Time to put grievance aside

Much as I respect Neil Stratton’s intellect (letters), I think he is wasting his time, as is his sparring partner, Hugh Sneddon, in appealing so much to history.

Too many of those eligible to vote in September will consciously or unconsciously agree with Henry Ford that history is bunk.

As to the economic pros and cons, we shall go to the independence poll in the same fog we are in today.

We ought to recognise that the outcome will be determined not by argument, but by deep-laid emotions and settled attitudes.

Hugh Sneddon’s pride in his Scots identity is the most admirable example.

More questionable is the ingrained sense of inequality, leading to a sense of being inferior to the English in wealth, savoir faire and, insidiously, in culture generally, which even some Scots of good education and social standing may feel at heart.

The ruling class in England could have done much over the years to remove possible reasons for this feeling. If we secede from the Union, our English cousins must bear some of the blame.

It is a tragic irony that if, deep down, we all felt equal to England, secession would be irrelevant and the referendum would fail in its purpose. But who would wish for secession based mainly on a wrong-headed tangle of emotions with long roots in past ages?

We along the border should be the least prone to this false sentiment, as we are so close and evidently equal to our Northumbrian and Cumbrian neighbours.

Can we not try to rid ourselves – before the fateful day – of any false sense of grievance and leave room thereby for more of the common sense we all desperately need at this defining moment in our history.

Douglas Hall

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