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Wings Over Scotland


The Northern English Lass

Posted on February 26, 2017 by

I first moved to Scotland from North Yorkshire in 2007 with my husband and baby son, after getting a job with Highland Council. I hope my first impressions of Scotland as a place to live, and how my connection with our new home developed over the years, may shed light on how a lot of English people on both sides of the border feel about Scotland and the prospect of independence.

corbyncountry

It all started in August 2007 at the Thistle Stop Cafe near Fort Augustus. While I was busy with my son in the baby-changing room, I received a phone call offering me my dream job. I’d had my fill of English local government and the endless quest to cut staff and salaries to the bone. The job was just for one year, but it was a lifelong dream of mine and my husband’s to live and work in the Highlands. We aimed to use the year to start and build up a business that could then sustain us.

Why the Highlands? I grew up in a very British, English family (father from Lancashire, mother from East Yorkshire) that loved Scotland the way most English people love Scotland: the love of the beautiful wild open spaces, the remoteness, shortbread, kilts and the soft West Highland accent. The love that declares that “real Scotland” doesn’t begin until you get north of Perth.

So many childhood holidays were spent up here and I grew up loving Scotland too. My husband, from southern England, was less familiar with the country but just as fond of what he knew. He was keen on hill walking and climbing, and we both harboured a dream of buying a small croft somewhere out west, starting a B & B business and achieving some level of self sufficiency. So far so naive, and so very very English.

thistlestop

Well the year came and went, I really loved the job and was delighted when the council made it permanent. We bought the one house we could afford – a shockingly bad steading conversion that needed gutting and starting again, but in a beautiful remote location near a loch. It was one heck of a steep learning curve.

In England we tended to think that Scotland was really just like England in most ways but different enough to cause mild annoyance and extra difficulties. No it’s different, full stop. High street solicitors, not estate agents, sell houses. You don’t exchange contracts and complete, you conclude the missives. You often end up in a sealed-bids situation because everything is priced “offers over”.

estateagents

And that’s before you even start on the wider legal system, if you’re unlucky enough to need it. No magistrates courts, but sheriffs courts. A bizarrely titled person called a Procurator Fiscal. Now I understood why my postgraduate diploma in law, gained when I was flirting with the idea of a career change, was not valid in Scotland.

This was 2008, a year after the SNP had won the Scottish elections to form a minority Government in Holyrood. I was confused by Scottish politics. I wasn’t sure of the role of the Holyrood parliament, except that it was an extra layer of government in between Westminster and the front line (something that had been rejected in England a few years earlier).

I was vaguely aware there had been a changing of the guard from Labour to the SNP. My English mum couldn’t stand Alex Salmond. I wasn’t at all keen on the brash new minister for health with a weird fishy-sounding name, Sturgeon or something. I was aware of complaints from those around me about the SNP’s centralising agenda, and a feeling that even the most intangible concepts of history and cultural heritage were being boiled down to their economic value.

These are mere scraps of memory, completely ill-informed, and without going back to research what was going on with SNP policy at the time I couldn’t tell you whether any of it was true. The point is I was poorly informed about Scottish politics and not all that interested.

I was interested in how it affected me personally, though. The steady reduction in prescription charges from £5 to £3 to zero was welcome. The GP’s surgery that was recommended to us was like something from another era, run by a married couple who took as long as they needed with their patients.

Yes, sometimes this meant a wait of half an hour or more, especially if they had been called out on an emergency home visit, but you knew if you needed that time yourself one day you would get it.

gp

The experience of having my second child in Scotland was hugely positive. Suffering for a second time from postnatal depression I found the support I received from my health visitor and other health professionals second to none. There was nothing I can think of that didn’t seem to work better here than down south.

When writing this piece it took a good while to dredge out of my memory my political viewpoint at that time. My first vote in Scotland was the general election of 2010. I voted for Danny Alexander and was pleased when they formed a coalition with the Tories. I felt that the Tories would be competent – yes, really! – and the Lib Dems would bring a social conscience to temper their worst excesses. (I think we’re now discovering that the second of these was true, if limited in its effect.)

Then we had the Scottish elections and the AV referendum in 2011. As I’d always supported the Lib Dem position on proportional representation I voted Yes to AV, figuring that any change was better than none.

Amazingly I can’t remember who I voted for in the Scottish Parliament elections, but it was either Lib Dem, Greens or the SNP. I know I was mighty confused by the d’Hondt system and really didn’t understand the distinction between the constituency and the list. I wasn’t particularly bothered who formed the government.

By 2012 austerity had arrived in Scotland. The local government cuts that I thought I’d escaped from had followed me north. Jobs were under threat and my own was feeling less and less secure. So when the opportunity arose to work for a private company in Wales I took it. I didn’t want to leave Scotland, but this was a chance too good to miss so we decided to give it a go for a couple of years.

welcomewales

After a while the job was working out well so we bought a house in Wales and rented out our Scottish home while we decided what we were going to do long term. As time went on I was more and more glad that we hadn’t sold up. I could go into all the reasons why I didn’t like living in Wales but the only actual problem with it was that it wasn’t “home”. Without me even noticing at the time, Scotland had become my home, and it took us moving away for me to realise it.

Meanwhile in the political world, austerity was really starting to bite and I was beginning to take an interest. I had always had a strong interest in social justice – I’d gained my postgraduate law diploma with worthy intentions of working for a law centre and helping people fight the system, before realising far too late that I couldn’t afford to complete the training on the kinds of training salaries offered by the third sector or high street firms.

So I began taking a deeper interest in the worrying developments in areas such as welfare reform and immigration control, and at the same time I became aware of political events in Scotland and began to follow Scottish friends’ social media posts on the subject.

It became apparent very quickly that the media in Wales and the wider UK was not reflecting the reality of the independence campaign in Scotland, which was largely about the desire for a fairer and more decent country. Looking back over my posts at the time I can see that I was initially looking at things as an interested bystander, willing the Scots to make the right decision and hoping that the debate would have a positive influence on politics elsewhere in the UK. I posted this comment on an article I shared from February 2014:

“Everyone currently outside the main debate – English, Welsh and Irish alike – should read this excellent summary. Please do read it. As an English person who loves Scotland (and in my heart it will always be home) I am with them all the way. I hope they make the right decision for Scotland, and for the right reasons.”

So much of what was being said in the mainstream media about the independence case just didn’t ring true. People were being told that voting for independence would bring austerity max and the SNP-led Scottish government was being criticised heavily on a daily basis. But as someone who had been driven to leave their public sector job to move south to the relative safety of the private sector, I’d been struck to find the public sector in Wales in an even more parlous state.

walescuts

I began to see how much Scotland had been protected from the worst effects of Tory imposed austerity and I was hugely frustrated by the number of people in Scotland who seemed totally oblivious to this.

It was especially galling to watch and hear the Labour party being so critical of the Scottish government, and the economic case for independence, when I was living in Labour-run Wales which had everything wrong with it that they complained about in Scotland and then some. And as Scotland had been catching up on the austerity front, the rest of the UK had most certainly not been standing still. Welsh local government cuts were off the scale in comparison.

I started to see and feel so much optimism coming out of Scotland that I desperately wanted to be a part of it. I looked on in envy as I saw friends organising local “town hall” events and campaigning for independence. By late 2013 it was already patently obvious that the independence debate in Scotland was not going to ignite a UK-wide desire for change as I had initially hoped it would, and as a family we started to think seriously about going home.

When my mother very sadly died from cancer I knew that it was now or never: life is there to be lived and I felt I was treading water. I somehow managed to get my bosses to agree to me working from home in Scotland, the Welsh house went on the market and we moved back north in 2014. How things had changed!

The atmosphere was amazing. Politics was everywhere – open, inclusive, hopeful politics. People like me wanted change and I found myself fitting right in. I got stuck right into campaigning and, of course, voted Yes on September 18th.

yescamp

I’ve never looked back. The change the referendum brought to Scotland was positive and permanent. Since the vote I’ve joined the SNP and become ever more vocal and active in support of independence.

Knowing from experience how things are elsewhere in the UK, I’m still so frustrated when people don’t realise how much the Scottish government is shielding them from the worst effects of the Westminster Tories. Too many Scots don’t seem to know how fortunate we are and that in time, without fundamental constitutional change, we will run out of options.

I am so proud of this country. I’m proud to call it my home and to have been made so welcome. After nearly 10 years living here I feel I’m starting to get under its skin. Yes it’s wild, beautiful, rugged, and romantic, as every Scot knows. But it’s so much more than that. It’s edgy, it’s irreverent, it’s inventive, it has a wicked sense of humour. And it’s been stifled for far too long by a political union that’s no longer working.

Scotland is now a part of me, I’m a part of it, and I’m determined to see this through.

.

A version of this article originally appeared on Sylvina’s blog.

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  1. 26 02 17 13:56

    The Northern English Lass | speymouth

  2. 01 03 17 18:11

    Mighty People of Independence | A Wilderness of Peace

136 to “The Northern English Lass”

  1. Rob Outram says:

    Well done Sylvina. A great article about a great journey.

  2. Simone says:

    Yes, I agree with this so much.

    Scotland has had a buffer from austerity policies and services are still better here.

    It is home and there’s no way I would ever consider moving back to England

  3. Croompenstein says:

    Thanks Sylvina (wipes away tear).. wonderful post

  4. Andrew Morton says:

    Like. ??????

  5. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    Great article Sylvina.

    You are most welcome to Scotland and the Highlands need more people like you.

    A true New Scot.

  6. Helena Brown says:

    Nothing like travel to broaden the viewpoint, sometimes Silvina I wish I could send some of our folk abroad, England would even do, so that they could see what it is like and then they would appreciate what they have. Thank you for making your home here and for returning.

  7. Andrew Morton says:

    Just discovered that applauding hands smiley comes out as a bunch of question marks. Doh!

  8. Helena Brown says:

    Sorry for misspelling your name, blame the Kindle, it did not like what I typed.

  9. panda paws says:

    “I’m still so frustrated when people don’t realise how much the Scottish government is shielding them from the worst effects of the Westminster Tories”

    This a thousand times. Too many think they can have their cake and eat it. Stay in the UK but with SNP protecting them. They can’t. The SNP were lucky in that they could immediately stop Labour’s trick of sending back money that Labour couldn’t “find” anything to spend it on and that’s helped balance to books. But as the overall budget is repeatedly cut, that can’t work forever. Yes they could increase income tax but that isn’t combating austerity, that is austerity. Meanwhile no control over corporation tax etc.

    So either find the courage to get out or settle down for the bleakness to come. And yes independence might be difficult at first, but at least we can make our own decisions for our benefit rather than have decisions make for and by London that benefit very few in the UK never mind Scotland.

  10. Bryan Weir says:

    A great post Sylvina. It should be required reading for all of those who comment on these BritNat pages about the SNP encouraging hatred of the English.

  11. Nana says:

    Fantastic read Sylvina. Last paragraph describes Scotland very well, especially the wicked sense of humour!

    You are most welcome here.

  12. Merkin Scot says:

    Inspiring tale.

  13. Arbroath1320 says:

    Excellent article Sylvina.

    If I could say one thing to you face to face it would be this.

    Always remember, in Scotland you are NEVER alone. Here in Scotland you have a family, a family of people from the four corners of the earth and they are bound by one thing … they are all Scots. You do not have to be born in Scotland to call yourself Scottish. If you live in Scotland or outside Scotland if your heart, and soul, make you feel like you “belong” to Scotland then guess what … YOU ARE A SCOT with a massive family all around you. You are never far away from a friend, whether you actually know them or not!

  14. Iain says:

    Home is where the heart is, Sylvina. Pleased that you are one of us.

  15. Madcatwummin says:

    Lovely article Sylvina! If only more folk were aware of how protected they are by ‘that awful’ SNP!. I have long said that they should maybe allow folk a reality bite of what life under the Tories would really be like without the comfortable buffer provided by them. I think it’s going to have to get to that before people open their eyes……..

  16. Robert Graham says:

    A good refreshing read on a Sunday and thanks for giving us the opportunity of sharing a little ray of hope, I just wonder how many other stories of people’s journeys from the dark side into the light there are out there ? .

  17. Proud Cybernat says:

    Brilliant Sylvina, just puir dead brilliant! You and your family are exactly what Scotland needs. So glad you came home.

  18. RogueCoder says:

    That’s a great story, Sylvina, thank you for sharing it!

  19. Reider O'Doom says:

    Arbroath 1320

    I had a wee tear in my eye at the end of the article, then another one reading your heartfelt statement. You’ve made an old sap very happy.

  20. Valerie says:

    A really good piece. Authentic and emotional, as well as honest.

    I think a lot of the feelings about the land, are also felt by many Scots, and the desire to keep this country clean and beautiful.

  21. Bob MACK says:

    Thank you Sylvina for writing nothing more than the truth. You are forever a Scot in my eyes. I think we need a new Tilbury tartan for you.

    I hope more people attain your insight in the future. It is through stories from those who have undergone the journey to hope, that those who are too afraid often find courage and inspiration to make the same leap of faith.

    Pass the handkerchief.

  22. i find it refreshing to hear someone who genuinely loves this country,having once come from south of the border.
    too many folk across the border and some within Scotland view independence supporters with great suspicion,they brand us ("Tractor" - Ed)s and racists for daring to usurp the power of a failed empire,but sooner or later they will have to accept the fact that we are not going away,and the threats and insults only make that desire burn brighter

  23. Auld Rock says:

    Well said Sylvina and very much follows the experiences of some English people writing in the current edition of INDEPENDENCE Magazine which I copied to my 103 year old cousin in the Republic. He emailed me back reminding me that he had often told me that most of the ordinary Anglo/Irish folk had been among the strongest force for Irish Independence (True)and again reminding me that they were even more Nationalistic than many of the native Irish.

    We all hate the current BBC, Scotland showing the London News at 6 pm and maybe we should let it continue for it lets all our,specially English friends see just how dire things are getting south of the border in health, education, care of the elderly etc. In fact it is perhaps one of our best recruiting tools!!

    Auld Rock

  24. mogabee says:

    This political part of the journey is one I recognise, despite living here for so many years I kinda avoided any politics viewing it as something “other” folk did..you know the ones…geeky and boring.

    Hell, now that’s me too. Not the geeky or boring part though!

    Now, I’m hearing more and more stories similar to Silvina’s. Very, very welcome indeed. 😀

  25. This is all very well but the fact remains that at the at the last ref.,70to80per cent of Incomers voted no just because you can quote the odd one or two going to vote yes or changing to yes does not stack up against the amount of. Incomers voting no only those who were born and live in Scotland have the right to decide the future of their country no one else I have been accused of being racists for saying this but. I say the Real racists are those who would deny the the right of the native people of Scotland to decide the future of THEIR country

  26. Archie [Not Erchie] says:

    Sylvina, a wonderful story and I agree with Nana’s post, @12:30pm, regarding your last paragraph. Loving “edgy, it’s irreverent, it’s inventive, it has a wicked sense of humour”
    All of these descriptors aptly displayed on Wings Over Scotland.

    Welcome.

  27. call me dave says:

    Thanks for that insight.

    Really uplifting for all readers here who love Scotland.

  28. willie fae kilwinning says:

    Welcome home Sylvina.

  29. alexicon says:

    I suppose like many born Scots, I don’t mean this in a derogatory way, I’m half English myself. I have a fear of people from down south who move up into Scotland bringing their voting habits and their perception of the UK being one solitary country with them.
    A fear of Scotland being consumed by people from other areas of the uk holding power over our future because of their loyalty to their mother country, their idea of the Britain/uk being a country.
    But on reading this article it makes me more at ease with people from other parts, mainly England, choosing Scotland as their home and gives me more hope for Scotland’s future.
    I wish you a warm welcome, again, Sylvina and hopefully there are a lot more English people, who now call Scotland their home, coming around to the same conclusion as you did.

  30. Macart says:

    Scotland is a state of mind.

    Q.E.D!

    Great post Sylvina and much appreciated.

    On the differences between how Scotland is run and how very fortunate we are to have the government we have?

    I recently saw a post (can’t remember where), the thrust of which was to allow either the Tories or Labour in Scotland to run the parly and government for a year. Just for the hell of it.

    No, I wouldn’t either.

    How and ever, think about it for a moment. What Sylvina eloquently described as the state of play in both England and Wales? That wouldn’t be the result in Scotland. It would be worse. Far, far worse. For evidence, I present to you Kezia’s tweet last thread. That is the state of play regarding the talent and imagination of Labour’s branch leadership. I present also as evidence the entirety of Ruth Davidsons rejected MSPs, from Murdo (Queen’s eleven) Fraser to Prof (WATP) Tomkins and Jamie (telecomms are reserved to Westminster) Greene.

    We’ll give Willie and the Libdems a miss…, because he’s Willie.

    A parliament of enablers who would pass on the very worst excesses of Westminster legislation without hesitation onto the population of Scotland without regard. The forward strides made in our parliament toward empowering the people reversed at best and at worst removed. Our parliament reduced to its original intent. A parish council and a means of electoral management. The more strident among the unionist vox pop would even see that parliament removed altogether.

    THAT is just how bad it would be.

    We are fortunate. VERY fortunate. How much longer that good fortune lasts depends on what we do next.

  31. heedtracker says:

    “Knowing from experience how things are elsewhere in the UK, I’m still so frustrated when people don’t realise how much the Scottish government is shielding them from the worst effects of the Westminster Tories”

    Take a huge bow Pacific Quay liggers. And there’s even more BBC being injected into their Scotland region too.

  32. Thank you! oh how I wish this was compulsory reading !
    not just for some of the moaners down south but more especially for the the nay sayers up here! Thanks again

  33. Dr Jim says:

    This is the thinking of modern Scotland by people who care enough about where they are to make it better and keep it going that way

    Jeremy Corbyn and co say we’re dividing the country, no we’re not, we’re mending it and Scotland is our country and we’re in it

    The SNP can only do so much with what they have, it’s up to us to get them more and after all it’s only a divorce we’re looking for it’s not as if death and desruction will descend upon us from the heavens, we’ll still talk, we have to we all have kids and relatives all over these islands

    We can’t keep allowing the neighbours to keep our wages to spend it on their own house then decide to lend us some of what’s ours make a fuss about doing it and then tell us we owe money they borrowed for a new lawnmower that we can’t use

    So well done you Sylvina for seeing it all so clearly after being subjected to the anti SNP propaganda red blue tory version of Scotland and it’s inhabitants from all over the world but ended up Scots just the same

    Yer a tonic Lass!

  34. Tarisgal says:

    I really enjoyed reading your piece, Sylvina. A good, true picture of how you felt about your Scottish experience. It gets a wee bit wearying to constantly be told that our fight for independence is about English-hating, divisive politics, when, for me at least (and most of my friends), it is simply about self-determination. I get so frustrated that the MSM uses its power and its money to indoctrinate its readers or viewers in other parts of the country to see us as UK (English) hating racists that want to close the borders and have nothing more to do with them. Or they portray us as greedy bottom feeders, sucking up the money of the English tax-payers without so much as a thank you for being so benevolent. It’s just not who I am, who WE are.

    I soooo agree and I’ve pointed it out to many tory voting Scots in many posts I’ve responded to re what is happening in England. “So you hate the SNP, Scotgov and all they stand for. But they’re mitigating so much, ie prescriptions, bed-room tax, NHS services, further education opportunities – and yet you vote Tory and for all their austerity. I take it you don’t like having access to Uni, or NHS treatment ‘on tap’ or prefer to pay £8. PER ITEM for your prescription (which in my experience is usually 2 or 3 items at a go!). You will vote for them to make your life comfortable – and here you are, calling Nicola Sturgeon names and blaming them for wanting to take the country away from the austerity programs of down south, the food banks, the doubling of the homelessness! I don’t get it.” And I really don’t. They want the comfort of the SNP policies – but get aggressive with the SNP supporters for wanting to make the mitigation permanent! It’s a condundrum, for sure!

    But thank you for giving me hope. You came here to make your home – and you are so very welcome. Hopefully your experience may pave the way for others willing to come and give Scotland a go, in spite of the MSM. And perhaps even vote for a Scotland that wants to make its own choices and make its own decisions. 🙂 Best wishes. x

  35. Bob MACK says:

    O/t,

    Corbyn speaking with all the enthusiasm of a man about to go over the top on the third day of The Somme. He really is clueless.

  36. Tackety Beets says:

    Great post , a pleasure to read.

    Let’s not forget there are many Sylvinas in Scotland and I’m proud we welcome them.

    Something to consider especially those Wingers who generally share wings posts on FB , and Rev please do not take offence.

    Our FB pals may be a No voter and probably ignore some of our Wings shares.

    Incase you missed it there is a link at the bottom of the post to Sylvina’s actual original blog , if you copy & paist this to FB or whatever SM you use ?

    I suspect it will be more likely to be read by a greater no of the population.

  37. Famous15 says:

    Corbyn “Well done SNP eh eh eh I mean MSPs”

    The truth will out.

  38. Daisy Walker says:

    Welcome home, loved your article, it is inspiring.

  39. Independence Live says:

    @blairpaterson just wondering how you would classify being a native. Must stick in your throat civic nationalism. I do not want anything to do with your ugly version of an independent Scotland.

  40. VeganGod says:

    Stop it!you got me greetin again. My hormones must be all to pot.

  41. This remarkable epistle from this Lass, most definitely won’t be seen in any of the British National newspapers or commented on by BBC or ITV. This is not the message Theresa May, Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale, Willie Rennie et al ever want to see published. Get it out on Social Media. Job Done!

  42. Arbroath1320 says:

    Macart says:
    26 February, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I recently saw a post (can’t remember where), the thrust of which was to allow either the Tories or Labour in Scotland to run the parly and government for a year. Just for the hell of it.

    No, I wouldn’t either.

    I saw Stu tweet that suggestion yesterday Macart, closely followed by pleas of NOOOOOOOOO. 😀

  43. frogesque says:

    For some independence is a lifelong vision, for some, a lightbulb moment. For others it’s a long journey.

    However you arrive, welcome!

  44. heedtracker says:

    Macart says:
    26 February, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    Scotland is a state of mind.

    It is but if we keep going, we will all witness, the return of the nation state of Scotland, no longer a mere region, no longer run by its neighbour, quite soon too. All of this is so fundamental, important and permanent, like all our other nation state neighbours what do not have their neighbour run their country for them. Look at what’s happening to those that are standing in the way. And it clearly makes no odds where you come from, to live in the future of Scotland.

    Wish I was a poet:D

  45. K1 says:

    We really need to hear from those not born in Scotland who bring with them their life experiences from other parts of the UK and beyond to convey a truer perspective of what we have in place in Scotland and by extension what we will truly lose if we do not achieve our independence soon.

    We are rapidly running out of time, we need more Sylvina’s to come forward publicly and for these stories to spread like wild fire.

    Thanks Sylvina, glad you found your heart in Scotland. 🙂

  46. Thepnr says:

    Thanks for sharing your personal story here on Wings. It’s uplifting and far truer of the reality of the situation than the perception.

    Independence supporters in the main only seek what you seek, a fairer country. I absolutely believe this is possible in an Independent Scotland, I also believe that a more prosperous country will result.

    I’m not dreaming, I know it’s possible. You will help us get there.

  47. Kenzie says:

    I feel a lot better for just having read that. Wow!

  48. john 58 says:

    Excellent work Sylvina,

    Welcome home Lassie x

  49. Capella says:

    Great post Sylvina. What a refreshing morning we’ve had on WoS with Sylvina’s positive account of coming home and Liam’s dawning realisation that there’s more to life than dismal SLab.
    Fair cheers me up.

  50. Arbroath1320 says:

    As if by chance?

    This just appeared up on Twitter.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tse395PM3B0

  51. K1 says:

    If only you would realise Blair that your sentiments are no different from the ‘Take back our country’ and ‘make America great’ sloganeering of both brexit and Trump campaigns. Aiming as they did to elicit an ”us versus them’ emotional response that can be applied to any ‘criteria’ that suits the agenda of those seeking ‘power’?

    Do you realise if your ‘criteria’ was adopted that not only would you disenfranchise ‘your’ chosen demographic ‘incomers, mostly English’, you would potentially disenfranchise all EU citizens, Asian Scots, all international Scots and all, depending how far back you want to go to establish ‘native’ by birth, as you would need to apply a ‘cut off’ point, NI/ Irish and Welsh too?

    All of thes demographic ‘groups’ potentially have Scots ‘born’ children since many may have lived here for decades. So disenfranchise the parents, grandparents of Scots born kids from all these groups and our indepenndesnce will be a ‘shoe in’? Then when it’s all done and dusted Scotland can ‘return’ to being this ‘socially inclusive, tolerant and outward looking, internationalist socially democratic’ country, having just destroyed every single tenet that ‘signifies’ those principles by disenfranchising all those who were ‘not born’ in Scotland.

    Either you need to educate yourself better or the rest of us are wrong? Including the SNP and the entire independence grassroots movement in Scotland. Cause that’s where the ‘rest of us’ differ entirely from your narrow minded and bigoted outlook.

  52. blackhack says:

    One more of us……One less of them….:)

  53. Proud Cybernat says:

    Mr Khan, really?

    http://imgur.com/Uigd3gl

  54. Robert Graham says:

    I commented on this uplifting post earlier so the next bit is O/T.
    I watched Kezia Dugdale being asked by Andrew Neil to comment or indeed distance herself from Mr Kans statement printed in the Daily Record where it said all independence supporters were Racist , despite being pressed she continued to say he didn’t make this statement , when it was pointed out it was in print and was in his personal Tweet , time after time she denied it , how can normal people interact with someone like this who despite evidence continues to LIE about something we can see with our own eyes .
    When even a compliant media starts to question labours ability to tell the truth surly the game is up are they so seeped in hatred of the SNP nothing else matters and the truth goes out the window , the sooner these people are removed from all contact with the public , the sooner this poison will disappear .

  55. jfngw says:

    @ Blair Paterson

    I will always vote for an open independent Scotland. I will never vote for blood & soil nationalism.

  56. john young says:

    it,s your your familys country now hen,you live/work here,so back it to the hilt,you won,t regret it.

  57. HC says:

    Whilst in Wales, did you have the chance to vote for Plaid Cymru ? . Did you see a difference between the SNP and PC ?

  58. heedtracker says:

    As SLabour angrily fade away into Scotland’s history, a new real threat to democracy everywhere,

    http://archive.is/DUzp1

    “There are two things, potentially, going on simultaneously: the manipulation of information on a mass level, and the manipulation of information at a very individual level. Both based on the latest understandings in science about how people work, and enabled by technological platforms built to bring us together.

    Are we living in a new era of propaganda, I ask Emma Briant? One we can’t see, and that is working on us in ways we can’t understand? Where we can only react, emotionally, to its messages? “Definitely.”

  59. Dr Jim says:

    @jfngw

    Don’t misled by @Blair Paterson, if he supports Independence then I’m Ruth Harrison
    The Interwebby’s full of these folk, it’s a sign of how desperate they are they pretend to be what they’re not to fuel the oppositions twisted view

  60. Takeour blueback says:

    Brought a tear to this guy’s glass eye! Well done Sylvina!

  61. ronnie anderson says:

    I missed this post yesterday.

    sarah says:
    25 February, 2017 at 11:48 pm
    @Proudcybernat, Liam and DorothyD, there is a YESSIE Facebook – a man from Glasgow has a campervan with Yessie and other Yes signs on it, and he drives around Scotland engaging folk in discussion. He says he is getting a great reception.

    Sarah and the same man is a ConMan & Convicted Stalker . Harry Samh ( aka Stephen Lyall ) who’s now on his Yes2 F/B page asking for people to donate clothing ect for the Homeless .

    He cancelled a clothing / foodstuffs collection at George Square 12.noon yesterday 25th Feb .

    I would warn any Homeless Charities / Street Workers to be wary of any dealings with him or his partner Karen .

    ps If anybody sees Yessie post it up on Wings & Scot2.scot , he’s said he’s touring up north. I doubt if Yessie is on the road he’s re posting old photo’s on F/B pages.

  62. Clapper57 says:

    Apologies if already been said but ‘divisions’ in society have always existed and I am sure will still exist in the future in politics,religion,sex,age,culture and class etc.

    The world is and most probably always will be divided and it extremely disingenuous to imply directly or via inference by some Cack handed comparison that nationalism via the SNP is in any way comparative to racism.

    If Corbyn and co do not refute Khan’s warped and self serving interpretation of Scot’s seeking self determination then one must conclude they too are instrumental in generating an even greater division through alienating and condemning a legitimate political party and its followers.

    It may have escaped Corbyn’s notice, probably because of the divisions that exist within his own party, but ‘this country’ as he calls it, which I assume he means ‘Britain, is currently VERY divided via both Brexit and politically.So it is duplicitous to lay the blame for division upon Scotland and the people who support SNP and independence.

    If Corbyn and Khan knew anything, which I am doubtful of, about Scotland and it’s politics then they would perhaps be more mindful and wary of endorsing such negative messages and unbelievably for them not to expect any backlash is both naive and very much out of touch with the reality of the real differences that exist between Scottish and English politics.

    I suggest they get their own house in order rather than dabble in matters to which they are being willfully misled and ignorant of thanks to Dugdale & co’s misleading and divisive information and partisan agenda.

    I give you Copeland….Stoke was NO victory as Nuttall was a proven Tube of the highest order and a monkey with a Red rosette could have seen him off…..perhaps a monkey did ?

  63. ronnie anderson says:

    If we excepted Mr Khan’s logic on racism even GANDHI would be classed as racist, would he dare say that.

  64. June Ferguson says:

    The real jewel in this paean of praise to Scotland and the Scots is the acknowledgement that Scottish people are not just Englishmen who live in a part of England north of the border, speak with a funny accent and delight in squabbling with their more civilised neighbours down south. This is the greatest obstacle to our gaining Independence. We should never lose an opportunity to make it clear that British is not a synonym for English, that there is no such thing as “our country” but two separate countries which share the same land mass and the same monarch, also unfortunately the same government. We need all the help we can get from English friends who have chosen to live north of the border, like what they have found and are willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with us and remind those south of the border of our status as equal partners in a relationship that no longer works for us and from which we would like to be freed

  65. Clapper57 says:

    Sorry Sylvina, I also meant to say, but got carried away, well written and thoughtful contribution .

    #WeAreScotland

    Have a good day

  66. Sylvina
    Lump in the throat job.

    Yet the Mayor of London attempts to make you a figure of hate in your homeland.
    Thanks you for this wonderful account.

  67. Mike says:

    What a wonderful letter this would make in the Daily Mail the Express or the Telegraph.

  68. frogesque says:

    O/t

    Go Italy! H/t England 5 Italy 10.

    If you don’t know the rules, get off the bloody field!

  69. Still Positive says:

    Welcome, Sylvina.

    Lovely post brought tears to my eyes.

  70. bobajock says:

    Lovely insight.

  71. Artyhetty says:

    A great read, and very good to hear in detail the reasons for choosing to live in beautiful Scotland. Excellent.

    I could not go back to live in england, being an adopted Scot. The injustices imposed on Scotland by the english establishment throughout history are an utter disgrace. You don’t need to read much to find that out.

    We mustn’t forget, as someone else mentioned, that when Labour were in power in Holyrood, they sent back more than a billion £s, yes a billion +, to Westminster (!) claiming they couldn’t think of ‘anything to spend it on’ in Scotland. Absolutely criminal, when many were very poor indeed, and Scotland having been kept poor by the unionists, including Labour, for a very long time. I remember being totally shocked at the time, and never voted Labour again.

    Oh and the slip of the tongue by Corbyn was just brilliant! Ha ha, he squirmed but his attempt at making it into a joke just didn’t work, lol.

  72. Flower of Scotland says:

    Absolutely inspiring piece! So many English folk that I live beside should read this but only live their English lives here with gratitude, they say, to Westminster for giving Scotland so much money!

    I would share this with them on Facebook if they were Facebook friends, but they just don’t want to know.

    This would be good as a letter in the Courier, Scotsman etc. The papers that Unionists read.

  73. Dan Huil says:

    Excellent article from Sylvina. More people like Sylvina are embracing Yes because of its positivity and hopeful outlook. No wonder when you consider the hatred and negativity imbued in the No side.

  74. Jim Cull says:

    Written by a true Scot

  75. call me dave says:

    In the Hootsman.

    Jeremy Corbyn: ‘SNP should clear up its mess and forget indryref2’

    https://archive.is/1yYku

    I think I heard he congratulated all the labour ‘SNPs’ err MSPs during his speech.

    Kez did not look pleased. 🙂

    He’s out of touch darn South and even more in Scotland.

    Poor turn out from their supporters at the conference and their (I’ll get this right), and their MSPs.

    Roll on the Council elections.

  76. Thepnr says:

    Why am I even reading this on Wings? This obviously deluded English person being allowed to spout their biased opinion and made up stories is just Nationalist propaganda!

    I’ll bet it wasn’t even a real person that wrote this, that hateful character from Bath, Campbell he wrote this himself and is just trying to con us who love Scotland and are PROUD of being Scots and want to remain British.

    Even most of the comments are FALSE! Everyone knows that Wings has the most vile of the vilest of they Cybernats as supporters. This site must be closed down before other ordinary proud Scots become infected with Nationalist sympathies.

    We stand together! We will NEVER surrender. We are the Proud Scots BUT Britain is our country!

  77. Capella says:

    @ Heedtracker – Scary stuff. We have to assume that anti-democratic methods are being used in Scotland. Perhaps an online “spot the meme” sight will be needed like the one which collated unionist abuse.

    http://archive.is/DUzp1

  78. Hmaish100 says:

    oh dear — bad TV people. Panned back at the branch conference. How many empty seats? Look at all the MSP’s missing. One sad conference.
    Saw KD on TV earlier speaking to the neo-con with the hair– well done Kez . Not since Blue Peter days on television have I seen someone speak for so long without breathing. Must deserve a Blue Peter badge or some form of nebuliser.

  79. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Sylvina, your article was an inspiration. It’s people like you who enrich us all with your precious commitment, and at the same time help us realise the true value of what we have.

    Your comment:

    people don’t realise how much the Scottish government is shielding them from the worst effects of the Westminster Tories.

    is therefore painfully and ironically relevant.

    For too long too many of we natives have been happily sheltering behind the storm wall provided by the Scottish Government, content to see them continue their good work but unwilling to concede them the full power that only independence can grant.

    But now the Brexit storm is coming, and all those with eyes to see and a brain to think realise that the wall is already crumbling, and will surely be overwhelmed unless we take effective action to safeguard ourselves soon.

    So come on, all you SNP-voting “nos” and all you incomers. It will soon be time to follow Sylvina’s good example and demonstrate that when it really counts, Scotland has your unstinting and unqualified support, just as it has sheltered and supported you.

  80. Terry Mushroom says:

    I’m an an immigrant, living in England, now with dual nationality. I stumbled across this article by accident. Am independence neutral.

    The author seems to be saying that she found nice neighbours and GPs, has free prescriptions and that she doesn’t like Labour, and a group she calls the “Westminster Tories.” (Although she doesn’t explain how the Scottish Government is “shielding” Scotland from these people or what from.) She is also dismissive of the “English” 6.00pm news.

    I wish Scotland well in however she chooses to govern herself. I have no hat in the ring. I’ve lived and worked in three countries and travelled in some 25. But in all honesty, I have to say that the article paints a picture of an inward looking, parochial place, unaware of a wider world.

    I completely understand and applaud that Scotland wanting and needing to control more of its affairs. But it should be working for federation, rather than independence.

  81. Robert Graham says:

    can we possibly have a health warning attached to any link posted to , the Scotsman ; Express ; daily mail ; daily record , feel free to add more rags if you want .

  82. Liz Rannoch says:

    @ Capella 4.35

    Knew I had it somewhere – do you mean this one?

    https://twitter.com/BritNatAbuseBot

  83. Ken500 says:

    Tom Morton YES

  84. Macart says:

    @Arbroath 1320

    Heh. Doesn’t surprise me the Rev would put that forward too. 🙂

  85. joannie says:

    @Terry Mushroom – if you have no hat in the ring, why do you stipulate that Scotland should be going for federalism rather than independence? That’s a pretty dogmatic stance for someone who is “independence neutral”.

  86. CameornB Brodie says:

    Indeed, lovely insight. Thank you Sylvina.

    A sense of connectedness is more important than simply improving the ethical nature of decision-making, it also helps build empathy and creates bridges to a better understanding of others., This unlocks the potential for social inclusion and allows love to act as a technology for progressive social change.

    Narcissistic Tendencies, Forgiveness and Empathy as
    Predictors of Social Connectedness in Students from
    Universities of Lahore

    In order to gain an insight into the physical and psychological world of human beings it is extremely pertinent to gain an understanding into their social world. The idea that social world is a reflection of one’s psychological world is gaining attention of researchers and scholars all over the world. An important component of the social world is connectedness, how people tend to relate and interact with each other. Research on social connectedness has proved that it has a buffering role and acts as a protective factor for psychological and physical problems.
    http://www.qurtuba.edu.pk/thedialogue/The%20Dialogue/11_2/Dialogue_April_June2016_136-156.pdf

    https://thenextregeneration.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/empathy-connectedness-and-responsibility-german-academics-discuss-the-refugee-crisis/

  87. Robert Peffers says:

    @Sylvina Tilbury:

    Thing is, Sylvina, middle initial letter in the name, “The SNP”, stands for, “National”, and not, as most from southern climes seem to thin, “Nationalist”. They are a welcoming party and they just do not represent, “Scots”, but, “The people of Scotland”, and that is defined as, “Anyone, of and colour, creed or country of origin who is mainly resident in Scotland who has registered to vote in Scottish elections”.

    So there you go, “Northern English Lass”, you are also, “Ane o the people o Scotland’s lassies”.

    Welcome to the Scotland and, “Bide a wee”.

  88. Arbroath1320 says:

    It was good for a wee laugh last night Macart. think the consensus went down to not even give they keys to Bute House for 5 minutes! 😀

  89. ronnie anderson says:

    @ terry mushroom For ah man with no hat in the ring you toss ah pretty big Sombrero

  90. katherine hamilton says:

    Terry Mushroom
    Really?I don’t post often but that’s off the scale. Who are you, indeed what are you?

  91. Thepnr says:

    @ronnie anderson

    Hahaha

    I like mushrooms, they bring texture to a meal but no real nutrients. As nourishment they are of no use whatsoever. Tasty all the same.

  92. Smallaxe says:

    A TEAR GLINTS ON MY FACE
    SO WRINKLED AND OLD
    AS MY EYES SEE YOUR WORDS
    RUN LIKE SHIMMERING GOLD
    DOWN THE PAGE THEY DO FLOW
    STRAIGHT INTO MY HEART
    AS I READ THAT OF SCOTLAND
    YOU ARE NOW A PART
    I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE MADE WELCOME
    IN THIS LAND OF OURS
    AND THAT YOU AND YOU FAMILY
    NOW CONSIDER IT YOURS
    AND AS YOUR BAIRNS GROW UP HERE
    WITH WORK THEIR INTENTION
    MY TEARS ARE OF JOY
    AS THEIR TAX
    PAYS MY PENSION!
    🙂

    Scotland welcomes you home Sylvina

    Peace Always

  93. yesindyref2 says:

    Great article Sylvina.

    Sadiq Khan shows a main plank of the despairing Unionists, to cast us all as anti-English. You even see them posting like “Look at all the anti-English comments above”, when there isn’t one single one. In the Herald one poster was accused of being anti-English and his reply “I AM English”.

    The value of English Scots to counter this can’t be over-emphasised.

  94. Thepnr says:

    @Smallaxe

    That’ll be you showing that “wicked sense of Scottish humour” then 🙂

  95. Cuilean says:

    Terry Mushroom; don’t mushrooms in the dark and feeding them shit? A bit like the Westminster Govt’s MO on its electorate.

    The British Establishment has admitted in the run up to 19 Sept 2014, to running online accounts & avatars specifically to denigrate Scottish aspirations and anything supportive of Scots independence. Seems their accounts and banks of online avatars have been re-enlisted by MI5/MI6 rule, as I see more and more of these dubious comments as independence beckons to more and more as the only way to escape what England is bringing upon itself.

    The only parochial country I can see is the England (and Wales) which voted for a return to Alf Garnett’s England of the 1950s and 60s when it voted against the EU and ‘foreigners’.

    WE can see through your shit, MI5. But the comedy you are creating is sheer gold.

  96. K1 says:

    Mushroom by name useless provocateur by profession.

    As we say in parochial Scotland: Wanker.

  97. Chick McGregor says:

    An English-Scot told me recently that he was initially an intended No voter but upon looking at the Better Together sites to get evidence he could use to support a No vote, he became a Yes voter instead, all down to BT themselves.

  98. joannie says:

    Listening to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech earlier, it seems the Labour party’s arguments against independence are..

    1) There will be a hard border between England and Scotland.

    2) Scotland will have to join the euro.

    3) Something about the price of oil.

  99. Bob MACK says:

    “An inward and parochial place” ? Remind me. Who wants to remain in the EU and have open borders, and who wants none of that ?

    Mr ?. Come out of the dark and really see.

  100. Thepnr says:

    You know what is really depressing? Despite the reality of civic Nationalism being the case the poison being spread by the likes of Sadiq Khans comments is taking effect.

    People believe this especially Brexiteers in England. I’ve just spent an hour on the Independence online paper arguing against this nonsense but eventually you are overwhelmed.

    Cie la vie.

    https://archive.is/1VBCI

  101. Breeks says:

    @ Terry Mushroom 4:52

    We are working towards a collective “federation” type arrangement; a consensual union with the 27 member states of Europe so we can keep our jobs, Universities, and relationships open and inclusive to people from other countries and cultures.
    It isn’t Scotland who is pursuing insular and isolationist policies without even rudimentary consideration of the consequences, it is the Westminster Tories. They are leaning further to the right now than UKIP.

    I would be more than happy to elaborate on how our Scottish Government is protecting us from the worst excesses of Westminster, but it hardly requires much elaboration to see our Government is trying to keep Scotland in Europe and playing its part in the great European Project, while Theresa May and her Westminster Tories want us to join hands and take a running jump into the dark, and cut off from our European friends and neighbours.

    That alone is evidence enough of what our own government can do for us, but free healthcare and protection of our NHS is another yardstick by which our SNP government should be wholly commended. The reopening of Dalzell Steelworks, the investment in Kinlochleven Aluminium smelter, the Forth crossing, Scottish Renewables, the Borders Railway, are all ventures being brought back to life after the Union dismissed them as obsolete or dysfunctional. Scotland is now a progressive part of the UK which the UK would prefer to be a regressive, as a door example to all those who doubt the competence of Westminster. I want more progressive Government from Holyrood, and less, indeed none, of the regressive interference we have come to expect from Westminster.

    That’s all I want from Independence. Freedom of choice for my country to be all it can be.

    If you think Scotland is a wee provincial non-entity in the global scheme of things, you might owe it to yourself to come and see for yourself. Be warned however, before too long you might find yourself being the next “New Scot” penning an article for Wings.

    There is nothing for Scotland in a federal U.K. For a time I wondered about a Federal UK of fully sovereign and independent member states of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales; not so much a Federation, but a a sub group of English speaking Nations working together under the EU umbrella,
    but since the English and Welsh have elected to turn their backs on Europe, it is now forming a federation with the xenophobic and ignorant bigots in England and Wales which seems narrow and parochial, and frankly, it would create a place I wouldnt even want to visit, nevermind see my country degraded by joining.

  102. Thepnr says:

    @Breeks

    I tip my hat, a great response to Terry Mushroom.

  103. Meg merrilees says:

    Thepnr

    the main problem is that people hear only what they want to believe!

  104. Mike atkinson says:

    Sylvina definately represents the views of a number of us proud English Scots, who have adopted Scotland as our home, marroed Scots, raised Scots and see much good here that our birth country now fails to offer.

    Proud to be here and proud to support Indy
    . Great blog Sylvina.

  105. CameronB Brodie says:

    Blair Paterson
    Again, I’m not calling you a racist but your desire to exclude those not born Scottish, stands in opposition to the spirit of social inclusion. As we are seeking to build a better future, I think we need to get the foundations right.

    I agree with residency barriers to inclusion, which should be appropriate to the gravity of the decision being made.

    Democracy and Its Exclusions: Political Identity and the Challenge of Secularism

    How, then, can democracies generate exclusion? Paradoxically and tragically, through the force of their political identities. These can turn toxic when they are used to read certain people out of the identity, and therefore brand them as not really properly citizens, or not worthy of citizenship. Democratic sentiment begins to work against democracy.

    The most obvious example of this is where patriotism is ethnically-defined, and people of the wrong ethnic origin are targeted. This is why many proponents of modern democracy insist, with Jurgen Habermas, that patriotism must be “constitutional.” We might say that this insight was implicit in the making of the American Republic, and it lay also, we might add, at the origins of the Republic which emerged from the French Revolution, which in its beginnings had a strong universalist streak, freeing the slaves in Haiti, and aspiring to liberate the rest of Europe.

    Second, the “moral” discriminations are often unjustified in terms of the ethic of democracy, and reflect various forms of prejudice. Think, for instance, of the now notorious remarks made by presidential candidate Mitt Romney about the 47% of Americans who pay no tax, as well as more overtly exclusionary sentiments like anti-gay reactions. This kind of discrimination can work very insidiously; for instance, in motivating attempts to make voting more difficult for certain segments of the population to vote.

    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2016/04/05/4437500.htm

  106. Ghillie says:

    Silvina, so good to hear you found your way home = )

    Blair Paterson, then it is up to us to make welcome and guide said folk 🙂

    Mr Mushroom, has Kezia checked that the rUK want federalism? Anyroad, why on Earth should Scotland consider being a federal state in what has proven to be a rotten union for more than 300 years? Daft question, I know. Can answer it myself.

    My love and prayers go out to all our folk being gruelly deported by the sick and vicious Westminster xenophopic oxymorron ‘home office’.

    May they find their way home again as soon as possible.

  107. Cal says:

    When the trickle of new Scots from south of the border “going native” becomes a flood the old order will be washed away. May it happen soon! In the meantime Sylvina I’m happy to have you as a compatriot. Please work on the other ex pat English people around you that they may go native too! I canvassed in the indy ref with a number of English Scots and they were among the most enthusiastic campaigners. People like you are a tremendous asset to Scotland. Thank you.

  108. Thank you to everyone here for your lovely, supportive comments.

    @Terry Mushroom – I’ve a feeling it would not be a productive use of my time to spend long responding to you, so I’ll just suggest that you may be projecting your own prejudices in your reading of my article. I didn’t mention the “English” 6 o’ clock news incidentally. Apologies if you felt I didn’t go into enough detail and that my article presented a “parochial” picture. I necessarily focused on my family life and I’m sure you would agree the article was quite long enough without being diverted onto discussing Scotland’s place in the world. However I hope this is the first of many so if, as you suggest, you are “independence neutral” then you may wish to follow the blog.

  109. yesindyref2 says:

    @thepnr
    I see what you mean. It’s a problem with forums laid out like that, the Express, the BBC, the Scotsman even, that only the latest postings are seen, so the effort needs to be continual. Probably some of us taking shifts! I just registered …

  110. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    CameronB Brodie @ 20:20,

    The whole “who should vote” debate is completely pointless, since nothing anyone says will change anything anyway. The rules are ultimately set by… guess who?

    It’s even worse than pointless, actually, since it seems to me that it’s a very convenient means by which false friends of indy can feed BritNat slander. One exclusionist poster on any pro-indy website “validates” what the likes of Khan & Co. say, which is then fed direct to a compliant media.

    Any campaign will of course have its fair share of misguided people, and in our case that includes a small number who lean on the crutches of “voter fraud”, “English resident anti’s”, etc. rather than facing up to the plain fact that last time we did not succeed in convincing enough native-born Scots, many with self-induced low self-esteem, of the positive but slightly scary case for independence.

    Instead of looking backwards for lame excuses, we need to get our arguments well-tempered for next time, and although there’s still much preparation to be done, the post-indyref1 trail of broken promises and the growing reality of Brexit already give us a fair wind in our sails.

  111. Fred says:

    Mushrooms are good for U, a source of vitamin D 🙂

  112. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Dear visiting Fungus the Bogeyman @ 16:42,

    Like many unfortunates all-too-obviously unfamiliar with the independence movement, you have the situation heelster-gowdie. It’s precisely because we want to look outward and connect with the great world outside that:

    a) we welcome committed immigrants like Sylvina here, not to forget others such as the Brain family, the Macleod family and the Felbers, all of whom have been threatened with deportation by an uncaring UK Home Office. (Although I expect you may be totally unaware of any of these cases, given the typical lack of reliable information about us here that is freely made available to you where you presumably reside); and

    b) we want to protect and enhance our engagement with the world, including retaining our rightful place in the European community, not be dragged unwillingly into unglorious isolation by the UK EU-haters. For far too long we have been the “Cinderella” half of the union, our voice in the outside world attenuated into insignificance by an overbearing other half, as evidenced by how often other countries refer to the UK as “England” and we all as “English”. Now which “inward-looking” and self-obsessed place might have brought those misattributions about, pray?

    By all means educate yourself into what the movement for Scottish autonomy is actually about. You will certainly learn something, and may even surprise yourself, as Sylvina herself did. But forget that useless “federalism” thing, we here have been burnt believing in false stratagems like that too often now. The notion is so past its sell-by-date that it only appeals now to the vultures and the rats.

  113. CameronB Brodie says:

    Robert J. Sutherland
    True dat, though I still feel length of residency a legitimate concern. Appropriate barriers to inclusion would improve the representative-ness and indicative power of the process, IMHO.

  114. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    CameronB Brodie @ 21:49,

    Actually, it occurs to me that it’s essentially an issue that will only finally become “live” after independence, when we will have the power and the need to decide who among our “pick-n’-mix” residents should have the right to vote going forwards.

    The relevance to now is essentially reflexive. We have to demonstrate to possible doubters who currently have voting rights that these will not be wantonly removed from them post-indy. Since no-one is going to vote for a situation that renders them into non-persons afterwards, are they? (A phrase including “turkeys” and “Christmas” comes to mind.)

    But even the genuine “restrictionists” seem to envisage and accept a wider franchise post-indy, so it’s no big issue in the longer term. In the meantime, it’s simply a question of keeping calm and avoid getting into a right guddle over nothing.

    That having been said, I don’t myself see anything wrong in principle with eventually having a minimum “permanent residence” requirement and concomitant tax registration.

    (But having some kind of officially-verified racial identity history, either now or later, is complete anathema. That’s been tried before and didn’t work out too well, did it?)

  115. msean says:

    Great article,especially the comparisons with elsewhere.

  116. Cactus says:

    Yer right there Sylvina.

    There’s no place like home.

    See ye around neighbour 🙂

  117. Az says:

    I realise I’m so late to the show that probably no-one will see this comment, but I just want to say that this beautiful article did bring a wee tear to my eye.

    Back in 2014, I spent a lot of time arguing for independence on various social media and comment sections of newspapers. For some reason which I cannot fathom now, in particular, the Telegraph. Looking back now it’s so obvious I was metaphorically (and occasionally literally) banging my head off a wall…

    There was a really horrible guy used to comment on all indy-related articles, his pseudonym escapes me now, who always insisted that the English population in Scotland, I believe the figure he used was 400,000 (as if I care) would all vote against independence, and rhyme off some ditty, which, fortunately for my teetering sanity, I can’t remember either, about how they would secure a No vote.

    Some part of me wistfully wishes that this article had been available back then, just to shut his mouth, as it were.

    However, this is 2017, and now the land lies very differently. I know and am friends with numerous people of non-Scottish origin, at least 4 of them are English, who have chosen to make Scotland their home. Every one of them is aware of the distinction of SCOTLAND, not only that, they support and want to see an independent Scotland.

    It is only among the Scots I know, that there are *some* die-hard unionists. As some guy said back in the day (sorry for my ignorance and I can’t be arsed checking whom), and I’m obviously paraphrasing a bit, the biggest enemies of Scottish independence are those among us with no imagination.

    Sylvina – your truthful words are nectar to my soul. God bless you and yours!

  118. Ghillie says:

    Az, I’m often late to the show myself. I saw your comment 🙂

    Well said = ) Sylvina’s writing and heartfelt sentiments, her delighted love and appreciation for this Scotland, her family’s refound home, is indeed beautiful to read = )

    There is alot available now that I know would have been invaluable additions to our campaigning for Independence in 2014.

    Which just shows us how far we have travelled in the last two and a half years.

    Onwards and upwards = )

  119. I wrote a comment yesterday evening that seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. No matter, just wanted to say thanks for all the lovely comments!

    I did answer a couple of the critical comments, but rather than repeat all that now I’m just going to ask those who claim to have an open mind to please follow the blog, as I hope to expand on some stuff and cover other aspects in future posts.

  120. Andy Anderson says:

    Nice to welcome you as a true Scot Sylvina. A good story to help the cause when appropriate.

  121. Ha, how embarrassing. NOW it appears up the thread. Oh well, I’ve thanked you all twice. 🙂

  122. Robin J Barclay says:

    Thankyou so much for sharing your story with us. A truly delightful read.

  123. Betty Boop says:

    Sylvina Tilbury, reading your story you brought tears to my eyes.

    Your words have encapsulated the purpose of the independence movement. How I wish this could easily be shared widely, not just in Scotland, but, throughout these islands. How I wish people, especially in Scotland, would actually pay attention to such sentiments.

    We are blessed, but, many do not realise it. Until and unless they do, our government will use much of its energy trying to mitigate the worst of what is sent our way, but, eventually, they will be able to do no more. We cannot move forward, we need to have our hands untied.

  124. Cod says:

    @Blair Paterson

    You’re clearly confused as to the difference between civic nationalism and blood and soil nationalism.

    Actually, you sound exactly like the blood and soil, “foreigners out”, stormtroopers of the Britain First brigade.

  125. Thank you for all your abuse because I believe that the native people of my country are the only ones who have a right to determine their own future and no one else .,none of you have given a valid reason for what is wrong with that ?only accusations of blood and, soil., etc and that I who have argued all my life for independence for Scotland does not want it you have a right to reply my posts but not the to presume that you know my character or what I believe

  126. clipper says:

    Hey folks we all know what they say about mushrooms….

  127. Mrs Grimble says:

    It was really good to read this. Me and Husband are both English and moved to Scotland 14 years ago. Apprehensive at first, with a little bit of “white settler” fear, we found nothing but friendliness and acceptance. It definitely felt different from England, but we settled in quickly. I was bought up in London, so I understand the “metropolitan bubble” effect very well – I used to think that Scotland was a joke, all kilts and haggis and Jimmy Shand and nice pictures on shortbread biscuit tins. If I’d stayed in London, I would undoubtedly be with Sadiq Khan in the ‘SNPbaaaad!’ camp now.
    We have family in England and over the last couple of years, some of them have started asking about moving to Scotland; they see the way things are going and can see that Scotland is offering a much better deal. Jobs and relationships are the only things stopping a couple of them from moving right now!
    Coming back from our visits to England, we always both cheer when we pass the Welcome to Scotland sign; it’s extrordinary, but we immediately feel we’re home, even hough we have another 70-odd miles to go!

  128. Ghillie says:

    Mrs Grimble = )

    What a lovely letter to Scotland.

    That feeling you get seeing the Welcome to Scotland sign, is the feeling of coming home 🙂

    How lovely to hear also that your family would like to join you. I’m sure they’ll make it when their time is right too.

  129. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Mrs Grimble.

    Here’s a wee graphic for you. It’s one of the badge designs we’ve been doing for the past couple of years. It was inspired by me reading “Inferno” by Dan Brown and the Dante quote shouting out at me – referencing it to “Hope Over Fear”, of course.

    https://sites.google.com/site/webgaffer/home/badge-designs/Abandon-All-Fear-crop.jpg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6xCXbP-Q9g

  130. Pat Crawford says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Sylvina

  131. Ghillie says:

    Briandoonthetoon (we’ve met!)

    Your ‘Abandom All Fear, Welcome to Scotland, Failte gu Alba, All Ye Who Enter Here’ = )

    Makes me so so so proud to be able to offer that banner of hope and welcome to all who find themselves on our shores = )

    Thank you Brian = )

    Thank you Scotland for being you = )

  132. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Ghillie.

    I believe we met at Embra…

  133. twathater says:

    Thank you Sylvina for your insightful comments and your positivity for Scotland . You are not wrong that the nawbags are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think the blue, red , and yellow tories would treat us any different re austerity , they are soooo delusional

    Welcome Home for you and your family



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