THE BLOG
18/09/2014 07:27 BST | Updated 17/11/2014 05:59 GMT

A No, a No, Our Kingdom Needs a No!

If it's Scotland's pound, it's the people's Scotland. There's a hidden Scotland in anyone who speaks the Northern Ireland speech. Seamus Heaney said that. Hibernia colonised Caledonia through the Scotti, then Scottish planters re-colonised Ireland. Now I'm here in Northern Ireland - a demi-Scot, an Ulster-Scot, a Scots-Irish - living on a Scottish outcrop on the north of Ireland. McIlhagga, Patterson, McDowell and Blair are names that run through my family tree. The Scottish roots of my antecedents are wrapped around my life. The Anglo, Welsh, Irish and the Scot, these islands have tied a crazy knot. I grew up looking more to Stranraer and Dumfries than Sligo and Dublin. My father grew up in Bushmills, a jaunt away from a regular boat trip to Scotland.

My grandmother regaled me on the stories of her enterprising uncles who left Antrim for Australia having come a generation before from Scotland.

I despise the unfounded Scottish exceptionalism of the secessionists. The idea that they alone are kinder, gentler, more benevolent. Puffed-up, baseless arrogance layered over layers of sanctimony and self-righteousness. The mass narcissistic self-idolatry of Salmond's solipsistic delusions. As Fintan O'Toole said, national vanity and produced "toxic" ends. The proud preening is porky pie.

Scottish national vanity has been built on evisceration of the rest of the UK; as place less kind, less gentle, malevolent. It's the Yes campaign who has been negative, not the No. It's the Yes camp that has produced the anger, threats and recrimination. As David Aaronovitch said, "the Yes campaign from the start... was, and is, the systematic denigration of Great Britain.

If Scotland is so loving and caring why is it partitioning itself from its fellow countrymen? The Scots would abandon and maroon the left and compassionate right of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. How compassionate.

4% of those living in Great Britain and Northern Ireland will determine the immediate constitutional future of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We're all on these islands together on a shared and common history, with a shared and common destiny. Scotland brings social democracy, England brings individualism, and together we make a better mix. Share a thought for the 96% my Scottish friend.

If it's Scotland's pound, as Alex Salmond said, it's the people's Scotland. Let us stay together, all of us. Just as Britain is the product of collective endeavour, so Scotland is the product of the shared effort of these islands.

Yes there are problems, they need addressed. I'm with Danny Dorling. Independence is a reaction to the metropolitan monopoly on the Thames Basin. The Union needs reformed not dissolved. Perhaps yes it is a quasi-federal or confederal state that we need. Let's look to that, not tear it asunder. Look to Adrian Wooldridge who points to Germany as a model of economic decentralisation and balance.

In this time of populism in an age post-nationalism, Gillian Tett also has a suggestion:

"The obvious answer is that we should simply back away from our obsession with nation states and recognise that political structures can be multi-ethnic and that decision-making is often best exercised in a federal manner. For many matters, local democracy is best, at levels well below the nation state - and in an age of globalised business and cyber commerce, many issues today need international decisions, above that nation level... Switzerland might offer a glimpse of a more sensible way for countries to organise themselves - but it also reminds us how rare this type of sensible multi-ethnic collaboration is. And that is a tragedy - not just in Ukraine but in so much of the world."

We're all in this together. Stay together.