Scots agree that English values are more compatible Gareth South Gate Gordon Brown says Marcus Rashford is better than “toffs and Brexit”.
The former prime minister has announced the results of the survey, which show a significant cohesion between the UK nations on equality, tolerance and diversity, as well as a desire for more cooperation between governments, not less.
“People are starting to see that the UK is not the UK it’s been portrayed,” Brown said of data from the think tank Our Scottish Future, of which he is a founding member. “It is much more diverse, much more tolerant, much more inclusive, and perhaps politics does not reflect that right now because Brexit”
More than 50% of pro-independence voters were asked if they would respond more positively to a UK represented by the likes of Southgate and Rashford rather than the current UK government. Scotland said they would do.
The survey also found that people in Scotland, England and Wales were united in their beliefs in equality (78%, 76%, 78%), tolerance (83%, 83%, 83%), freedom (86%, 87%). , 83%) and diversity (82%, 82%, 80%) were important for them to be proud of their nation.
The analysis also drew remarkably similar attitudes towards equality, meritocracy, structural racism, and open borders in the three nations.
The survey revealed a pattern throughout England, where local identity became more important, with England mirroring Scotland and Wales, which wanted devolved governance. Referring to new US Open champion Emma Raducanu, Brown said that people feel comfortable with plural identities, especially in areas like London and the north of England, as well as Scotland and Wales, but it’s not just about geography.
“You can be Muslim, British and British and feel pretty comfortable with those three identities,” he said, “or you can be a Canadian-born tennis player from parents from China and Romania. Still, that tennis player could become a British sports icon overnight.”
UK nations also appeared to agree on key priorities they want governments to follow in the wake of the pandemic: the NHS; an honorable retirement; climate change; Education; and most importantly, according to Brown, it wants its governments to improve cooperation – especially since devolved governments have had experience working together throughout the pandemic.
“It is important to know that 75% of the Scottish people want at least cooperation, and sometimes more than 80%,” Brown said. “So instead of this picture of Scotland and England being separated, people actually not only share the same values and agree on the importance of the priorities they attribute to policy, but they also want people to cooperate.”
The first lesson from the survey, Brown said, is that the strong unionism favored by some in the current Conservative administration is doomed to fail. “You can’t be rude about local decision making. You cannot ignore the need for partnership between Scotland and the UK. You can’t say delegation of authority’a disaster‘.
“For the middle group that came out of our vote, especially for the middle group that will decide Scotland’s future, they don’t want to choose between being Scottish and English… people have seen the collaborative work on vaccination, but I think they want to see it. Working in other areas for the benefit of the Scottish people.”