EUROPE

English Indifference Towards Scottish Independence in the UK

Marinello - 3-3

Even with a strong representation in the political, cultural, and intellectual aspects of the United Kingdom, many Scots still found themselves craving independence. It may not be a majority of citizens, but a major amount and still enough to turn some heads. While this is still of major political importance to the rest of the UK, much of the attention it deserved in the media was stolen by other significant cultural events present at the time.

It is in the opinion of many that the “Yes” voters simply believe that if Scotland were to leave the UK, they would do a better job promoting equality and distributing well-being to those would live there. They feel that the Scottish government would be able to focus more on the citizens of their own country, and that focus should become the priority.

So here it is the vote is out. The 32 council areas, of Scotland, have made the voice known and deciding not to break with the United Kingdom. The margin of victory for the loyalists was not very wide with 2,001,926 voting “No” and 1,617,989 voting “Yes.” (BBC).

You would think while living in the heart of the UK, London, there would be a sense of political unrest and evident speculation about what would become of the UK if Scotland were to leave. Oddly enough, this just wasn’t what I witnessed while living, and working, in the city; though the English did have an opinion.

The polls showed that the overwhelming majority of the English valued the UK tradition and did NOT want the referendum to pass. Those that I worked with seemed to think that there was no way that it would go through.

Of course it did have a presence in the news practically every day. While reading the paper every morning on the train to work, there were always new developments and opinions of the press about what the results of the vote would be, but frequently it was overshadowed by more stimulating news.

This past summer while I was living in London, the social and cultural significance of the World Cup just seemed to overpower everything else that was in the news. Even after Wayne Rooney and the rest of the team arrived back in England after defeat, criticism and disappointment with the team overshadowed much of the political news, including the Scottish Referendum.

While the English may have been right about the fact that Scotland would not leave the UK, the vote was by no means a landslide victory, and deserves attention. In the end, a sense of “strength as one” attitude prevailed. It seems that the English value the culture of the United Kingdom to a great extent, and believe the current composition of the UK is working well and will not change for the foreseeable future. Where I think that they are wrong, though, is that the idea of Scottish independence is being adopted more and more, and may someday take the majority of Scotland’s citizens.

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Eric Marinello is a Junior at the University of Kentucky majoring in Finance.