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What does it mean to be Scottish? 196

Posted on August 03, 2014 by

The above is a deceptively simple question and one to which the answer, of course, is as varied as the people you might ask it of as we approach September’s vote.

The debate so far would suggest that at one end of the scale, we’re a nation of poor wee souls, much safer shackled to a United Kingdom that gifts us stability and security in the face of choppy global waters and saves us from the hassle of making crucial political decisions for ourselves. At the other end, we’re a proud nation of untold prosperity, a nirvana of wealth and social justice primed to emerge after our divorce from our oppressors in Westminster.

For anyone in between and still grappling with their identity, the Economist helpfully informed us recently that being Scottish means painting a Saltire on your face, wearing a Jimmy hat and shouting at nothing in particular. Glad that’s sorted then.

The truth is that very few of us will see ourselves in these broad-brushed caricatures of Scottish identity. I certainly don’t. In fact, the more I force myself to think about it, the clearer it becomes that I don’t have a bloody clue what it means to be Scottish.

Or at least I didn’t until last month.

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