8 Sep 2014

What is England’s view on Scottish independence?

The result of next Thursday’s referendum will be a profoundly important moment for the Union, but nobody outside Scotland will have a vote. So what is the opinion in England on whether the Scots should go it alone?

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12 reader comments

  1. Graham says:

    A vast over simplification of what brought about the union in the first place doesn’t help. You fail to mention the alien act, the troops on the border and the other minor details that helped the scottish nobles (or parcel of rogues) make up their minds up. And it wasn’t benevolence that motivated the English participation but a desire to seal it’s borders and to lock out a possible Jacobite catholic line from the throne. A schism that led to culloden and eventual destruction and dispersal of highland culture and it’s people. Nevertheless some good has come of the union: the labour movement, NHS, solidarity born in 2nd world war, and many shared values that Mr Brown spoke of in the NY times today but let’s not guild the unionist lily and pretend it’s all been ‘Great’.

  2. Carntyne says:

    The need to be different Alex?


    But we do have the need to be free of nuclear weapons, which those in the south seem keen on but store in Scotland because of English nimby’s.

    The need to stay well clear of punishments like the poll tax and bedroom tax imposed on us by the Tories we did not vote for.

    The need to avoid being called subsidy junkies’ when in reality we have been net contributors for the last 32 consecutive tears to the exchequer.

    The need to control our own affairs and spend our taxes in our country to suit the needs of the people and not those of English Tory toffs.

    The need to gain control of billions of £sss of North Sea Oil, which for the last 40 years have been pissed away by successive Westminster governments, and yet still has miraculously accumulated £1.5 trillion of debt.

    And finally the need to regain our self respect after 300 years and join the other nations which have gained their independence from the British Empire and prospered.

    We can’t expect other countries to show respect for us if we don’t respect ourselves.

    We will VoteYes.

    And be a nation again.

    1. Andrew Dundas says:

      As I recall it from 1984-85 , both the motivation for the Poll Tax and it’s creation were invented in Scotland and promoted by Scottish MPs Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Forsyth to the Scottish Grand Committee that was brought into Westminster by the 1707 Act.
      As that Tax rolled out across Scotland, thoughtful people said that to have a tax in Scotland that was different from England was in breach of our Act of Union.
      So the Poll Tax was extended to England & Wales to howls of indignation about the imposition of a Scottish Tax on themselves.
      All of which demonstrates that we, in Scotland, like to blame others for our own mistakes. Just like everyone else!

  3. Alan says:

    It makes little difference as politicians continually speak of loyalty, yet act for themselves and their corporate backers.

  4. Philip Edwards says:


    Most people I have spoken to wish the Jocks all the best whatever they decide. Most hope they stay. Of the rest it’s an even split between those who don’t know (or don’t much care) and those who think they’ll go (and it doesn’t much matter if they do).

    Me, I hope they stay because I think we need them as much as they need us. The culture of Britain would have been a whole lot worse without their contributions at every level in every field. I think it will be a historic tragedy for them and us if they leave the Union.

    Certainly they will easily survive if they go it alone. But after the euphoria and early successes wear off I believe matters would worsen for them, and eventually degenerate to crisis level. By which time it will be too late to reverse the affects.

    The level of the debate has been a great credit to the Scottish people. Whichever way it goes, the losing side can’t say Scotland hasn’t examined every aspect of the arguments.

    As an Englishman I am delighted they have given the London suits a good kick in their collective arse. But it is nothing compared to the consequences everywhere (even outside Britain) if the vote is Yes. We might even (eventually) end up with genuine democracy instead of the hated London hegemony and its tenth rate thievery and corruption.

    We might even get our country back, though it would be better to do it within a renewed Union. We have already waited too long.

    1. carntyne says:

      You ‘believe’ things will get worse?

      Based on what?

      Alistair Darling said in the house of commons in May 2008 that successive UK governments have only been able to balance the books because of North Sea Oil. That’s billions of £ss frittered away mainly in fighting illegal wars in the middle east and sustaining Trident.

      On top of that they have managed to run up debts new approaching £1.5 Trillion.

      How could things get any worse for us Scots if we run our own affairs?

      When we VoteYes Trident will be gone and with it the lead weight of our share of the obscene payments, and also gone will be the billions of pounds spent sending MPs to Westminster, and in fighting foreign wars.

      Things won’t be all milk and honey, but we can’t do any worse running our country than the incompetent, inept, corrupt Westminster establishment.

  5. barbara says:

    Why not SEPARATE BUT TOGETHER as a slogan. It might give more recognition and credence to the independence movement.

    It would also accommodate both sides in the debate. I lived through the Independence crisis in Quebec about thirty years ago. I am famliar with many of the emotions and concerns of both sides.

    More powers to the Scottish Parliament but the stability and advantages of being unified . [ See my respones to the tweets of Alex T and Gary G.

  6. Robert Taggart says:

    GO FOR IT – for the sake of ENGLAND !
    Signed, Englishman with Scottish ancestry !!

  7. anon says:

    south of the border there seems to be a lack of something or other? do the people living here have a view on this or other things or fire in their belly, fighting spirit, where is it? perhaps been too close to London had a corrosive effect? maybe people have given up a bit but need to fight back a bit more? maybe if Scotland votes Yes, this will help effect positive change here as well?

    could some parts of England ask to join Scotland? is it Newcastle or somewhere else that has some sort of link?

    perhaps we could all defect and ask to join Scotland, is there something in our non existent constitution that forbids this?

  8. James Cormack says:

    Alex I have been following your blog for some time. As you have been very selective with the facts you wish to present here, I am not sure how to view your opinion anymore? Could you explain a little more about who it was that voted Scotland into the Union? Can you tell me how many of Scotland’s citizens were allowed a vote towards entering Scotland into a Union? Maybe also you could shed some light on how long there has been an independence movement and why over many many decades it has come to the point where we need a referendum to decide Scotland’s future? And Scotland joined the Union because they were poor and England was rich, can you quote me the sources from which you have derived this information from? Its a pretty sweeping statement to make without any information to back it up? I await your more in depth explanation.

    1. Graham says:

      James – the Darien Scheme was Scotland’s attempt at becoming a colonial power. It failed miserably, bankrupting the Scottish nobles. But backdrop for union was also the escalating tension via english act of settlement, scottish act of security, and english alien act. This lead to the eventual hostile merger as Simon Schama described it. And no it wasn’t popular with the general populace. All sources of the time said the people were heavily opposed. Daniel Defoe said it was 99 to 1 against in Scotland. So even if it ends on Thursday it’s unlikely to be as unpopular as it started out

      1. Andrew Dundas says:

        There were no opinion polls in the early 18th Century. Nobody knows what people thought, or even if they cared much given the dominance of the Lairds.

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