There are always a ready bunch of nutters out there in the mainstream and social media claiming that the movement for independence in Scotland is just a cunning ‘cover’ for anti-Englishness.
They are usually coming from the let’s make Britain “global’ again viewpoint, with chips on both shoulders and choked up with prejudices, xenophobia and red white and blue underwear. As we all know, that assertion is fallacious, outrageous and couldnae be further from the truth.
How could a yearning to live in a country which governs itself ever be construed to about anti-Englishness? Most of us have close family and friends who are English. Many of us are English by birth. Are we planning on never ever planting a kiss on the foreheads of our grannies fae Liverpool or papa’s from Newcastle ever again? Are we to never again look forward to sharing Christmas with our sister’s kids from Exeter? Will we shun our lifelong friend from the East End of London because he sounds like he drinks in the Queen Vic?
No, this is such a childish, foolish and divisive spin to put on a movement which only wants Scotland to be like the rest of the world, where it is the normal natural state of affairs for a country to govern itself. We are not better than anyone else, we don’t see ourselves as superior, but we certainly aren’t inferior either.
Anti-English we are not. However we are anti some things, anti-inequality, anti-unfairness, anti-exploitation, anti-poor health and anti-poverty. The continuing steady momentum towards the inevitable independence of Scotland is a direct consequence of long-term mismanagement, exploitation, incompetence and duplicity by a remote government controlling a resource and asset rich country it sees as a distant region to be exploited, or as they like to call it “pooling and sharing.”
Times are changing, the people of Scotland’s eyes are opening, forelock tugging to our ‘betters’ is in the past.
A research report by the Scottish Government published today highlights that the richest 1% in Scotland own more wealth than the bottom 50%. Just think about that for a minute. You live in a country which has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources, innovation in technology and science, and world renowned export food and drink industries for several decades, the envy of many other countries in the developed world.
How can that statistic be true? How can it be? Other countries who discovered that they had a vast natural resource around their coastline at the same time as Scotland now have some of the highest living standards in the world, the best health care, citizens who live consistently to a ripe old age, with excellent standards of housing and first class public services, yet in Scotland 1% of the population is better off than the lowest 50% of the population?
Here’s a few other facts (Not the alternative kind, real ones).
In 2016, in one of the top 20 richest countries in the world, 1 in 5 Scots were living in poverty of some kind. The number of Scots in severe or extreme poverty in 2016 had increased over the previous decade to around 710,000 (After housing costs). More than 1 in 5 (220,00 ) Scottish children live in severe poverty, a comparative figure significantly higher than most other European countries. 43% of people in Scotland of working age who are in severe poverty live in households where at least 1 adult is working, in low pay. Drug deaths in Scotland in 2015 were up, 706, the highest ever recorded figure. The average life expectancy of Scots in 2016 in comparison to the South East of England was 3.3 years less. Looking closer at areas where high poverty exists in Scotland statistics show that men from affluent areas are likely to live around 12.5 years longer than those from the poorest areas. The numbers of Scots who required the use of Food banks increased by 398% in the period 2012 to 2014. In 2015 the Trussell Trust recorded 133, 726 referrals for three-day emergency supplies in Scotland, around 44,000 of which involved children and in 2015-16 34,622 homeless applications were made in Scotland.
By contrast around 432 families or corporations own 50% of Scotland’s private land, which is very different to most other European countries, and as mentioned above, 1% of the richest in Scotland own more than the poorest 50% put together. Think about it.
See the next time somebody tries to tell you that you must hate English people because you want your country to govern itself put them straight, will you?