Identity crisis

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Your headline, “New census res­ults good news for independence supporters” (27 September), reflects more of a wish than a considered judgment.

As someone whose male ancestry goes back, as far as can be seen, to mid-17th-century Aberdeenshire and whose maternal line to 16th-century Culross in Fife, I have no alternative than to hold myself “Scottish only”.

The British component is a post-1707 political construct fortified by the 18th-19th-century imperial growth of the British Empire, itself a joint enterprise of Scots, English, Irish and Welsh.

Until 1948 and the arrival of the Empire Windrush from the Caribbean, the British, as we were perceived, were a homogeneous people.

Today, that ethnic sameness is being dissolved, quite vividly in England and to a lesser but increasing extent here in Scotland.

It should not surprise one that both English and Scots are therefore markedly retreating to their historical bloodstocks.

It is presumptuous for culture secretary Fiona Hyslop to distort a “very strong sense of Scottish identity” with a desire to separate politically from our English kin next year. Our related identities and our common interest will keep the Scots and the English in the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Alastair Harper


by Dunfermline

One thing that intrigued me about the results on national identity was that in both Scotland and England, the numbers who thought themselves either Scottish or English, ie not British, was not dissimilar.

William Ballantine

Dean Road

Bo’ness, West Lothian