Having been brought up in Scotland but lived more than half my life in England I will generally support either team. But for the Calcutta Cup, old habits die hard.
In this, I am like so many in the United Kingdom, proud to be Scottish (or English or Welsh or Northern Irish) while equally proud to be British. I have never once felt that one identity negates the other and I do not understand those who want to undermine our great cultural unity and historically fertile partnership.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown reminded us recently about the difference drawn between patriotism and nationalism by George Orwell, one of our greatest national authors.
Nationalism was, he said, “the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or another unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests”.
By contrast, he defined patriotism as “devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people”.
It is not patriotism that threatens the United Kingdom.
It is not Scottish identity or Scottish pride or Scottish cultural heritage. The threat does not come from Scottish patriots. It comes from Scottish nationalists.
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