The Square Sausage or the Square Mile?

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All this week we’re publishing articles by English people who support a Yes vote in September. By Rob Hoon

I am not Scottish and I’m not a UK, English or Scottish Nationalist. I lived the first 28 years of my life in London and the latest 28 years in Edinburgh. I have become assimilated into the cultural life of Scotland but my delicate sassanach constitution can’t yet stomach square sausage. 

 

I’m not proud of what the British state does militarily, what it does economically by maintaining and widening wealth inequality, and what its’ version of democracy looks like. 

 

Would an independent Scotland be different?  I agree with James Kelman’s point of view that independence isn’t handed to you through a vote but is fought for through struggle. And debating whether self determination is a good thing seems ludicrous to anyone who has been involved in campaigning for social change.

Power in the British state is wielded through Houses of Lords and the Commons, the military, the media and large corporations: weighted heavily in favour of their own class, ex-public school, ridiculously high paid executives, state intelligence services, media executives and politicians with an economic and political penchant for maintaining the world order in an alliance with the United States of America, utilising vast military and economic power.

There were and still are of course many imaginative challenges to the elites who use their power to control. My experience in England was that the above institutions maintained the social, political and economic control which regenerated the status quo. Not so much in Scotland, whilst the above power relations obviously have a grip on the way we do things, the grip is loosened by people working together to change things for themselves. My experience is a larger proportion of Scotland’s population are willing to work together to make the change they want to see, utilising power to do things rather than hold power over people. This experience still involves a political struggle against powerful opposition and undemocratic elites but there is a will of many people to challenge power and make change. 

 

The campaign for independence has rejuvenated many who want to have a say in producing a more equal and radically different society. Scottish independence would break up the British state and rejuvenate radical progressive change in England

We have the expertise to organise our lives not having it forced upon us, but by making things happen ourselves at every level of society. The ‘power to do’ is a challenge to those having ‘the power over’. Lets not shy away from taking the responsibility. Lets not be cowed into silence. Lets not talk about ‘the Scots’, but talk about us who live in Scotland.

It’s got nothing to do with nationality and everything to do with how we organise together. As an Englishman by birth I will have no hesitation in voting Yes as a vitally important one off moment in the struggle to change the local, national and international political landscape and the way we live our lives. Despite what better together says I ‘m pretty sure if we win independence we won’t be force fed square sausage and whatever happens on September 19th, the struggle continues.

 



Categories: English for Yes

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7 replies

  1. I’m Scottish and my daughters are Kentish. Last weekend two of them went off to watch polo, which they enjoyed.

    I asked if it was interesting to see how the other half lived – which was met with a bland reply to the effect that is how things were. I can only agree with you ( and Billy Bragg ) that the interest, fascination, enthusiasm and occasional irritation up here amongst people of whatever origin must be good for England and Wales in the long run, if post Inde we can bring about real change from our awful neoliberal existence.

  2. Rob. The phrase that we use now is ‘all of us first’. I care that we make Scotland a good place to live for all who live and work there. I live (just!) in England and although I hope ro return within the next year, I sincerely hope that a Yes vote will be the catalyst for wider change across the entire island and across the water in Northern Ireland too.
    But it has to start somewhere and people like you and other supporters born outside Scotland who understand what voting Yes truly matter every bit as much as those who were born here. People like you demolish the ‘blood and soil’ rubbish that some try to plant on us.
    More power to you!😊

  3. Good article and you are correct that a fair society which truly empowers people is the primary key step. However no matter how strong that desire is, it cannot be achieved within the constraints of the UK/Westminster set up.

    So were is the next “natural boundry?”. It is the country of Scotland and it’s people united in changing to a just and fair society.

    I am certain a great many people throughout the UK share the same desire but we cannot achieve critical mass due to the drift to the right (Neoliberalismt) that continues across mainly South England.

    Look at the countries with low health issues and low income gaps – Sweden / Japan / Norway / Switzerland / Denmark etc.
    Now look at the countries with high levels of health concerns and massive wealth gaps – USA / UK.

    A society should be measured by how it cares for the most vulnerable members. People should be rewarded for effort and skills. However a living wage should mean “A living wage”. Pensioners should be able to heat their home. Medical treatment should be free at the point of need. Education should be free. Foodbanks should never be required and any group such as payday loan companies who are set out to exploit the poor should be thrown out of the country.

    The UK system of a political party game taking turns each while chasing the USA model will mean we move ever faster away from a just society. London is the best example of that self first drive. The House of Commons is bad enough but the Lords is obscene.

    The only solution therefore is Independence. This may result in the citizens of the rUK becoming aware of the cesspit they are living in. They can then join us in building a better future OR they can change their own nation.

  4. Good post Rob and just for the record I am a Scot lived here my entire 66 years and I do not like Lorne or square sausage either, I also hate plain bread. So do not let that bother you. Good to have you onboard, together we can win this.

  5. Great post Rob. I’m a Scot who’s lived in London for 28 years, and the very 1st thing I have to eat when I go home to visit my mum is a roll n sausage (but *not* Lorne!)

    Your forward-looking attitude is to be applauded, and should be broadcast nationwide. One of the (many) things that upset pro-unionists is people like yourself, who give the lie to the idea that the desire for Independence is not driven by any form of ethnic “Nationalism,” but by nationalism.

    By the way, if anyone tries forcing you to eat square sausage after Sept 18th, I’ll give you my address & you can send it down to me 🙂

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