I have been puzzled about something for quite a while now. Something that Darling said, which made me furious when I first heard it, because I thought it was a flat out lie! He was in Edinburgh for a Better Together launch and said “I don’t want to choose between being Scottish and British. I’m both.” He referred to himself as Scottish. But he was born in London, which would make him English.
This person that took us into an illegal war in Iraq, then tried to cover it up by voting against the Iraq Inquiry, who mortgaged the futures of every man woman and child in the UK so he could write a blank cheque to the banks without taking any control over them, and throughout it all he was stealing from the people by “flipping” his home to claim huge sums of money in his MP’s expenses (which wasn’t technically stealing because it wasn’t against the rules which MP’s wrote for themselves). For these crimes he shouldn’t even be allowed to call himself British, never mind Scottish!
When I pointed this out, I was told to go away and have a think about what I was saying as it could be looked upon as being racist. Campaigners seeking a “No” vote just love that sort of thing, as less people are likely to support Independence if it means being labelled a racist. Now I’m fairly certain I’m not racist, otherwise I have a fair bit of explaining to do to the 90% of my close personal friends who are not from Scotland. But I saw their point as Better Together and No campaigners are pretty good at twisting things to make supporters of Independence look bad. Make a comment on the weather, for example “It’s a lovely sunny day” and the headline would be…
“SNP Ignores Suffering of Skin Cancer Patients”.
And so I went away and had a think about whether he can make this claim of being Scottish. I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what it means to be Scottish. I am only too aware of the fact that we are not all saints, so we can’t exactly claim that being Scottish is to be a good person. It may be the ideal, but right now it’s not the rule.
And there are a great number of people that live in Scotland but were not born here. Every one of them will have the chance to vote in the Independence Referendum, which makes me proud that the governing of our country is not just for the few, it’s for everyone. We even get to make the choice of whether or not we take part.
I then looked at it from Alistair’s perspective. And I had to alter the question from “Can he call himself Scottish?” to “Should he call himself Scottish?”. Because whenever he talks about this subject of National Identity his point of view appears to be based upon ‘Geography’.
This started back in November last year when he waffled nonsense that Independence would mean the loss of all British Culture in Scotland and would lead to relatives of Scots in other parts of the UK becoming foreigners overnight. The very idea that we’d stop listening to The Beatles or The Jam, stop watching Dr. Who or the Grand Prix, is pretty laughable. But the 2nd part is even more stupid. And it’s been parroted by the likes of Margaret Curran that we’ll all be suddenly foreigners to one another. But that’s just geography. I know people both in the UK and across the globe, from countries far and wide. I’ve never thought of them even once as being foreigners. It’s automatic in my brain to regard them as friends. Regarding anyone as foreign is purely a state of mind. Anything else is just geography.
The next point is this notion of his that Independence would mean no longer being able to call yourself British. 1st off, there are no rules that say we cannot have dual nationality. Independence might create the very first Scottish Passport, but as I fight my way through various levels of security checks which I must endure in order to get a wee week away in the sun, explore the land and culture of the people who live there, get in a bit of relaxation before I have to go through it all again on the return leg, I’m not really caring much about what my passport looks like. So long as it’s in date and I’ve remembered the thing, I’m happy.
Then there’s the fact which cannot be denied, which is unless we are visited by some crap Hollywood style Sci-Fi disaster in which the tectonic plates shift, Scotland is dragged 3miles north causing the Solway Firth to stretch all the way to Berwick leaving a new body of water 3 miles wide and way too deep to build a bridge over, an Independent Scotland will still make up about one third of the Island of Britain. That’s geography and that will probably never change. Certainly not in the next millennia or so.
So Alistair’s assertion that we’ll be forced to choose between being Scottish or British isn’t really true. But this is where he’s changed his rule. Alistair says he is Scottish. But he’s chosen to be Scottish based upon a state of mind. By his rules of Geography, he’s English. Of course, he was raised here, educated here (allegedly)…and depending on which property he’s currently claiming for in his expenses, he lives here as well. So who am I to deny him his right in a supposedly free world to call himself Scottish? Especially as there is no hardened definition of what it is to be Scottish. It can be very different for different Scots. So it comes down to choice. We will still be part of the Island of Britain, so you can call yourself British. Or if you like, you can be Scottish. Or call yourself both, because that is your choice.
Because if Alistair can choose his own identity, why can’t we all choose?
In the end this whole nonsense about Independence being about Nationalism and Identity, as well as the branding of Independence campaigners as English Haters, it’s nothing more than dividing tactics to stir up hatred between us and to distract people from the fact that our biggest problem is Westminster.
I’ve heard a few people say “Westminster isn’t working” and I always add “…for us.” Because they don’t work for the people anymore. Westminster works for big finance. It works for banks and financial institutions, the Defence Sector (we know them better as International Arms Dealers), the big energy companies, the global healthcare sector, Wall St, and Washington.
My reasons for wanting Independence are many, but include:
Because I’m sick to the back teeth of being dragged into illegal and unjust wars,
of being forced to pay for and keep nuclear weapons which are both abhorrent and pointless,
of the City Of London Corporation getting more of a say than we do on how our economy is run,
of accepting the debts of private companies who’s boards usually plunder the profits and avoid tax,
and of seeing our most vulnerable citizens being made to pay for a crisis that was not of their doing.
I’m sick of people who steal from us but get away with it because they write the rules.
Independence for Scotland is about taking back control of our Government.
And that, is the single most important reason why I will be voting Yes.