They are not alone in this. Rupert Murdoch has also come to town on the basis that his grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. And I would too, if I were Scottish. But the complex DNA of my family may have some Danish, some Jewish and some Irish, but as far as I know there is no Scottish blood. (Although I do remember from my childhood that my father was unnaturally fond of the voice of Andy Stewart and his Scottish soldier.)
I have been following what has passes for the debate closely, primarily so that I can hold my own when Archie and I meet for a glass or two in the Bar du Marché, and I concur absolutely that Scotland has been effectively disenfranchised in recent decades and I think that, were I Scottish, I would be voting ‘yes’.
In fact, even as an Englishman who will probably have to suffer generations of Tory or UKIP hegemony should the vote be for independence, my vote would still be ‘yes’.
It would be ‘yes’ because, like millions of us outside the political class and the Westminster bubble, I feel that the agenda being pursued by our politicians – of all parties - has little in common with the real concerns of ordinary people.
And there is enough of the situationist in me still to want the Scots to throw the entire establishment into turmoil and see what comes out subsequently.
In my more rational moments, however, it seems to me that a form of federalism is the long-term solution. I hold it be self-evident that there are aspects of our lives over which each nation – England, Wales, Scotland – should have total control. Equally, there are elements which we collectively, as a republic, can act together and thus derive greater strength and greater influence in the world. A similar arrangement could operate in Ireland.
Apart from sporting allegiance, I am not a nationalist. As Mick McGahey, the Scottish miners’ leader, said, “nationalism is a bourgeois deviation from the class struggle”.
But I have been impressed by the way in which the ‘yes’ campaign has focused on the benefits which might accrue to those who are being ignored by the neo-liberal economics of the political class. And even the most casual observer of the news reports of the debate will have realised that the richer and more prosperous is an individual, the more likely are they to support the union. And vice versa.
I know where my sympathy lies.
Today from the everysmith vault: Dick Gaughan, Workers’ Song, from handful of Earth.