I saw that Better Together repeated this line today when telling us that Sir Paul McCartney has signed the letter from English celebrities which asks the Scots to “stay with us”. I thought – they’re right – what unites England and Scotland is much greater than what divides us.
We’re all human beings, sharing the same land, with similar traditions, similar morals, similar weather. Like all people, we have hopes and dreams, have relationships, have children, have friends, go to work. Our political differences divide us to some extent but politics – though important – does not wholly determine our lives.
On the negative side – what divides us – one could put the British state. Ironically, in forcing us together politically, English and Scots are more likely to be unhappy and divided. We accuse each other of subsidising the other – money is always a potentially divisive issue. The Scots say the English don’t care about them. The English say the Scots get too good a deal. The Scots say that the union favours the rich and powerful. Some English agree. So the union itself – paradoxically it seems – is accused of being divisive. That’s my position.
I believe that independence for Scotland will enable each country to reconfigure our relationships much more healthily – within our countries first, and then between our countries.
So let’s remember, in both England and Scotland, that whatever happens in the referendum, what unites us is much greater than what divides us.