Something that has always bothered me is the constant comparing of what is going on in Scotland with what is going on in England. All the parties do it but does it serve to just further an inferiority complex that some seem to have regarding Scotland and its place in the world.
Some people call it the ‘Scottish Cringe’, a perceived inferiority of England and the English through a sense of resentment and under achievement of ourselves as Scots. I grew up with a belief that everything is England’s fault, not a belief I have now, but one that some, including many of our politicians still have. I recognise in myself a cynicism that I have always had, that many people around me have, a blame culture that has surrounded me my whole life and continues to today in a small degree even though I have come to understand that having that view actually keeps myself down.
A lot has been written about the ‘The Scottish Cringe’ over the years but something I read recently by Bill Forsyth the Film Director caught my eye, he said about Scotland “It’s either had an inferiority complex or the opposite. It’s just a little schizophrenic nation like most little nations seeking an identity”. There is a lot of truth in that statement.
We, or many of us, bang on about how great we are but our politicians can only measure our success by comparing our society to the failure of England’s in so many ways. The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberals will talk up how great things are in England compared to Scotland when the facts suit them and the SNP will compare how good things are here when the facts suit them. Now I recognise that as sadly being part of the political game but is it all holding us back.
I am not for talking ourselves up all the time in the hope that will somehow make all of our problems go away, it won’t. But with a possible independence referendum on the horizon I am starting to think that the constant comparisons with England will make it harder to win any future vote. I have a huge problem with Westminster and our lack of democracy in the United Kingdom and in particular Scotland, but I don’t have a problem per say with England because I don’t really care all that much what they do, it is their business, but I understand what Westminster does can, and often does, have a detrimental effect on Scotland.
I actually don’t think that many Scots have a problem with the English, I blame the politicians and the media for this perception as it’s suits their purpose, I think most people probably don’t care all that much as we all just want to get on with our lives in many ways but the politicians won’t let it go. I want a divorce from Westminster but not from Wales, Northern Ireland or England. We share this island and will continue to share this island.
However, as we move towards Indy2, is it time to pretty much ignore England to a degree. Comparing ourselves to England at a political level all the time by our politicians will reduce our chance to win in my opinion. We have got to find our own story now, not looking to the past, not looking to England or anywhere else. We don’t need to believe in a Scottish utopia but we do need to chart our own path.
I appreciate and totally understand that our current political circumstances make it difficult to make the decisions we might want to make, and we should continue to point out at every opportunity where the Union does not work, but we do need to make our circumstances work as best we can. Maybe we need to operate as best we can as if we are already an independent country.
I like the SNP idea of having a trade mission in Germany, let’s see if we can have as many of them as we can afford all over the world. Let’s continue to engage with countries on our own terms and let Westminster try to stop us. If countries don’t want to engage fine, but let’s make the effort. There are many reserved matters we can’t do anything about but we can chart our own path where we can and screw Westminster.
We may not be an independent country, we won’t be recognised by many if any as one, Westminster will continue to make life difficult but so what, f them. It’s our journey and it’s time we stopped caring what they think, if we can do that maybe we can and will win the next time.
Just a thought.