I left Scotland almost 50 years ago. I haven’t visited Scotland in more than 40 years. But I claim dual allegiance: to Australia, where I live; and to Scotland, where I was born. That is why my avatar (above) comprises the Scottish saltire and a silhouette of the Sydney Opera House. That is why my handle is XpatScot. If I had any doubts about my affinities, they were dispelled recently, when the Commonwealth Games were hosted in Glasgow. I can claim no credit for that, but I cannot deny the pride I felt – by association – when I saw the spirit in which my countrymen and women staged the games.
When it came to the question of Scottish independence, I was not eligible to vote nor did I feel qualified to have an opinion. It was rightfully a decision for those who live in Scotland now and would be directly affected by the decision taken. But regardless of the outcome, I am proud to know that Scots showed the world how geopolitical change can and should be decided. The Scots did not take arms against the English (this time). The separatists did not seek the support of other nations to force their will on those of their countrymen who did not share their view. And those who sought to establish an independent Scottish state did not resort to terrorism to prosecute their case.
The Scots held a referendum – one person, one vote – and once the people had spoken, the leader of the losing side took to the podium and exhorted his countrymen and women to work together to build a unified Scotland.
Today, I am more proud than ever to have links of birth and heritage to Scotland.
Alba gu bràth