As you might expect, this year's St Andrew's day had particular resonance, especially for those whose passions were stirred by September's referendum. Getting in on the act, David Cameron made a surprisingly emotive speech, expressing how pleased he is that Scotland is still part of the union. It might, however, not be here to stay.
Scotland voted "No" on September 18. True, it was not the comfortably emphatic "No" predicted a year earlier, but it was still a "No" and at 53.80 per cent it was enough to allay the worries of Westminster, and make them wonder why a week earlier they had been so afraid.
Only a week after the result, as well as being overheard saying that the Queen had "purred down the line" over the Referendum result, David Cameron joked about suing the polling companies for his stomach ulcers. The message was clear: It was a worry which had now been allayed. Less than a week later it was all in the past.
The problem is, though, it isn’t all in the past, and Westminster’s complacency now the drama is over is quite dangerous. Before the Referendum I wrote about being on the fence, and about how sad I felt seeing my adopted country divided. I didn’t realise then how deep the divisions were, and how they would continue.
On the morning of the September 19 I cried with fatigue. I hadn’t slept for three days and the adrenaline sustaining me suddenly disappeared. What set me off was a deflated ‘Yes’ balloon on the roadside (pictured above).
This weekend the 45+ (the name the "Yes" supporters have adopted reflecting the fact that 45 per cent voted Yes) held a rally outside the parliament. Many of them also cried on the morning of the referendum with the bitterness of defeat. One speaker at the rally told how his Grandmother cried when she saw David Cameron on TV saying that the question of Independence was decided for a generation. "I promised her then,’ he said ‘Grandma, it’s not over, it’s not going to be over."
Scotland's bragging rights
Scotland's bragging rights
1/19 Baby scans
Ian Donald, a Scottish physician, invented ultrasound while at the University of Glasgow in the 1950s which, of course, is of the utmost importance for baby scans
2/19 iPhone 6
Alexander Graham Bell was educated in Edinburgh, but left Scotland when he was 15. He made his way to Boston - via London and Canada - and in 1876 invented the telephone at the age of just 29. No Bell, no iPhone 6.
3/19 Dolly the sheep
The first animal was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. Dolly the Sheep lived there from her birth in 1996 to her death in 2003. Her stuffed remains are housed at Edinburgh's Royal Museum
4/19 The bicycle
The first pedal cycle was the work of a blacksmith's son from Dumfriesshire. Kirkpatrick Macmillan was quite unconcerned by the fuss his invention created - and didn't even bother to try and patent it
Sir Alexander Fleming was born in Lochfield in Ayrshire in 1881. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever Scots after his interest in natural bacterial action and viruses led to the discovery of penicillin
6/19 The BBC
Though few would say they see the BBC as a Scottish institution, its founder John Reith actually came from Glasgow. He was its first general manager when it was set up as a private company in 1922, and later its first director general when it was made public in 1927
7/19 The wheel
Yes, Scotland invented the wheel. Well, not quite the wheel - the pneumatic tyre. John Boyd Dunlop made the first practical tyre containing air in 1887
8/19 The US Navy (and the SAS)
The US Navy was created largely by John Paul Jones, who was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, while Sir David Stirling founded the SAS
Sir Robert Watson-Watt was born in Brechin and educated in Dundee. He worked for the Air Ministry on 'The Detection of Aircraft by Radio Methods', and by the outbreak of WWII had established radar stations along the east and southern coasts of England
10/19 The adhesive postage stamp
James Chalmers invented the adhesive postage stamp in 1838. He was from Arbroath
11/19 Peter Pan
Peter Pan first appeared as a character in The Little White Bird, a 1902 novel by J M Barrie. Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, Angus
12/19 Aussie Rules football
The first game of Aussie Rules was played in 1858, when it was set up to bridge the gap between different forms of the game played in England and Scotland
13/19 Golf (of course)
Golf was first recorded in Scotland in the 15th century, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is the world governing body. Scotland is widely promoted as 'The Home of Golf'
14/19 Pie charts (and line charts and bar charts)
The Scottish engineer William Playfair was the founder of the first statistical graphics between 1786 and 1801, in what has become known as a 'milestone' in data visualisation
15/19 The dugout
The dugout was invented by Aberdeen FC coach Donald Colmanin in the 1920s (presumably because he was bored of being rained on)
James Braid, a surgeon and amateur scientist born in 1795 in Kinross-shire, is regarded as the Father of Hypnotism
17/19 Lime cordial
Lauchlan Rose patented the method used to preserve lime cordial without alcohol in 1867, and the first factory producing Rose's was set up in Leith in 1868
18/19 The Bank of England
Despite the name, the Bank of England was actually devised by a Scot. Born in Dumfries and Galloway in 1658, Sir William Paterson tried unsuccessfully to found a separate Scottish Empire but spent his last years in Westminster. He died an advocate of Union
19/19 The toaster
Alan MacMasters was a Scottish scientist, born in Edinburgh, who is credited with creating the first electric bread toaster
Ironically the promises made by Gordon Brown, who seemed at the time a saviour to the ‘Better Together’ campaign, may in the long term have damaged the union he so sought to rescue. The anger that we may not get Devo-Max has led to calls for another referendum – with criticisms that the recent Smith Commission did not go far enough.
Had these promises not been made, a "No" victory – even with a smaller majority – would have felt more credible, and easier I think for "Yes" supporters to accept. As it is, there is a feeling of anger here, especially at Westminster’s seeming indifference to Scotland now the immediate risk is over.
Among those at the 45+ rally many believe there will be another referendum, either in 2017 or 2020. With the SNP gaining support from unsatisfied Labour voters – the 45+ have especial vitriol for Jim Murphy and Gordon Brown – this may well happen.Reuse content