alithea: (Warrior River (made by brokenharlequin))
[personal profile] alithea
I'd like to say that it's because Scots are less racist and more leftwing than the English but that wouldn't actually be true (social attitude studies consistently show little difference - for example this report (pdf) "Is Scotland more left-wing than England" finds very modest differences in concern over income inequality and support for tax-and-spend and wealth redistribution. Similar issues are discussed in this Guardian analysis from last year). None of these differences are sufficient to explain why every single area of Scotland voted to Remain in Europe, even the rural conservative heartlands with similar demographics to the Leave voting areas of England.

So what's the difference?

Seems to me that the Scottish Parliament, the fact that it's elected by a proportional system, the existence of the SNP and the consistently pro-immigration political discourse are the deciding factors. In England, and now Wales* it seems, working class white folks abandoned by New Labour have turned to UKIP and bought into the increasingly popular immigrant-blaming discourse, encouraged by the mainstream media. In Scotland, this same demographic has turned to the SNP. While the UKIP lot vote in increasing numbers but have one MP, the SNP have been running the country for years, pretty successfully as centrist parties go. And they have been putting the blame for the inequality in our country firmly where it lies - with the Westminster Government and consistently telling Scots that we need immigration to survive. So while large swathes of England feel thoroughly disenfranchised and are obsessed with 'taking their country back', those same people in Scotland are getting on with doing it - from Westminster not from the EU and people who want to live and work here. And while there are racist bigots, they *never* hear their views legitimised by mainstream political discourse (much to my shame, we do have a single UKIP MEP up here (elected in a turnout of 33.5%!), but he is quite literally a national joke; when he took part in one of the TV debates, he showed himself to be completely at 90 degrees to reality, it's the only time I've seen *everyone* commenting on Twitter agreeing on anything).

And you can say what you like about the SNP (I am not their biggest fan - they pay lip service to wanting a Scandinavian-style social democracy and then centralise the police, fail to reform council tax and make excuses for not raising taxes on the rich when they have fought for the powers to do so), but while the Tory leadership candidates are talking about using EU residents as bargaining chips, the first thing Nicola Sturgeon did after the vote was tell all our EU residents that Scotland is still their home and call for everyone to be granted indefinite leave to remain, something only the Lib Dems have done south of the border, where the Labour lot are now competing over who gets to address 'immigration concerns' because the way to deal with UKIP support is apparently still to pander to their lies, because that hasn't just plunged us into complete chaos, has it? Oh no, wait, the other thing.

So now I'm back to the same point I was making during the indy ref - that modern Scottish nationalism is a very different beast to British Nationalism. And regardless of what some folks, the lexiteers and others no doubt, want to believe, the Leave vote really was about British Nationalism.

*What I can't speak to is why Welsh devolution doesn't seem to have had the same impact there. I confess I've never paid much attention to their politics.

On Wales

Date: 2016-07-04 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The thing is, Plaid Cymru are not the unified machine that the SNP are. Would that they were. In some areas they are indistinguishable from Labour, in some they are more right wing nationalists, and their manifestos are uncosted fantasy wish lists with no international vision at all.

Date: 2016-07-04 02:34 pm (UTC)
drplokta: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drplokta
It seems to me that the difference is that Scottish politicians don't need to blame the EU for things, because they can blame Westminster instead.

Date: 2016-07-04 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There is that. It does have the advantage of being more often true but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that even as a indy supporter, I'm not totally without concerns about what happens when we don't have Westminster to blame. But honestly, I look at the Scottish parliament right now compared to the utter mess at Westminster and think that if we can't do better, we don't deserve nice things!

Date: 2016-07-04 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

(To pre-empt a post I have brewing)

I expect by the time we are independent we'll have sung our own creation myth long enough and loud enough to not need to blame anyone else for our misfortune.

Date: 2016-07-04 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I look forward to that post :)

Date: 2016-07-05 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was going to say something similar. Nationalist movements are defined by a national identity and to make that political it's often useful to put that national identity in opposition to some alternative. In England this comes out as opposition to "foreigners", multi-culturalism, the EU etc -- and English nationalist movements often express this in unfortunate ways.

In Scotland that national identity can be put in opposition to a cartoon version of an English national identity (associated with leadership from London, ironically in many ways a place with similar social attitudes to Scotland). So a left wing progressive form of nationalism seems easier for Scotland.

But perhaps this is too simplified a blue.

Date: 2016-07-06 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sure you're not surprised to hear I think that's too simplified. This article makes some nice points about the difference in national character regarding notions of sovereignty.

Date: 2016-07-04 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If Scotland divorced the UK and stayed in the EU we would move to either Edinburgh or Glasgow from London.

Date: 2016-07-04 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If it happens, I foresee quite a few people doing similarly, friends of mine elsewhere in England are also talking about it.

Date: 2016-07-04 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We are not British (Danish / Norwegian) but have been living in Chelsea for a long time and are now watching Scotland closely.

Date: 2016-07-04 07:40 pm (UTC)
ext_189645: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Not me. Can entirely understand why people who have moved here would be thinking about it, but to be dangerously over-earnest for a moment, my grandfather fought actual Nazis with tanks and guns for this country, I will not be leaving it in the hands of god knows who because of one marginal vote. Seems like giving up way too easily.

Date: 2016-07-04 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And that's the other side of it, yes. As my old school friend was saying last week, she's tempted by a move to Scotland but if everyone like her leaves England, what does the country become then?

ETA: And having made my home here, I don't intend to give up and leave Scotland if we don't manage to wrangle staying in the EU. Although Hubby will be getting the Irish passport he's entitled to and I'll be attempting to get a spousal one.
Edited Date: 2016-07-04 07:53 pm (UTC)

Interesting Links for 05-07-2016

Date: 2016-07-05 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
User [ profile] andrewducker referenced to your post from Interesting Links for 05-07-2016 ( saying: [...] Why Scotland is different [...]

Date: 2016-07-05 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Possibly the difference between Scotland and Wales has something to do with the Scottish Parliament having more devolved powers than the Welsh Assembly, and possibly due to the differing histories of the respective nationalist parties: the SNP has always focused on the heartland, whereas PC is strongest in the remote rural districts and weak in the urban centre.

Date: 2016-07-05 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Banff and Buchan is pretty rural.

Date: 2016-07-05 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So? They've won everywhere; I'm speaking of their focus. The first two seats it ever won in the UK Parliament were Motherwell and Hamilton, and it's continued to do well in urban areas.

Date: 2016-07-05 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

The SNP have not always focused on the heartlands  (by which I think you mean Scotland's cities). Until devolution they mostly held rural seats, like Banff and Buchan, Argyle or Perth. Until Salmond managed the various  breakthroughs that he did the SNP were often referred to as the Tartan Tories because they were,  often as not,  competing with the Conservatives in rural constituencies.

I'm not sure why Wales and Scotland have ended up in different places on the question of the EU but I don't think the SNP being an urban party and Plaid being a rural one is the reason.

Date: 2016-07-05 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Still won plenty of urban seats and polled relatively well in the central belt, far more than PC did in urban Wales.

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