As a good Scot born and bred in Glasgow, but now an expat living and working in England, I deplore the fact that I cannot cast a vote in the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence. At least, however, I can register a point of view.
A few weeks ago on Radio 4, Tom Shakespeare gave a highly entertaining discourse on the various options open to Britain should independence for Scotland become a reality.
He suggested that if Scotland voted Yes, England might return to the days of the seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, better known as the Heptarchy.
If one were to follow this argument, then Scotland should also return to an earlier time when the four Dark Age kingdoms of Strathclyde, Dalriada, Pictland and Lothian struggled for supremacy.
By the same token, what of the Welsh Kingdoms and Ireland? Fragmentation would seem to know no bounds.
Such a system might indeed encourage regional loyalties, and a sense of identity, admirable qualities in themselves.
World leaders, however, might be justly puzzled on finding themselves negotiating with seven English and four Scottish ministers for foreign affairs, to say nothing of the Welsh and Irish. What language should be used? English? Gaelic? Erse? What about Latin, once the lingua franca in Britain, as noted by Bede.
But this could also unleash the horrors of civil war, of which we have perhaps seen a precursor in the banning of booing at the English by the Scots at the Commonwealth Games.
No, no. In unity lies strength. Were I to be allowed to cast a vote it would be for Britannia Prima. Vivat Britannia, first, foremost and always!
Dorothy M O’Hanlon