We Scots didn’t live as a free nation betrayed for English gold. This is a poets’ fantasy. In 1707 Scotland was a feudal kingdom ruled by a king who thought he had a divine right to rule and an aristocracy which made sure that we common people knew our place.
Gold was certainly paid over to Scots aristocrats in substantial sums, but anyone familiar with Scottish history will know that this became the very lifeblood of the modernisation of the Scottish economy which in the end benefited every Scot.
In truth, the much-scorned English gold was one of the greatest investments any nation on earth ever made.
The motives for the treaty included the ending of bad government in Scotland, “civil discords” and “intolerable poverty”. No one who is familiar with the history of our country over the 300 years that followed – and this will rule out every nationalist, of course – will fail to realise what a triumphant success their aims turned out to be.
However, the 55 per cent of the population who voted No clearly understood there could really be no going back to bad government, constant bickering and the poverty of the good old bad days before the Union.