Scotland has decided not to split from the rest of the UK. And in some ways I’m glad. Like most English people I know we actually do feel British, we might call ourslves English, but deep down our patriotism, except when playing sport against the other countries of the UK, is towards the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
I have never understood ABE. Some Scots have an Anyone But England attitude to sport which goes deeper than the mere jest of rival fans having a bit of fun. I have yet to hear an English sports fan say “Anyone but Scotland” as anything more than a joke, and not one that is intended to hurt either. Finding Scots who took the Anyone But England thing seriously, was a shock. Hearing accusation that by supporting athletes competing for the UK as stealing our athletes was also hard to understand.
But despite feeling British I could see through a lot of the Better Together campaign. Industry leaders saying Scots should vote No to independence is about as transparent as it comes. ASDA’s profits would be hit if they were trading across an international border, don’t believe that their motives were anything but selfish. I do not believe for one minute that their motives were political.
I secretly wanted the Yes vote to win. I wanted a Yes win because the SNP are a Cenre Left party, as are Plaid Cymru in Wales. That’s unusual for a start, for a national party to be anything but far right politically.
When I started voting the Labour Party were centre left and on the libertarian side of centre, and the conservatives centre right and on the authoritarian side of centre. When you look at where those parties are now you find that Conservatives have drifted further right, whilst Labour is politically in the space previously occupied by the Conservative government under Heath. Labour is now a centre right authoritarian party, and I find that hard to stomach. Only in Scotland and Wales are there political parties which coincide with my politics, which is where the Labour party used to stand.
What could have happened is that an independent Scotland, after a few years to settle in, could have shown what was left of the UK that a centre left libertarian government could succeed. This could then have been what was needed to get Labour to return to where her roots lay. We have now been consigned to different levels of right wing government for the foreseeable future.
Scotland, by voting no you have let yourselves, and the English, down.