Together But Seperate?

United Kingdom

Image by stumayhew via Flickr

So it looks like there is going to be a referendum to decide if Scotland should become independent of the rest of the UK. The SNP are planning on Autumn 2014. Polls suggest there is significant support for the split although not a majority but I assume the SNP will be hoping to use the time to capitalise on the bad feeling that Tory spending cuts will inevitably generate in the meantime so it’s hard to say what the result might be.

The response of the ‘man on the steet’ in England seems to be something akin to a teenager being dumped. ‘Fine! Never liked you anyway. Let’s see how you get on with out me!’ which, of course, just strengthens support for Scotland leaving.

I, on the other hand, think the whole thing is rather depressing. When did it become impossible to be part of a country with anyone other than people you share thousands of years of history with? Why should our differences mean we have to separate? If we carry on like this we’ll end up being half a dozen different countries. Cornwall has a unique cultural heritage and even its own language but they still seem to be able to put up with the English. Londoners regularly demonstrate their sense of superiority to the rest of us and would be doing amazing well economically on their own but they’re not demanding independence. Sure, lots of Scots don’t like the English but does that mean we can’t continue coexisting with devolved powers under one country?

I can see that there might be cause to review the practicalities of devolution, who gets to vote on what and what money goes where. Obviously it’s important that everyone (well, as many people as possible) feels that the system is fair. I’m not suggesting that, should they vote for independence, we should mobilise the army and take them back by force but maybe we could just try to get along rather than winding each other up. Stroppy talk of not letting them keep the pound, for example, is not helpful. Perhaps instead we should be saying that Scotland has been a valued part of the country for hundreds of years and we hope it remains so for hundreds more. You know, like grown ups.

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