While I respect people changing position on this issue, in either direction, I do think McGregor is failing to see the bigger picture and makes one crucial fundamental analytical error 👇 1/

First you have to understand that different voting patterns don't point to fundamental differences between the people of Scotland and England/rUK. Social attitude surveys consistently show that the ancient border dividing line is mostly irrelevant to our attitudes. 2/
One myth for example is that we Scots have a more progressive attitude to immigration, the idea being that Scotland is open & outward looking compared with a closed, inward-looking England. But the evidence points to no real difference in attitudes. 3/

This lack of fundamental difference is demonstrated in multiple areas, from how much we should be taxed to attitudes to poverty. E.g, this is from the Scottish Government's 2015 report, Scottish Attitudes to Poverty, Inequality and Welfare in Scotland and Britain: 4/
(Note also: only 2 parties went into the 2016 Scottish election pledging to freeze income tax - SNP & Scottish Conservatives - & the outcome was a fiscally conservative SNP minority gov't)

So we can conclude that fundamental attitudes aren't especially different across the UK 5/
We can speculate as to why we have the different voting patterns (I would suggest that the patriotic feeling we have towards Scotland has been manipulated by politicians over the years - Labour & now SNP - to create the illusion that conservatism is foreign to us). 6/
But the main thing is to recognise that voting patterns, whether at elections or in refs, only provide superficial insight into people's attitudes (& I don't see anyone suggesting London needs to go it alone even though Londoners keep voting Labour & getting Tory gov'ts). 7/
Now think about Brexit & the bigger picture, which is that since the 2008 financial crisis, clever nationalist politicians across democracies have pounced on legitimate grievances while manipulating patriotism in order to drive their division agendas. 8/
While nationalists in Scotland were able to direct grievance and anger towards Westminster & Tories as the foreign presence we need to get away from, nationalists down south needed a different target, and that was Brussels. 9/
So it should come as no surprise that Scotland voted Remain and England Leave, given the way nationalists led the conversation north & south of the border (but that was the key difference, rather than anything fundamental). 10/
Put simply, radicalising people against the EU was never going to have the purchase in Scotland that it did in England because a large swathe of our electorate were already radicalised against the UK, which adequately soaked up grievance & anger. 11/
Indeed, surveys show that even attitudes towards the EU were not especially different north and south, as demonstrated by the 2015 Social Attitudes Survey: 12/
That survey found that just over 40% of Scots believe we should stay within the EU but try to reduce its powers, compared with 39% in England & Wales.

This 👇 explains more about how binary refs create a false perception of fundamental difference: 13/ centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/opinions/are-s…
Conclusion from all this:

- There aren't fundamental differences between peoples in Scotland & England
- The only real difference is how nationalists have manipulated patriotism north & south
- It is wrong to conclude that England & Scotland are taking different paths
So while I understand why McGregor might look at Brexit & think, enough, let's split, I would argue that's a misguided response that simply adds to the bigger problem we're grappling with in democracies right now, which is radical nationalism & the damage it causes. 15/
The break up of Britain would not be a good response to Brexit. It would be a massive step backwards for democracies, while the technical outcome of actually separating is clearly not in Scotland's national interest. More on that here: 16/

It's my hope that McGregor & others who have been tempted to back the nationalist project due to Brexit take a step back & see that bigger picture & think again, because at the end of the day we're a' Jock Tamson's bairns, including those living south of our ancient border. /Ends

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More from @JohnFerry18

8 Jul
This would entail Scotland issuing vast amounts - billions of pounds worth - of 'sub-sovereign' bonds directly to the market. Potentially a good idea? Maybe, but ironically it's likely a non-stater because of SNP policies. Here's why (thread). 1/
Sub-sovereign bonds are debt instruments 'issued' - sold - by sub-national governments & are not uncommon, especially in federations. The Free State of Bavaria for example issued €3 billion of bonds in March to help finance lockdown. 2/
The @scotgov argues it wants to take advantage of current ultra-low interest rates & become a big sub-sovereign borrower, but that assumes @scotgov will, like the Bank of England, be able to borrow at ultra-low rates. 3/
Read 15 tweets
12 Jun
I see some are seeing posts like this and deploying the straw man "too wee, too poor" argument & saying Scotland would just be borrowing and furloughing workers like any other country right now if we had gone indy. Let me explain why that doesn't stand to reason. Thread 1/
First, no one is saying a country of 5 million people with an advanced economy can't issue debt, have a central bank controlling its money supply etc. The argument is one of transition - going from being an integrated part of a single monetary & fiscal entity, the UK, and 2/
then unilaterally removing your economy from those functions & trying to transition to operating on a stand-alone basis with a new currency regime & credible fiscal systems in place. Let's be clear how momentous & challenging that would be. 3/
Read 18 tweets

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