UK census data from 2011 reveal that nearly two-thirds of people living in Scotland describe their national identity as “Scottish only”. Less than a fifth say they are “Scottish and British”, and one assumes that the remainder are either British, other or don’t know.
That 62% of those living in a 21st century multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Scotland think of themselves as Scottish, to the exclusion of any other national identity, shows the quaint notion of Britain as a country to be done for. And the sooner the English accept this, the better.
Personal identity is a complex issue, and in the modern age we are all likely to be products of multiple and sometimes conflicting identities – national, civic or whatever. Britain is a reality, as a state, but a nation it most certainly isn’t. The irony in this case is that what we know of today as Britain was the bastard child of a Scottish king transplanted to London following the death of the childless Tudor (Welsh) queen Elizabeth I. It was James VI of Scotland who founded Great Britain, and gave us the contrived Union Flag that flutters with ever decreasing frequency over public buildings and private residences in these islands.
The United Kingdom may or may not survive as a political and administrative union, according to the wishes of its citizens, but the pretence at nationhood is buried.
RIP, the nation-state of Great Britain.