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New Nationalism Is Launched As Sturgeon's Speech Goes Global

20/10/2016 13:56
British Modern Photography via Getty Images

Scotland is celebrating a new national identity.

And you are all invited to the party.

The Scottish National Party that is.

But before you launch into a rousing rendition of 'Oh Flower of Scotland' after one too many single malts, or in my case after four too many single malts on the tube journey back to North London, my adopted home, take heed- Scottish nationalism is changing.

So put down your saltire, drop yer dram, pipe down your bagpipes and tell Braveheart to put some pants on.

Inclusion is the new nationalism and Sturgeon's SNP is at the very heart of it.

At the SNP Conference last week First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, made it "crystal clear", that, at a time when the UK was becoming increasingly isolationist through both severance from Europe and in cultural identity, the SNP would aim to build a "progressive, outward looking, internationalist Scotland."

That's right, we are no more an unruly clan of tartan-clad heathens running with frenzied passion down a hillside in pant-less patriotism, crying FREEDOM.

Oh right...well sort of.

Scotland's 'freedom' has proved to be a debate more volatile than a fizzed up bottle of Irn-bru.

And Brexit? Brexit is the hand that shook it.

And let me assure you, as a frequent consumer of the violently carbonated, orange delicacy aboard the jostling carriages of London's underground system, once the cap comes off, the results are explosive.

Unlike my veracious public drink consumption, (apologies Northern Line) Scotland's bubbling anger is understandable. After all, many of the 55% of Scots who voted against leaving the UK in 2014, were urged to do so by the Westminster government's guarantee of their EU citizenship.

So when only two years later Westminster broke that promise and 62% of Scots were dragged out of Europe against their will, the nation was left fizzing with anger.

The gas is escaping and a reactionary explosion is inevitable.

In light of this, would First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, as I questioned in Huffington Post article Will Sturgeon's Scotland Divorce the UK, file for divorce from the UK by announcing a second independence referendum in Scotland, at the first post-Brexit SNP conference?

Sturgeon's message was, however, not one of divorce.

It was of inclusion.

Inclusion, the First Minister stated:

encapsulates what we stand for as a party and it describes the kind of country we want Scotland to be...Not one where we will ever judge them [citizens] on their country of birth or the colour of their passport.

Now before you roll your eyes, let's forget about political agendas for one moment.

Quiet the skeptic in you, you who suspect the First Minister of exploiting Brexit as a means to push the case for Indy Ref 2.

Put aside your political beliefs, your party allegiance and forget which way you voted- yes, no, leave, remain or not at all, because Sturgeon's words carry a far deeper message of hope and unity that transcends party politics.

This was no heathen hill charge.

This was a declaration more vital than a referendum on Scotland's independence.

This was a declaration of Scotland's independence from a society where xenophobia has become the accepted norm; independence from a union which is calling for all foreign workers to be registered; freedom from governments who threaten to divide people by walls both material and emotional.

George Orwell once said that nationalism is the "feeling that one's country is superior to another in all respects."

Nicola's new nationalism is redefining that.

And tonight as over 1000 children of various nationalities, sit in the soon to be dismantled jungle of Calais, crowded together under the battered fabric of makeshift homes, staring across the English channel, united by the hope of welcoming arms to quell the uncertainty of their future, I urge you to look beyond our country borders and see yourself and others as equal global citizens in this world we share.

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