I’m not sure what to say about this Twitter conversation.
But in a way, it encapsulates what I want from an independent Scotland.
As a mate of mine said when I read this out to him… Can you imagine anyone hugging Theresa May?
And no, I can’t. Not because she isn’t some people’s cup of tea. I’m sure she is, just as some people don’t care for Nicola Sturgeon.
But more because the British state doesn’t do that kind of thing. It’s far too stuck up and protocol conscious. From the court downwards there is a “way” of doing things. Everyone in their place and no one daring to move from it. Hugging the prime minister just wouldn’t be the done thing.
Now obviously, that’s not all I want from an independent Scotland. Hugging Nicola is all good and well and I’d be very happy to do it (“me too”, says Munguin), but it’s not everything.
Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by the northern countries. Odd in a way, because I’m not keen on the cold, rain, snow or darkness. And really, climate-wise I’d be much happier in Greece or Southern Italy.
But I’ve always been attracted to the political philosophy that drives countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. And I’ve always been somewhere between fairly appalled and utterly repulsed by the political philosophy that guides the Brits, regardless of which party is in Downing Street.
Maker money; punch above your weight; suck up to America; keep tradition; sod ordinary people.
The more I travelled, the more I’ve read, the more I’ve talked to people who live in Scandinavia (and the Nordic lands), the more I’ve realised that surely THAT is the way we should all live.
And it’s not just me. Academic studies have shown over and over again that the Nordic countries figure highly amongst the happiest people in the world, despite the climate. This year Finland came in at number 1. Norway, Denmark and Iceland at numbers 2, 3, and 4. Sweden at number 9. (Switzerland comes in at number 5, please note Terry Entoure.)
Equality, decency, common sense, a concentration on ensuring that things work within the country, rather than the rushing to interfere in everyone else’s business and a disinclination to bomb other people. which seems to dominate the British political elite’s thinking.
There are high taxes, without a doubt, and so no one is very rich. And no one is very poor.
And yet despite the fact that you can’t get obscenely rich, people seem to be happier than in other places and don’t seem to emigrate to somewhere that they can stack up the money that they’ll never be able to spend.
Maybe they have found that being obscenely rich and quasi-important doesn’t count for much. Maybe the people have found that punching above their weight is something that benefits only an elite few, and impoverishes the rest of the population.
Is that Socialism? Maybe.
I believe that Scotland is like that.
We’re geographically close to the Faroes, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Ireland. Closer in some cases than we are to London. And the current Scottish government has involved itself heavily in the Nordic Council, even hosting meetings in Edinburgh, with Nicola attending meetings in Reykjavik and having bilateral discussions with all their leaders.
I hope that this is the way forward for us. My nationalism is nothing to do with race or creed. It’s to do with breaking away from an unequal society that will never change for the better… and in the light of Brexit will probably change for the worse.
What do you think?