people in Scotland seem to hold the view we would be stronger when separate - when the Scottish people control their own destiny. The reality is the Scottish people already control their own destiny, we have and have always had the power to influence and change anything we want within Scotland.
So why haven't we exercised that power?
I am for Union; I'm against independence from the UK but I perceive the debate around independence as an opportunity to challenge my fellow countrymen and women to get involved, start debating, start questioning, start acting.
If you cannot be bothered now to challenge MSPs and MPs about their decisions, there is little likelihood you will do so if we have independence.
If, on the other hand, you claim democracy now; make your voice heard now - then together we can make a difference! And if we make a difference now then we can continue to make a difference in a United Kingdom.
This week in books 4/21/17
2 days ago