I am English but more particularly I am proud to be British and thus have always found it slightly difficult to understand those who are not. I am acutely aware of this nation’s shortcomings but these are frankly few when you think about it and they are rather offset by our strengths which include a strong economy, a fabulous cultural heritage and a diverse society.
I was sure that when the chips were down the people of Scotland would vote against independence which of course they did. I am equally sure that the result had little to do with the strength of their pride in Scotland or the extent to which they cherish their identity. It has everything to do with the security of belonging to the United Kingdom and the fear of the unknown.
Independence would have meant sailing in unchartered waters and people always fear change.
How do I Feel?
What I have never been so certain about is my own feelings on the outcome of the vote. Whilst believing that the United Kingdom was the most beneficial place for Scotland to be, I have never been at all convinced that the rest of the union is enhanced by Scotland’s presence. It seems to me that those North of the border are on the right end of any funding that happens to be on offer.
In addition the recent events gave some indication that many major organisations would decamp to England should Scotland decide on independence. This could only be a boost for England.
There was also a big part of me which was offended by the thought that some people didn’t want to be British and by the commonly held belief that those of us who inhabit the Southeast somehow have it easy.
Anyone who has experienced the property prices, congested roads and overloaded infrastructure in these parts would beg to differ! I felt a rather devilish desire to see a yes vote and for this to prove to be the disastrous mistake that I believed it to be.
On a more trivial note there are a few things that I would find less than ideal should Scotland ever leave the fold. For one thing I just love it when I am in America and the locals who think the United Kingdom is a small village want to know all about tartan, kilts and bagpipes. That is when they aren’t asking about Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and the Beatles.
Also my parents are avid collectors of a certain range of Scottish figurines and I have no intention of travelling to a foreign country to buy them!
All in all I think the United Kingdom got the result that is best for all in the long run. Hopefully we can now stop hearing about the whole issue for some time as, if nothing else, I am sick of hearing about it. Independence for Scotland may be a major issue but even the most important of subjects has a shelf life and this one is past its sell by date.
Sally Stacey is an English professional writer and small business owner whi is proud to be British!