For most of my adult life, I have been very much interested in politics although I’ve never been a member of any party and tend to vote for what is right for me and the country (I believe) at the time.
However, the Scotland will it/won’t it be part of the United Kingdom question has been something I have felt deeply personal about which I don’t know why?
I totally get countries being allowed to decide their own future and direction etc, but I have always felt that Scotland like England, Wales and Northern Ireland is part of the same country – one ‘United’ Kingdom.
It will be weird if Scotland does separate from the rest of the union, with me seeing my friends in Edinburgh, Glasgow and so forth as people from ‘another’ country considering our same British history.
Scottish people and their life are embedded in Britain, so I like many others will be keen to hear the arguments for and against independence with great interest.
In my lifetime alone, the last three British Prime Ministers have been or their heritage been Scottish. A lot of people might not know that Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh, Gordon Brown clearly is Scottish and David Cameron’s surname from his father is another Scottish clue!
I can remember too the previous UK Labour Government having a strong Scottish presence within the Cabinet, especially with areas like defence and foreign affairs with George Robertson as the Defence Secretary and Robin Cook as Foreign Secretary. Wow, I am showing my age?
David Cameron does not seem to have shied away from this too (ministers representing all the United Kingdom), with the likes of the former Defence Secretary Liam Fox born in East Kilbride and the current Education Secretary Michael Grove whom was born in Edinburgh being not only a cabinet minister but one of the Prime Minister’s closest friends and if the media is right allies!
And clearly we cannot forget about HM The Queen and her Scottish roots, through her mum the late Queen Elizabeth.
Scotland in my view along with the three other constituent countries of the United Kingdom are so intertwined together that I think, it will be hard to divorce.
I mean, I have banked with an English institution since birth which a Scottish one then bought, which the UK Government i.e. us the British people now own. Will I get English notes or Scottish in the future?
Will I need a passport to go and see my friends in Glasgow, or a visa to attend one of Scotland’s great institutions?
Will Hadrian’s Wall be rebuilt?
There are so many important questions that will need asking, but whether we get all the answers will be another matter.
One thing I do know though is that, directly or indirectly Scottish independence will affect all the people of these small islands (Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Shetlands etc) not just those North of the Border from England and Wales.
It’s things like the people of Liverpool (my hometown) and especially those in North East England, having more in common with their Scottish brothers and sisters than with those in the South of England – their own nation.
I’m not going to be out on the streets with my Union Jack flags and banners to save the union as independence has been important for so many countries specifically those within the old British Empire, but I do hope the UK stays as the UK because I do believe that… we are better together!
I agree with the position of a Stronger Scotland within the United Kingdom. This seems best, in these uncertain times.
I was going to write it is a matter for the Scottish people ultimately, but there is also the alternative argument about the say of the English, Welsh and Northern Irish people if they now want Scotland to stay part of the UK with its shall we stay or shall we go Scottish National Party (SNP) position.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland might want to be on ‘their’ own too?
This is no doubt, food for thought for a further blog.
I also hope that there is not too much mud-slinging over the next two years or so when the Referendum is due, as Britain’s economy among many others things is enough on the plate.
Today however, with the UK Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister signing the agreement on the future of Scotland – one thing is certain, than in 2014… Scotland will either be in or out of the union.
Finally, and on a personal note. I like the concept of Braveheart as a film, but I can’t stand Mel Gibson – is it just me? Ha 😮
This has been a… better together, ‘View from the Bottom’.
Take care, Max x.
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
Published by My Mum. Copyright © Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2012.