29 - 09 - 2021 / Your Story
GORDON BROWN IMPLYING INDEPENDENCE IS ABOUT ANTI-ENGLISHNESS
In 2014, shortly before voting No in the Scottish independence referendum, I read Gordon Brown's book 'My Scotland, Our Britain' with admiration.
It was a book that articulated brilliantly what it was that I, as an Anglo-Scot who had lived most of my life in England before moving to Scotland, so treasured about the Union.
Seven years on, as a post-Brexit convert to independence, I still admire Brown for his convictions but wonder at some of the straw men against which he builds his case.
Does he really believe that anyone's central argument for the break-up of Britain is that we cannot be Scottish and British at the same time?
- That a desire for independence signals a desire not to cooperate with England?
- That this is about no more than "narrow nationalism"?
- Or is it just easier to come up with this stuff because the truth is more challenging?
Brexit is not only a catastrophe for Scotland but an abuse of England's dominant status, which renders meaningless any grand words about the cooperation.
Scotland hasn't voted for a Tory government since the 1950s. Under Boris Johnson and any of his likely successors, our very democracy is under threat.
It is entirely coherent to rejoice in the England of Emma Raducanu, Marcus Rashford and Gareth Southgate, and still to believe that Scotland would be better off going its own way.
If Scotland does become independent, it will be in all our interests - both sides of the border - to see a relationship of trust, goodwill and the closest possible cooperation between London and Edinburgh.
That shouldn't in principle, be difficult.
But it won't be helped by the likes of Gordon Brown implying that independence is predominantly about anti-Englishness.
Richard from Inverness-shire