From the outset I’d decided that this blog wouldn’t do politics and so I keep my (quite strong) views outside these pages. Although, you could say that everything is political and the posts on ethical and sustainable clothing, and even ageism, touch on decisions made in political arenas.

Anyway, can’t let last Thursday go without saying a little something. For those of you reading this outside the UK, I’m sure you’re all aware there was a historic vote in Scotland on ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ (Being a bit of a pedant re: wording I did wonder whether the ‘should’ ought to have been ‘could’. As in ‘should it?’  Yes, of course. But ‘could it?’  Ah, well.) And the result was a quite a reasonable margin of votes (10 points) saying ‘No’ to that question.

I didn’t have a vote, living in England, but I was so torn beforehand. I wavered back and forth.

If I’d been brought up and lived in Scotland I’m pretty sure I would have voted ‘Yes’. But most of the time, I thought, ‘Nooooo’.  Why?  Because I am a Celt born in India, brought up in England, who feels European and tries to be an Internationalist. And I feel very uncomfortable around any form of nationalism. Therefore, the last thing I wanted was the break up of a 300-year-old Union that brings the people of four countries together. I want fewer barriers, please, between people, not more.

I noted also from various parts of social media that there was a bit of an emphasis on England bad, Scotland good, therefore, Scotland should break free from the wicked and evil rulers in Westminster.  Ah but wait a minute, England is not Westminster. We are not all Eton toffs, and we are definitely not those Downton Abbey types. We are ordinary, usually but not always, middle-of-the-road people, and possibly far more left-thinking (for US readers I guess left means liberal) than this government feels comfortable with. For example, the government is rapidly moving us to a US insurance based health care system but a majority would accept a tax raise to support and pay for our beloved NHS. And want the NHS to remain as it is (or was, sadly, as the ‘reforms’ are quite far gone).

However, the aftermath of the ‘No’ vote could bring a massive change – it could mean substantially more devolution, not only for Scotland, but for all countries including England.

But we remain a United Kingdom, and for that I am so grateful to the Scots. Being a lover of many things Scottish – mists, lochs, neeps (yes really), shortbread, Dr Who, haggis (have you ever tasted it, it’s delicious) tartan and plaid, I would have been heart-broken to see the UK split asunder and Scotland gone forever.   Thank you Scottish voters. But now over to those Westminster politicians to sort out Scotland’s devo-max – here’s hoping it goes well – gulp!

That’s my politics over and done with!

With love, Penny


2 thoughts on “In praise of plaid, and tartan and all things Scottish

  • 22nd September 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Although I am English, I lived in Edinburgh for a number of years. My brother lives there still and is married to a half Scots, half indonesian lady. His family all voted Yes and I would have if I was still living up there. It is a very different country to England. Personally I do think there is a more egalitarian atmosphere in Scotland. So I hope Westminster keeps its promises. England could benefit now if a more federal, less London-centric form of regional government emerges. But we need the chance to debate it like the Scots have had. I would love the same passionate engagement to happen here too. Not sure I will see it happening, though. However Penny, l love your blogs, keep up the good work!

  • 23rd September 2014 at 7:53 am

    Thanks so much for the comment, Judy, it’s great to get feedback!

    Yes, I do agree that Scotland is a very different country to England and I too would like a less London/Westminster centric form of government. And there are too many areas of the public sector that are micro-managed from the centre that reduce workers and professionals to fillers-in of reams of paperwork – now if that could also be tackled we’d have a much better society. But in the meantime, like you, I hope that the promised additional devolution for Scotland comes about as smoothly as possible.

Comments are closed.