Quote. “When I first started travelling, it took me a while to realise that not everybody wanted to be American. They were quite happy being French, British, Indian or whatever”
Yesterday the Scottish National Party launched their campaign to persuade the Scottish people to vote “yes” to Scottish Independence in the upcoming referendum on 18th September 2014.
I have no objection to the Scots becoming a separate country if they want, it’s a bit like letting an adult child lave home! but I would be sad to see the Scots leave the United Kingdom, not least of all because of all the trouble it caused with of Elizabeth 1st, Mary Queen of Scots and James etc , but because, like my friend above, I thought everybody in the British Isles wanted to be British, but it seems just like northerners, not everybody wants to be lumped together with those people from London.
…and also the British flag does not look quite the same without the blue!!!
It got me to thinking that I quite like being English, or rather British, ……because the English think of “English” as an all encompassing term, as if the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish were just another region instead of separate countries.
For a while, after my frequent trips to Paris , I wanted to be French, but after a period when I learned to tie scarves, wear black and do that Gallic shrug thing, I stayed for five weeks in Paris and realised that actually I just wanted to visit Paris and not live there because I actually like being this bluey/white, slightly eccentric, polite , reserved English person.
I also got to thinking of all the other things I like about being English..
I know how to queue
I know how NOT to complain.
I now how to publicly keep my enthusiasm under wraps, (except for football!….soccer)
I know how to keep myself to myself.
I know how to keep calm and carry on… unlike other nationalities, who have hysterics if things are just not right!
I love our green countryside.
I love having “tea”
I like driving on the “right ” side of the road, which is actually the left.
I like our NHS. Where, even with it’s shortcomings, you have the security of knowing if you are ill you will be treated.
I like the way our political system does not depend on how much money you have to be elected.
I like British tolerance of diverse, cultures, classes and religions and the fact that because (in the main) we accept other people differences, we never feel the need to change ourselves to “blend in”.
.. and *I like the fact that what we cannot stand is other people not being tolerant.
I LOVE the way we do ceremony. At the last Royal wedding I was so proud of the organisation,and crowd control. Having attended lots of different ceremonials in different countries, including 4th July and Fetes Nationals. I realised that nobody does it like the British, …. but then we have had centuries of practise, with all those, Royal weddings, coronations, investitures, Jubilees etc.
( I also like the Queen, who stops any egomaniac from having power)
I even like the fact that our weather is different from day to day and is the subject every British person can talk about instantly and ad infinitum!
Of course, it is not quite the done thing for the British to be too publicly patriotic. When I was in America last year, I was shocked to see all the Stars and Stripes flags hoisted on most houses and buildings, for in the UK there is an old joke that is is OK to hoist a flag during the 2-3 days of an international football competition, but ….
3 days is national pride, 4 days is National front! ( facist political party)
Still there are also things I admire about other nationalities.
I love how Americans can strike up a conversation with anybody and get thier life story within minutes.
I love how the French are in the main SO chic, and proud of their Frenchness, with all that history… and not really bothered what other folks think.
I admire how Scandinavians can speak such perfect English as well as their own language .
I love how the Italians are so family and children oriented and passionate..
So I really hope the Scots people say “no” to independence and stay with us because I also like how friendly the Scots are.
…and if the Scots get independence, just think that so will the Welsh and Northern Irish.
The irony that all those years of violent troubles could have been solved with a simple referendum!
Vive la difference!
Ironically a year ago, I was in Glasgow, remarking that Scotland was like another country.