Next week the future of Scotland will be decided in a ballot to see if it should break away from the United Kingdom. I have been doing my bit to convince Scotland to stay in the Union and vote No in the referendum. I have an enormous affection for Scotland, they are my favourite Celtic neighbours and I have fallen in love with it’s people, culture, cities, landscape and history. My curiosity started to unfold when I went to Glasgow last year. As I have already said before the city is my favourite place in Scotland and I would like to live there. The people were friendly and welcoming as I was a Clyde-Sider disproving my family’s perceptions of it as having a hatred of the English and the Westminster elite.
I have been aware of some hatred towards the southern country of England right from the start, it happens as a result of indifference and the wealth gap. I have seen some playful booing of the English Commonwealth Team from Scots as I was watching the opening ceremony alongside them at a public venue, just as you would expect at a football match watch from the pub but it didn’t put me off. I expect to see some dislike of England like that in general as I have seen down here in Essex and London towards multiculturalism and our distant neighbours across England and Wales and Scotland. In that respect I can’t see any better but the lesser of two evils. Scotland’s patriotism is showing it’s ugly side in the run up to the referendum next week and only just recently the gap is narrowing between separation and union. One thing that I have noticed is that the Yessers are starting to get aggressive with the No voters by attacking English born residents, ripping down No slogans and in some cases heckling the No voters at public appearances. Alex Salmond and the SNP are standing by and not speaking out about it and they seem to be using it to their advantage like a master of angry dogs let out cautiously by his own carelessness. Salmond is more of a closet tyrant than an upper crusted statesman. He’s trying to start a fight with the opposition by dismissing the facts of what beckons for Scotland when a breakaway happens. That’s not fighting for independence that’s just trying to create a land for his own game with an economy that won’t work. He’s already got swathes of power in the devolved Parliament of Scotland that he won’t use to show up a means to vote Yes.
In these desperate days the No campaign is continuing to fight with some much needed conserved ammunition. Several businesses now including banks and energy companies have declared their intention to leave Scotland if it breaks away. I think this will be a way to show Salmond his plot to break Scotland away will fail indefinitely because all the big money makers will be gone and the country will be like it’s impoverished self once again before the Stuart dynasty married England and Scotland together 300 years ago.
All this might make me hopeful for a No vote succeed next week but what really I really fear is my friend’s welfare. All those Clyde-Siders from Scotland who I befriended over the last nine months through social media and working in Glasgow. What kind of Scotland will they be living in should a Yes vote triumph? Some of them are against and some of them are for independence. However they choose to vote I hope they have a clear conscience and will vote with their hopes and their heads held high. But I care and wonder about them every day, I had the best of company and workmates at the friendliest games on Earth. Some of them may hate me for supporting the union but I care about them and I like them for what they are worth whatever their intentions. Even though they want to break away I can still be friends with them. I hold them in high esteem, they are just the kind of people I adore and I love the Scots in general. They are the most powerful communally bonded people in the world. Just the kind of society that I want to live and work in. They could teach England some of their values and how they can benefit us.
What I saw in Glasgow during my time up there was a better value for society than what I saw down here during my entire time in Hornchurch, Essex. Here in England there is a vendetta against showing a love of your country, it’s considered dirty because it’s associated with right wing extremism and racism. Councils and community leaders demonise a celebration of Englishness just to satisfy and win favour with their business partners. Business partners who have filled their pockets with so much wealth they squander it towards their own greed. This probably explains why we have the North-South divide. The businesses don’t just see the north as another country, they just don’t like the North as a whole because they can’t see the kind of glamour and significance that London has. That’s why we have virtually no Saudi Arabian playboys showing off their flash cars in Manchester or Newcastle, yet alone Edinburgh or Glasgow. I’ve seen snobbery not just from the Westminster elite, but with the companies overseas who come here. That’s not fair, Westminster should know how overcrowded London is and that there is no more room. Already England is the most populous country per square foot in the world that they should’ve realised that their priorities are all wrong. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there is a much stronger recognition of celebration and achievements of their heroes. They value their community and their heritage that they have a distinct and unique image that ought to attract investors where they are needed. What happened to Japanese investment in Scotland? When I was at the Kelvingrove Museum I discovered a lot of cultural and economic trade history between Scotland and Japan. Thanks to Scotland the Japanese learned how to make whiskey and electrical equipment. Can’t Westminster recommend some business to Scotland from it’s overwhelming foreign investors? I saw some businesses from overseas that contributed massively to the Commonwealth Games and thanks to Scotland’s place in the UK these investors answered to the call of our head of state to provide the means to deliver the best Commonwealth Games that Britain ever hosted in Scotland. I only hope that by staying in the union and the pound is kept a strong currency these investors will have a great opportunity to expand their business further from London and the South East.
These games were born out of Britain and with Scotland they had the chance to show off their finest sports people that I had the privilege to witness. Some of them like Lesley Sharp and all in favour of staying in the UK and she’s glad to be a part of the Union. As an athlete it gives her the opportunity to compete and represent both Scotland and Britain at the same time and it goes to show that through unity and a common government we have the greatest athletes that we can share together. Recently Salmond used the name of Team Scotland – the Commonwealth Games team to declare his team as the team that stands for Scotland and anyone who disagrees with him isn’t one of Team Scotland. That is just rubbish, I’ve seen dictators use such names to justify their rule of oppression and satisfy their politics. Now Salmond wants to associate a sports team that bears his country’s name to justify his vision. What is he going to do next, expel the athletes who disagree with him?
The scare tactics to persuade voters are getting more bizarre and intimidating by the day. Today we had the supermarket chains announce the need for the cost of living to be increased tenfold in an independent Scotland. Salmond stands accused of lying about the oil reserves in the North Sea which the SNP claims will have enough to allow Scotland to last long after separation for a hundred years. Well researchers and the energy giants can confirm that the oil supply in the wells is gradually drying up. That is like trying to seize a dry cow from a field that has strayed onto another one’s land. This blow on 10 September has been called ‘First Minister’s Black Wednesday’. The Yes campaigners are using Norway as a model for the case for an independent Scotland. A country which broke free of Swedish and Danish rule in 1905 but what they are overlooking is the hardship that the Nordics experienced in the years that followed and the consequences that are continuing to this day. Norway has some very expensive commodities and the cost of living is quite high over there. Their currency – the Krona – has a value of one tenth that of British pound sterling. Whatever currency Scotland has it will be of a peanut value when it starts to come into circulation. When the TV debates first started Salmond was told by his advisers to avoid making references to Braveheart otherwise he would have made himself look like a caricature of a Scottish war hero immortalised by an actor. Look at how he is faring now – a deluded, arrogant, sneaky conniving little bugger.