THE BLOG

Better Together: Democracy Wins Today

19/09/2014 10:52 BST | Updated 18/11/2014 10:59 GMT

If I was in the classroom today, I would be ranting on to my students, as always, about the wonders of Democracy and telling them how China would never have held a referendum. Kids today are more politically aware than ever but I have found an appreciation of one's country and one's freedoms could perhaps be a bit enhanced, to say the least. I once invited a teacher from Poland into my Citizenship lesson to speak to the students about why she loved living in the U.K. They had no idea. They could not believe someone could speak in such praise about life in England. Her personal experience and viewpoint was just quite different from theirs.

Is it due to our affluence and easy access to worldwide travel, the ability to experience that glorious weather in other countries on a regular basis, to meet people who actually talk to each other on the streets, or the ease by which we can visit the wonders of the world, that tends to create dissatisfaction with home? Nearly every student I taught for the last 10 years believed their life would be better in America. I can't say; maybe it would. Maybe mine would. Certainly movies and television have convinced us of that. I've had people stop me dead in Marks and Spencer's and say, "Where is your accent from? How can you live here when you could be there?"

The point is, you are where you are, so best to have a look at it and a think: what's good about it? What positives do we have to work with? I think this morning many people will agree in the U.K., quite a lot. Young people especially need to hear this. Today, Democracy has won and that is something to value. I certainly value the civilized way in which Alex Salmond conceded defeat and how everyone on the news early this morning, though many disappointed, spoke without rancour, emphasizing the hope to work better, together. "We Need to Love Scotland More" is really about Democracy. The word "united" has a ring to it that "divided" lacks, as in United Nations, United States of America,"United we Stand", and Manchester United (!) And today, the United Kingdom.

Even though the Pandora's box of resentment and divisiveness has been opened and now has to be dealt with, at least, "demos"- "kratos", rule by the people, can have a go to heal the wounds. "We can work it out" is the hope Democracy extends to every citizen. And a chance to be heard. The Unionists have certainly been heard, and it behoves everyone to listen. Whilst Plato had rather unflattering views of democracy, believing the wise philosopher should rule the state, this is what we have and is far better than any other method of rule we see in the world today. The onus is on We the People to make it work.