Friday, 19 September 2014

So Glad You're Staying Scotland!

I've been up half the night though not by choice.  Thunder bouncing off the valley sides and great big lightning flashes cut short my sleep time.  I may have to have that eccentric little snooze that I've started to build into my office routine.  Mr Metrosexual nabbed a big leather recliner from a consultant when he left and it's a perfect spot for power napping.  My colleagues wake me when the snores get too loud!

Insomnia meant that I could keep up with the live results from the Scottish independence ballot as they came in on the BBC website. I'm British before being English and proud of belonging to the beautiful set of countries that make up the United Kingdom.  I hate break ups and  it would have been extremely sad to have been 'chucked' by part of our land.  Whilst I'm glad that the good folks in our Northern reaches have decided to continue to put up with being ruled by Westminster with the rest of us, I think those London-centric types have been sent a clear message by the narrow voting margin.   Yes, we are better together but us lot in the outlying regions need to have more control over what affects us locally.   Fat cat city types have no idea about our lives even if they do take the occasional holiday in a boutique hotel in Cornwall.

These words that I've just plucked from  Facebook are from the Scottish historian Neil Oliver.  Yes, he's the one with the flowing locks who's a presenter on Coast.  I think he shares my sentiments from across the border.

I will lay my cards on the table from the start: I will be voting No.  I have no economic argument to make. Frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing people argue the toss about the pound, pensions and the rest. I am voting No because for me, the offering by the Yes camp lacks nobility and humanity. Even more importantly, it lacks class, far less any kind of panache.

Having spent years working on the television series Coast, I think it’s fair to say I’ve seen as much of this United Kingdom of ours as anyone else living here. It’s a project that has changed my life in several ways. It has certainly caused me to fall in love with the place – the whole place. Circumnavigate these islands as I have, as often as I have, and one thing above all becomes clear: the national boundaries within are invisible and therefore meaningless.

People living in a fishing town in Cornwall have more in common with the inhabitants of a fishing town in Fife than either population has with the folk of a town in the Midlands. They have a shared experience and a common history of coping with lives shaped by the sea. The coast is another country – the fifth country – and it unites us and binds us like the hem of a garment.

The differences that are discernible as you travel around Britain are regional ones – made of accents and architecture, geology and geography. I am all in favour of people having the power to make decisions about their own patch: but I am utterly opposed to the idea of breaking centuries old bonds in order to make that happen."

There was a lot of talk about changing the national flag if Scotland left the UK but perhaps we need to do it anyway.  It's definitely missing a Welsh dragon somewhere!


  1. Hi I was scrolling through Scarlets blogs and saw you had updated your blog. I don't think we've 'met' before but living in Scotland I was interested to read your post. I was a yes voter but I'm happy to stay together as long as it shakes up the current Westminster groupies. My husband suggested a while back we should have a more federal system such as in USA where each area controls their own budget etc and I think that might be the way we are going to go if they are to be believed. I'm glad you're glad we're staying, I think I'm quite glad too!

    1. Thanks for that. I'm quite touched by these sentiments from a 'Yes' voter! x

  2. The system definitely needs a shake up. I'm glad that Scotland is staying with us too, for lots of reasons, but not least because I was terrified we would be stuck with the Tories for ever, if Scottish Labour seats were lost from Westminster. Living in the North, I feel I have more in common with Scottish people than I do with English people who think England begins and ends in London.
    I do like Neil Oliver - I could listen to him talk all day long!

  3. There's been some mild Neil Oliver lusting in the office today I can tell you since that post on Facebook. Barbie Nurse and I would wrestle in a vat of custard over him. All hypothetical as I think his wife might get cross. x