Every now and again in subtle ways, the authentic goodness and honesty of the people of the United Kingdom shines through to prove yet again there is something to be proud of in being British. It shines above the grandstanding of the political class, the self-opinionated and the grotesque.
Such an example happened last night during the live debate on Channel 4 about the Scottish Referendum. Suddenly, up on the screen was the result of a survey of people in the rest of the UK: 76% want Scotland to stay. Another example was the demonstration organised by Dan Snow in Trafalgar Square for people, south of the border, to show that we want to stay together as a United Kingdom. These are simple messages from people to people of friendship, loyalty, commitment and support through good times and bad.
Throughout our history are examples of this modest yet sincere, and sometimes brave, fidelity that are both inspiring and humbling. Not everyone shares these characteristics, but fortunately many people still do and everywhere within our country are people who are making real sacrifices for others. The future peace, prosperity and social progress of our country needs such and many more examples of people working together to achieve more, through formal and informal co-operation in a spirit of goodwill. The political class north and south of the border, whatever their claims, cannot do it for us. We know we can achieve great things together because, we the people, have done it many times before.
The best friend of the people of Scotland is truly the people of the rest of the United Kingdom. It is a longstanding marriage in all but name ‘for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health’. It cannot be equalled by separate countries pursuing different, self-centred agendas and protecting national interests, even if they share a smallish island.
The animosity and selfishness of the ‘debate’ (aka rather meaningless sound-bites), from the Yes Campaign, has often cast a dark shadow on my television screen. However, the generosity of spirit from the people of the rest of the United Kingdom in the face of such obvious agitation is indeed a worthy example of why we can feel Proud to be British.