Thursday, February 16, 2012
Can't Help it, I agree with Dave on Union
Cameron has been explaining today why he's totally against Scottish independence For slightly different reasons, though there is much overlap, I agree with him, as do the other two major parties in the Commons. It's odd, as mostly I'm quite rational on political issues, or like ot think I am, but on this issue it's more a gut reaction. I have been brought up to identify with a 'British' identity. As someone with an Anglo-Welsh provenance, I have always felt a certain distance from the English and hate the things Welsh people often identify: snobbishness, small minded selfishness, a sense of superiority. And I have always been happier cheering the British Lions rugby teams or feeling good about British actors and writers whether Scottish, Welsh or English.
I never liked Gordon Brown, but this had everything to do with him being a poor prime minister, nothing to do with him being a Scot. Robin Cook was one of my few heroes among modern Labour politicians. It follows I have nothing againt the Welsh. Indeed, one of my favourite politicians historically is David Lloyd George, the Welsh Wizard and I very much admired and liked Neil Kinnock, despite his tendency to prolixity.
I'm well aware of the economic arguments, for and against and the constitutional ones too. I realise Scotland gets 20% more funding per person than we do in England, but I'm pretty sure Northern Ireland people receive even more and I feel no anger over that either. I just think 'Britain' would be hugely weakened if Scotland separated from it; I realise that's a mostly emotional objection. But I'm also aware of other emotions out there, especially a growing sense of 'Englishness' which is emerging and fueling some of the feelings south of the border Salmond is trying to foment north of it.