Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Crawley Observer Column 17th September 2014

There is now just under 24 hours to save our United Kingdom from the cynically dishonest Alex Salmond and his separatist and often aggressive nationalist party. This week in my Crawley Observer column (below the picture) I have written about one small aspect (out of many) that affects us here in England, that being our own identity if the bully-boy separatists win.
Stay with us Scotland!
"This week’s Scottish separation vote has implications for the entire UK and not just Scotland. Last week I wrote about my support for our United Kingdom. This week, before the outcome of the vote is known, I write about one aspect of the potential aftermath should Scotland vote to leave the UK, that aspect being English identity.

The UK is a complicated constitutional nation. Its four component parts are made up of two countries, a principality and a constitutional region. Geographical descriptions sometimes get confused with political descriptions with some people struggling to differentiate between Great Britain, United Kingdom and British Isles.

Within all these descriptions, we have our home country of England which in population terms is by far the largest part of the UK at 84%. This can lead to some confusion abroad, with some people believing that English and British are the same thing. I am proud to be both English and Scottish and of course very proud to be British. Within England we also have regional and city identities as well as to some degree, county and town identities. I am proud to have a Crawley and West Sussex identity although I am relaxed about how people choose to identify themselves.
Recent years have seen a rise in Scottish nationalism as well as devolved democracy to the other three parts of the UK. If Scotland does vote to break away, where does this leave the English and our sense of identity within what remains of the UK? I support healthy English patriotism where we celebrate our identity and culture and if we don’t, it risks being hijacked by the far-right.

Sadly, there is a perception that being proud to be English has been discouraged over the last couple of decades while other UK nations have had patriotism encouraged. I fear a potential rise in unhealthy English nationalism should Scotland break away, fuelled by resentment that we have been viewed as not being good enough to be with. Let’s hope my concerns prove unfounded, or better still, that Scotland votes to stay as part of the UK." 

No comments: