Independence Scotland will get rid of “imperialist baggage”, says author Irvine Welsh

Scottish author Irvine Welsh. Picture: Reuters
Scottish author Irvine Welsh. Picture: Reuters
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Getting rid of the “imperialist baggage” of the UK state through Scottish independence will present new cultural and political opportunities, according to author Irvine Welsh.

In an online article, in which he describes his early life visiting relatives in London, Welsh argues that political separation could promote cultural unity.

He suggests that expressions of Britishness – such as those displayed during last summer’s Olympic Games – will continue, and also proposes that the British team could remain after independence.

He also considers that the peace process in Northern Ireland could be encouraged if the Republic of Ireland feels more like part of a “shared geographical” entity with Britain.

He wrote: “This state has stopped England from pursuing its main mission, namely to build a inclusive, post-imperial, multi-racial society, by forcing it to engage with the totally irrelevant (from an English perspective) distractions of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“From the viewpoint of the Scots, it has foisted 35 years of a destructive neo-liberalism upon us, and prevented us from becoming the European social democracy we are politically ­inclined to be.”