18 - 12 - 2019 / Your Story


Having grown up in Scotland with a (posh) English accent but from such a young age that all my cultural references and experience are such that I consider myself Scottish, I've always been sensitive to a particular strand of anti-English sentiment that runs through the nationalist mindset.

I also did some work for the Scottish Government and saw parts of how the White Paper was produced that gave me little confidence that it served any practical purpose beyond agenda-setting.

Because I had moved to England for work, I was not able to vote but felt a shift in my opinion towards the independence question toward the end. I was in Glasgow on the night of the referendum and remember reflecting that I had changed my mind.

What Brexit has made clear in my mind is that the two positions are fundamentally different.

Scotland is functionally treated as a junior partner to England, politically and culturally by the institutions in which we are meant to be a stakeholder.

Scottish Independence takes an established identity and makes a positive case for ownership of that identitiy and what comes with it. I feel that the emphasis of this positive case is what changed toward the end of the indyref and lead to my shift of opinion.

Living in England, speaking to people who Voted Leave and following the news, I am clear that Brexit is a negative and frankly, a cynical proposition.

It doesn't come from an established sentiment and awareness of inferior treatment, it comes from a disaffected populace being drip-fed poison and being told what to think. It doesn't harness identity, it explicitly pushes against the 'other' and raises that same old sensitivity about nationalism. This time it isn't personal but is written much larger.

For these reasons, I would be encouraged by the re-ignition of an independence movement and would redouble my efforts to come back home to Scotland.

James from Cumbria