The Scots recognize that English values are more aligned with Gareth Southgate and Marcus Rashford than “toffs and Brexit,” Gordon Brown said.
The former Prime Minister released poll results which indicate a significant alignment between the nations of the UK on equality, tolerance and diversity, as well as a desire for more, not less, cooperation between governments .
“People are starting to see that England is not the England that was described,” Brown said of data from the think tank Our Scottish Future, of which he is a founding member. “It’s a lot more diverse, a lot more tolerant, a lot more inclusive, and maybe politics doesn’t reflect that right now because of Brexit.”
When asked if they would respond more positively to an England represented by Southgate and Rashford rather than the current UK government, over 50% of independence voters in Scotland said they would.
The survey also found that across Scotland, England and Wales, people were united in their belief that equality (78%, 76%, 78%), tolerance (83% , 83%, 83%), freedom (86%, 87%, 83% and diversity (82%, 82%, 80%) were important in making them proud of their nation.
The analysis also traced remarkably similar attitudes toward equality versus meritocracy, structural racism, and open borders across the three nations.
The poll found a trend across Britain where local identity is becoming more important, with England mirroring Scotland and Wales in wanting decentralized governance. In areas like London and the north of England in particular, as well as Scotland and Wales, people feel comfortable with plural identities, but it’s not just about geography, Brown said, referring to new US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
“You can be Muslim, English and British and feel very comfortable with all three identities,” he said, “or you can be a tennis player born in Canada to Chinese and Romanian parents. , this tennis player can become a British sports icon overnight.
Nations in the UK have also been united on key priorities they want governments to pursue after the pandemic: the NHS; a dignified retirement; climate change; education; and, more importantly according to Brown, want their governments to improve cooperation – especially since the experience of decentralized governments working together during the pandemic.
“It’s important to recognize that at least 75% of Scots want cooperation, and sometimes over 80%,” said Brown. “So instead of this image of Scotland and England breaking up, people not only share the same values and have the same ideas about the importance of the priorities they attach to policies, but they want to makes people cooperate. “
The immediate lesson of the poll, Brown said, was that the muscular unionism favored by some in the current Conservative administration was doomed to failure. “You can’t ignore local decision making. You cannot ignore the need for a partnership between Scotland and the UK. You cannot call devolution “a disaster”.
“What comes out of our polls, especially for this middle group that will decide Scotland’s future, they don’t want to choose between being Scottish and British… people have seen the cooperation work on vaccination, but I think that they want to see him work in other areas for the benefit of the Scottish people.