Mark Smith of the Herald writes the big article for the new year in the Herald this year and for me the article sums up a big problem we have in the independence movement and one of the main reason why 2022 will not be the end of the union. The article is a middle class take on the divisions that we face in the UK right now and Mark sets up the article pretty early on when he says of getting together with his friends “We had Remainers and Brexiters. We had Tories and socialists. We had trans rights supporters and trans rights doubters. We had some who were uber-strict about obeying coronavirus rules, and we had anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers.
Remarkably, the only issue we weren’t divided on was Scottish independence – we would all vote No – but on everything else we were friends disunited”.
There in lays one of the big problems we have in any future referendum or plebiscite election, we know from John Curtice in the aftermath of the 2014 referendum that 65% of those living in one of the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland voted Yes, compared with just 36% of those in the one-fifth most affluent”. Curtice found that those who own their homes outright (the better off and the older) were only 32% for independence. With a mortgage, it rose to 41%. But “yes” support was around half of those in council homes or with housing associations.
This problem, Mark Smith being a perfect example of the type of person possibly taking this view, is that the union since 1707 works for those with the most and does not work for those with the least. Mark goes on to say in his article of his group of friends “we agree on the big issues of diversity: equality between men and women, racial equality and gay equality. We agree on most of the things we can be proud of as Brits: the NHS, diversity, equality, community”. These are both the type of people who, and I accept I am making an assumption, now vote SNP and are no voters, they can also afford to hold those views because let’s be honest, when you are worried about paying the rent, putting the heating on, feeding your kids, the security of your zero hour minimum wage job you don’t have that luxury and the union does not work for you does it.
The simple reality we face right now is that those living in their own homes, who work in the more lucrative white collar jobs, are less likely to support independence. We also know through Barrhead Boy 72% of English people living in Scotland voted for London rule over Edinburgh rule in 2014, it is safe to assume that those moving to Scotland, who could afford it, are either middle class, older, or both. They probably also vote SNP now in many cases so convincing them is going to be impossible, the union also works for them.
Marks article hits home to me the depressing picture of the New Scotland that the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon have brought about in the last 6 years, it’s of a devolved Scotland that those who could yet again tip our constitutional future to another no vote are happy to inhabit, they can afford to live in the areas where the best schools are, they won’t go hungry, they won’t struggle to pay their rent, they benefit (like we all do of course) from not paying for many things at the point of need like prescriptions, if they are older they don’t pay for travel, the union works for them.
So no the union will not end in 2022, the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, her elected reps, and people possibly like Mark and his friends have no desire to see it end, it works for them, it just doesn’t work for the rest of us.
“We had trans rights supporters and trans rights doubters.”
Smith is a terrible writer but that sentence there is one of the worst I’ve read of his. The absolute state of it. No-one doubts that trans people should have the same rights as everyone else but many, indeed as 3 recent opinion polls confirm most, don’t think they should impinge on the rights of women enshrined in the Equality Act.
And the union is not only not going to end in 2022, it will not end as long as Sturgeon and the rest of the compromised devolutionists/quasi unionists are in control of the SNP and therefore the government.
Ps Happy New Year!
I agree, Mark Smith is full of middle class entitlement and everything that I don’t like in no voters. No consideration for what is in the best interests of all of Scotland, only concerned with their little part of it and screw everyone else, and most of them are confirmed BritNats. There will no end to this union until the very least Sturgeon is gone, I totally agree with you on that one. The problem will be the ones left behind her are just as bad and amazingly less intelligent.
Thanks for commenting.
We know from the work of Ailsa Henderson and James Mitchell at Edinburgh University we know that:
1. 54% of the ‘working class’ voted Yes whereas only 42% of ‘middle class’ favoured Indy
2. 62% of ‘social renters’ voted Yes whereas only 35% of ‘owner-occupiers’ favoured Indy
3. 56% of those in the lowest income quartile votes Yes whereas only 44% of others favoured Indy
( see https://blogs.sps.ed.ac.uk/scottishreferendumstudy/files/2015/03/Scottish-Referendum-Study-27-March-2015.pdf)
For white collar workers it seems to be all about how much better off / worse off they going to be in a new Scottish state rather than having any conscience about the plight of their fellow compatriots or simply the self esteem of having a government that you elected running affairs separately for the people of Scotland.
Hardly the stuff on which revolutions are based. It’s more than a bit dispiriting.
Totally, no care for democracy or their fellow Scots. It is all about them and their Britnat entitlement which I find just disgusting. For myself it is all about democracy and I accept that I will have to be worse off for that to happen but to live in a proper democracy is well worth it as far as I am concerned. Thanks for sharing that link for everyone to see the stats.
Thanks for commenting.
Nothing in that post I could disagree with, I know from where I live that many of the elderly English people who never deny they are BRITISH, moved here for the “FREEBIES” Alex gave to help the lower paid people, like free prescriptions, free elderly care, many brag about selling their house in England and quite a few have now bout lodges or caravans as holiday homes, & they are living in council accommodation. As an SNP activist (at one time) & also a doorstep canvasser in the run up to 2014 Ref, these people made it clear they are BRITISH and would Never vote for Indy.. Now I have also marched with many English for INDY people, so am not saying ALL English people would vote NO.. But more and more who are & have moved here have sold houses got council houses & are so much better off than their Scots neighbours. I also know of a few who returned from Spain due to Brexit, and got a council house right away. It seems even our councils are UNIONIST minded & KNOW giving the council houses built in Scotland supposedly to help Scots. Means a higher turn out for NO in any referendum..As was said in Dads Army. WE ARE DOOMED, I do not see INDY happening in my lifetime at all, but then I am on the wrong side of 70 now. But am so pissed because I gave 52 of those years to supporting the SNP. Unless we can get rid of the SNP get a majority of ALBA/ISP/AFI & all other Indy parties out there voted for in the next GE. Ian’s declare our Independence via the plebiscite. We can kiss goodbye to INDY forever..Because if this country can’t vote for INDY with what the Tories have done and are still doing. Then I repeat, WE ARE DOOMED..
I struggle to see indy any time soon also, and I totally accept what you say from your experience, that is why Barrhead Boy is correct when he blogs that a referendum is a mistake and it has to be a plebiscite election because there are just too many economic migrants from England, and other places, who came to Scotland, I have also met a few and they have no shame. It is about democracy for me though and not my money or how comfortable I might be, it is about doing what is right for us all and that starts with democracy all the way.
Thanks for commenting.
Happy New Year. Lets hope its not as Grumpy as 2021.
Could you send me an email please as the rest of my comment seems to have been censored. Not rude just information that you would like.
I’m only seeing two emails from yourself, one that was just approved and this one. I’ll check other folders but I don’t think anyone can edit or not approve an email or a comment. I’ll email as well tomorrow and hopefully this will clarify.
Thanks for commenting.
I don’t think it could get as much worse for myself to be honest across the board.
Thanks for commenting.
It’s quite simple the migrants sell up their home in the south of England they retire and buy a cheaper house in Scotland. They make use of free prescriptions bus travel etc. Locals cant afford to buy or compete against their spending power .They deny our right for democracy they are part of the plan to make us part of a one nation greater England, The SNP have delayed the Scottish census because the shit will hit the fan when we find out. Sturgeon hope’s that she can con us, so it is to late to act. The voting franchise is rigged in the Unions favour due to the fact their is 1 million settlers now living in Scotland. The SNP lovees tell us we all know English people that will vote for independence. So do I but their allegiance is to their mother county and they will vote accordingly any expectation of anything else is disingenuous .We must have a plebiscite election and Disolve the corupt rotten to the core, not fit for purpose Union.
But the way just remember EVIL, English votes for English laws, the referendum on Brexit stopped EU nationals voting on a constitutional issue. The reason the Unionist want English settlers the vote cause that stuffed us in 2014. Only the indigenous population should vote on constitutional issues such as independence as recognised by the UN.The colonial settlers do not get a vote, do not let anyone tell you different.
All so true.