Being British

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Being British
There are two dimensions to the Scottish independence debate: the head, and the heart. If the pro-UK campaign is to win, it must appeal to both. Up until now Better Together has focused mainly on the head, but this changed last week when Alistair Darling made an emotional speech at the JP Mackintosh lecture. Although he touched on the economics, he also raised some emotional questions. Why can’t we be proud of the achievements we’ve had together? Why can’t we be proud of our shared institutions such as the Bank of England, the BBC, NHS, and our welfare state? Why can’t be both Scottish and British? When asked this question, the nationalists often respond: “what does being British mean?” Well here’s my answer. Being British means many things. It means the silly things like drinking tea and eating Sunday Roasts. It means the simple things like watching Eastenders and talking about the weather. It means the funny things like watching Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, or classics such as Fawlty Towers and Mr Bean. It means the kind things like contributing to local communities and charities. It means the glamorous things like celebrating our sporting success and special occasions for the Royal Family. But most of all it means being proud to part of the union that is Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. As a country the United Kingdom has made and continues to make a real difference to the world by bringing out the best in all its component nations. It brings tolerance, fair play, respect for the law, calm in the fact of misfortune, and above all it brings happiness to mankind. Together we ended slave trade and saved Europe from tyranny. Together we continue to strengthen our collective security. Together we continue to advance international cooperation and tackle disease and poverty. Together we speak for business up and down the country on a national and international level. Together, we strive to make a better society and a better...
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