My piece on the Scottish cringe (which I originally penned in April, but seemed to only generate discussion last month) certainly struck a chord. Regardless of how you identified with my blog, it certainly instigated debate. That’s always a positive, in my book.
So here’s my follow up piece. I was pondering how to structure this article. But after a week or so, I became inspired. Here we go.
I’ve concluded that British Nationalists or Unionists as they seem to prefer being labelled are never going to shake off the cringe. It’s not because they want to abandon Scotland, but because they don’t see Scotland as anything other than an appendage of the UK. To them, everything of significance and pride emanates from London and moves outward. Scotland is just a small part of that. Not a place of influence, just a bit of land too far north for most people in London to really bother with it. This suits Brit Nats just fine.
I spend significant time on social media. Probably too much time. But one thing all those hours on Twitter has taught me is that a certain segment of the Scottish population genuinely have no allegiance to Scotland. They don’t care if Brexit destroys our economy. They don’t care if we run out of food or medicine. I’m not even sure if many of them care what kind of impact this will have on their own families. It’s bizarre, but take a casual online stroll around the accounts of the most outspoken Brit Nats. Whether they be Unionist politicians and journalists, wanna be economic gurus, or just anonymous trolls. They all share a common view, and that is whatever happens to Scotland, no matter how detrimental, it’s okay as long as we move in the same direction as the rest of the UK. Did you know these folk have circulated a petition to have the Scottish Parliament abolished? Yep, Scotland is just getting too big for her britches, and that wee “prentendy” Parliament is getting above her station.
Which leads me to a very different conclusion than how I felt last April. I genuinely believed we could help staunch British Nationalists see that Scotland had a brighter future with independence, and that ALL our decisions could be made in Scotland by the people who live and work here. But I was wrong. The Scottish cringe is a part of the very psyche of these people. They don’t have any individual Scottish indentity. I don’t imagine when (or if) they travel abroad they ever try to tell others that Scotland voted 62% to Remain in the EU. And that it was our much larger neighbour in England who decided we would leave the EU. Why? Because to them Scotland has no separate identity. They’re British not Scottish. They don’t see a different attachment to Europe here. As long as more voters in Sunderland say Europe is bad, then it must be so.
So I’ve removed the optimism and hope I had for these people. I’m not even angry with them. I just feel a strong sense of pity for them. I don’t for a moment understand what makes a person so compelled to be so dismissive of their homeland. But now I fully understand, Scotland is only the bit of land they happen to live on. The UK is their first and foremost allegiance. Whatever the government of Westminster decides (a government almost always chosen by our much larger neighbour) is fine. Food and medicine shortages. Oh well. It’s part of a shared heritage for them.
I no longer have the energy or inclination to want to change this view. But come April when food is scarce, do you imagine they tell their kids that hunger is price worth paying to stay part of this “great” United Kingdom? Here my dear child, try some HP sauce on that union jack, it makes it a big easier to ingest.