Scotland & the EU

British and Scottish nationalism are polar opposites

You have to be wilfully blinkered not to see the massive differences between the British nationalist forces behind Brexit and the cause of Scottish home rule.

Brexit is xenophobic / anti immigrant, misty eyed historical knee jerk reaction to the loss of economic stability, it is isolationist and separatist, it is driven from a feeling of loss of British superiority and putting the great back in Great Britain. It’s economically unhinged, stubbornly refusing to accept the emerging body of evidence that it will cost more than EU membership, without the benefits, will diminish trade and actually reduce the UK’s global standing not increase it.

Essentially it demonstrates an intellectual vacuousness towards the modern reality that all economies are now economically interdependent and interconnected.

Scottish independence is internationally focused, it is inclusive and open, it doesn’t fear immigrants, it welcomes New Scots, it’s not a knee jerk reaction to anything but rather a growing sense of self-reliance and a generational move towards a determination that localises decision making, and economic and social policies tailored to the needs of Scotland (and not the London metropolis) that will be better for Scotland.

It was never separatist, I lost count of how many times No campaigners said “that’s not real independence, to share a currency, to maintain trading links and open borders, to share some costs”; well actually it is – that is what independence in a modern world looks like and British nationalists can’t have it both ways.

The British movement is separatist and backward looking, the Scottish home rule movement is inclusive and forward looking – they are as different as black and white, they are polar opposites and that is evident to see for those  are not blinded by dogmatic adherence to the failing British nation and Westminster’s distant disinterested and dysfunctional governance.

Don’t just take my word for it – here are some quotes from writers who are not part of the Scottish Independence movement, and even though some may be against independence they are at least open and honest enough not to slander half a nation with a made-up falsehood.

Jamie Maxwell writing in the New Statesmen; It is unionists, not nationalists, who are obsessed with identity.
“The mainstream nationalists’ arguments for independence are broadly civic and pragmatic, it is the unionists who obsess about the threat an independent Scotland presents to “Britishness”. It is unionists, not nationalists, who are obsessed with identity.”

Elliott Green, Professor in the Department of International Development at the LSE makes a statement about one political party as opposed to the whole movement: “The contrast between the SNP and other nationalist movements and parties is striking. “The SNP explicitly promotes civic nationalism, claiming that membership in the Scottish nation is to be defined not by blood but by voluntary attachment to Scotland and participation in its civic life. This has paid off, with high support from ethnic minorities for independence.”

Billy Bragg writing in the Guardian: “For me, the most frustrating aspect of the debate on Scottish independence has been the failure of the English left to recognise that there is more than one type of nationalism. People who can explain in minute detail the many forms of socialism on offer at any demo or conference seem incapable of differentiating when it comes to nationalists. Exclusive: Scottish nationalism and British nationalism arent the same”

Simon Pia Former Comms Director for Scottish Labour now a lecturer in Journalism, wrote: “Scotland’s inclusive “civic nationalism” with its loosely social democratic values is now viewed as something to aspire to, particularly after its resounding vote 62%-38% to remain in the EU. It stands in stark contrast to the right-wing populism that has produced the Trump presidency and its “America First” nationalism; Marine Le Pen and the other nationalist movements in mainland Europe; and UKIP, which has effectively infected the soul of Tory party.”

Patrick Coburn in The Independent Brexit unleashed an English nationalism that has damaged the union with Scotland for good

And finally, courtesy of Simon Pa’s blog above,  @RichardDawkins – one of the English celebrities who signed the letter asking Scotland to stay – said: “I opposed Scottish independence. But if I were Scottish today I’d want to leave the nasty little backwater that England is becoming.”

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About the author

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp is the Founder and Chief Executive of Business for Scotland. Before becoming CEO of Business for Scotland he ran a small social media and sales & marketing consultancy.

With a degree in business, marketing and economics, Gordon has worked as an economic development planning professional, and in marketing roles specialising in pricing modelling and promotional evaluation for global companies (including P&G).

Gordon benefits (not suffers) from dyslexia, and is a proponent of the emerging New Economics School. Gordon contributes articles to Business for Scotland, The National and The Huffington Post.

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