It is accepted that four nations constitute the United Kingdom, yet the separatists have taught me there is a fifth: being British.
Nationhood is accepted to be a collection of people with common language, culture, attitudes and so on. We supporters of the Union are accused by Yes/SNP of negativity, of being outdated, supporting an “empire” long dead, almost placed on the level of a right-wing fanatic.
But I am none such. Being British does not just mean waving a Union Flag, singing patriotic songs or supporting the monarchy – though it can do all those things.
Being British as part of the UK is quiet comfort in a way of life spanning the length and breadth of our country in a common bond we often take for granted. It enjoys a certain standard of living, is offended by corruption, knows that we have wrongs that must be righted and believes in a right and wrong way of doing things.
It takes the excellence of our services for granted, which though imperfect, do work, save lives and provide succour. It’s a tolerant, all-encompassing, accepting way. Our media is free, our institutions evolve through valuing tradition, our customs forged by time and our national comradeship cemented by common experience.
Nowhere in our country must a person from Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland feel foreign because it is all ours.
We do not need to boast or say we are better than anyone else. We just want to be comfortable in our own land, as Scots and Britons, and preserve our hard-won freedoms.
For this we are derided by a vocal minority who for no justifiable reason wish to secede and in desperation to justify this, see little good in us.
I am Scottish, British, and proud to be both.