Assuming, he wrote the headline, I have to disagree with Neal Ascherson for the first time in my life.
In 1967, instructed by my Higher History teacher to start reading a serious newspaper, I bought the Observer and an article by Neal opened my eyes.
More recently, I nominated him for an honorary degree at UWS.
But, this notion that Scotland is a small c, conservative nation is very out-of-date.
Two years ago I wrote this:
YouGov’s poll on 7th and 8th November, has some interesting data on attitudes toward taxation and nationalisation which suggest quite clear differences between the people of Scotland and those of the South of England.
On raising the basic tax rate to 21% to spend more on public services and infrastructure, 43% of Scots supported this but only 33% of those in the South of England would. At the higher rates, the gap was smaller, but Scots were more supportive of the idea.
On nationalising the energy companies, 51% of Scots supported the idea and only 19% opposed it but for those in the South of England the figures were 46% and 32%. Perhaps reflecting the chaos on the rails there, support for nationalising the railways was equally strong in the South at 58%. Of course, Scots were asked about nationalising already publicly owner water companies.
This has given me the excuse to revisit the notion of differences in dominant values which, I realise, are not necessary for independence but, I’d argue, make it more needed. Here are a few of them:
Different NHS Scotland and Wales reject England’s hostile environment for vulnerable migrant mothers-to-be
Only in Scotland! ‘A review of small country’s approaches to public policy reform in response to economic, demographic and other pressures found that only in Scotland could this ‘golden thread’ be so clearly discerned’
And, more recently, on September 25 2021:
Scotland has become the first country in the world to embed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusive-education across the school curriculum.
All school staff will be given a basic awareness e-learning course on LGBT inclusive education and a toolkit of LGBT-inclusive education teaching resources.
Subjects across age groups will now include LGBT identities, issues and history in a bid to promote equality and reduce bullying.
And a dedicated website will also be launched with resources for information to support young people.
Parents, teachers, young people and LGBT organisations helped to develop the website, e-learning course and teaching resources.
A report by charity Stonewall found nearly half of lesbian, gay, bi and trans pupils – including 64 per cent of trans pupils – are bullied at school for being LGBT.
The move has been welcomed by campaign groups.https://news.stv.tv/scotland/scotland-first-country-in-world-to-teach-lgbt-inclusivity-in-schools?top
The National, the Herald and UK Today News have welcomed this development.
BBC Scotland is busy with soldiers arriving in Scotland to drive non-emergency ambulances, horror reports of Covid death surges, hospital drains killing weans and a 200 year-old palm tree.
Scotland’s people, on social and economic affairs, are essentially progressive, liberal and leftist.