I am not pledging allegiance to the French flag, my country of origin, or to the British flag, my host country. I am pledging allegiance to my family, my friends, my teachers, my colleagues, my partner, to all the people from the various backgrounds that constructed "me" into "me," the diverse and heterogeneous voices of my life.
Whichever way it goes, I will be challenging myself to remain steady in an idea of global Britishness. I won't be accepting the Scottish nationalists' invitation to think of myself as reduced and obliged to come to terms with my Englishness, but will be working to enhance strong, ongoing narratives about a Britain that embraces and integrates.
So, a simple plea. Can we not let go of the past and just share our island? Sure, there are a few unfairness issues that need ironing out. You have poverty in Scotland just the same as we have it in the other corners of the UK. And I know that 'Yes' voters will scream that this blog is too simple and that, as an 'Englander', I don't understand how it feels to be a 'Scot'.
The ideology which terrorists are fed aids this process too. When people take on a belief system, they begin to see the world in an abstract, intellectualised way, rather than through direct perception. They begin to see the world in terms of concepts and categories, developing a dry and rigid outlook which becomes so powerful that it divorces them from the immediacy of experience and contact. It encourages them to see other human beings not as individuals but as units in an abstract, conceptual and deadly game.
In my view each person decides who they are, what their identity is. Some Scots feel Scottish and don't identify with a British identity. Other Scots feel Scottish and British, and proud of both. I am from India - but if we were limited to our ethnicity and ethnic stereotypes it would be a dull world indeed.
I'm not a big football fan either, but, as a psychologist, I'm aware that the game carries a lot more weight than may be at first apparent. In fact, I believe that the world as a whole has a great deal to thank football for, because of the social and psychological benefits it has brought over the last 100 years or so.
With the introduction and rapid take up of technologies like social login, many companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter have become 'identity providers'. If you've ever signed up to a new website and chosen to log in using a social media account rather than input all of your personal details then you will appreciate the advantages of this.
Every country and culture has stereotypes that go alongside it, some truer than others. Scotland of course, is no different. However, what I have noticed is that while Scotland is part of the UK British stereotypes tend to be more closely associated with the English portion of the country. It is a common mistake to think of the U.K. and England synonymously, when this is not true. As a Scot, I have no objection to being called British, but I am certainly not English.