Thought I might as well add my two pennyworth to the mountain of opinion about the Scottish referendum. Cornwall is about as far removed from Scotland as it’s possible to get, but what the heck, we’re all celts, and besides, I did go to Stirling University.
When I left home (Devon) for Scotland, it was 1990 and I was 18 years old. All I knew about Stirling University was that, a) it was a long way from home and b) it wasn’t in a city. For me at the time, that made it the obvious choice. Here’s what I discovered on arrival:
I didn’t have a clue what anyone was saying.
Later, once I’d acclimatised, I found myself in a place radically different from the one I’d left. I had thought sectarianism was something that happened only in Northern Ireland, and I had thought Scotland was kind of like England but with tartan, haggis and the bagpipes.
What I discovered was that I qualified, albeit among only very small minority, as a “Fucking English Bastard; among others I was a rare exception, being “alright” and from a race of Fucking English Bastards; mostly, I was what I was – a clueless kid from Devon who regularly drank far too much Tartan Special, only to vomit it all into my wastepaper basket later on.
People had Scottish flags on their walls, “Remember Bannockburn”, was a popular slogan. I didn’t even know where Bannockburn was. I remember heated debates about Scottish independence, the chippy comments about the oil ‘stolen’ by England. It was unexpected, and it made me think, which is what University is (or should be) for.
Scotland was and still is a different country, which doesn’t mean I’m keen to see the break up of the United Kingdom, but I can see the the case for it. And we all know how in touch Westminster is with the 99% of us.
However, if the Scots think they’ll get shot of their colonial overlords by voting YES tomorrow, they should think again. As much as we may be fed up with politicians, they are actually elected, which means they’re not overlords but representatives. No. The feudal overlords are the 432 members of the Scottish aristocracy who own half of all the privately owned land in Scotland. They are the colonial overlords, with the Queen at their head. In this, Scotland has much in common with Cornwall where Prince Charles and Lord Falmouth own great tracts of land.
If it’s the English the Scots are worried about, well, they should be. That’s because if they do vote for independence, lots of us English (including the Cornish) will want to migrate there. If they vote no, but get all the extra powers promised, well then watch out Scotland, because once again, the English will want to move there. If you become the country you promise to be, you’ll need your own version of UKIP to try to keep us out.
When it comes down to it, it’s not just you lot who are sick and tired of the same old bollocks from the same old vested interests, we all are. So tomorrow, when you vote, you “Fucking Scottish Bastards”, whether you vote Yes, or NO, vote for all of us. Vote for change.