Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Proud Scots who are proud to be British as well

I lived in Scotland for three years then in Hong Kong, which was run by Scots in those days, for four more. I have many Scottish friends and love their country. I have never, ever heard Scots of my acquaintance demean their Scottishness of which they are justly proud. But I've never heard them deny or denigrate their Britishness either. More than the English Scots can resolve easily the slight paradox of being binational. They are simultaneously Scottish and British - and proud of it. They don't see themselves as victims - on the contrary they rather relish the fact that they can emphasise their Scottishness (at Murrayfield) or their Britishness (at London 2012) without there being an ounce of conflict in this.

When it comes to Mr Salmond's referendum Scots will surely ask themselves whether they want to break up the United Kingdom, after three hundred years, or not. And whether they as individuals will give up one of their bits of national identity, their Britishness, or not. They will be no less Scottish if they stay British. And that I think will clinch the argument for "No".


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