(This post is response to Alan Bissett’s answer to my last blog, here)
I’m pleasantly surprised and shocked by your response, and here’s why: 1.) I’m new to this Wordpress thing. I knew there was a chance you’d see what I’d written, but I had no idea my post would show up on your site as a response. 2.) You’ve actually taken the time to write out an extended, informative, and well thought-out reply to my silly wee blog.
And yes, I’m one of those Scots who have been sitting on the fence regarding Scotland’s independence. I just haven’t felt the passion that so many of us are showing towards the SNP’s overall goal to fight for what they call “a better Scotland”. I don’t feel resentment as such, but I could still relate to the angry parts of your poem, and it stirred something in me. I’ve always admired you as a very evocative and powerful writer, and you have that ability to really strike a chord.
But I like being part of the ‘United Kingdom’. I don’t personally have a problem with it, and I don’t feel like I’m going about my daily life holding back any resentment towards the English about the way things are. I do resent the attitudes in your poem, but those just aren’t in my mindset when I think about the future of this country. Maybe what I’m trying to say is, I don’t see why we can’t all just get along. But maybe that’s just me – maybe I should be more offended by some people’s negative attitudes and reactions towards us, because sometimes I feel like we just can’t win.
I’m seeing two particularly disturbing attitudes at the moment; one you’ve already mentioned – “We’re being hard done by, we’re subsidising you Scotch and what do we get?” and also – “You want to be independent now? Well, f*** you. F*** off back to your own country.” (A friend of mine got that last response recently, when visiting an area of Kent)
You’re right; there’s nothing wrong with anger. Anger prompts us to take action and change the way things are for the better. Anger is constructive. But hate is destructive. I’m worried about the latter.
Maybe my whole “don’t want to rock the boat” attitude is one of the things holding us back, and maybe I should get angry. An ex-colleague of mine seems to think that us becoming an independent country will remove any animosity between Scotland and the rest of the UK, so that we can all “stand side-by-side on these isles as friends and neighbours” (her words). That seems fairly idyllic to me. And if all this goes forward, I just hope she’s right.