Letter: Worries south of the border as Scots vote

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The Independent Online
Sir: The current focus on the Scottish and Welsh devolution debates highlights the ambivalent feelings many of us in the North have towards our "Englishness".

From the times of the initial Anglo-Saxon settlements, through the Danelaw and onwards, the people of northern England have often had more in common with the Scots than with their southern compatriots. More important than historical variations of dialect, place-names and so on, are the profound differences in the type of society we wish to live in.

As in Scotland, throughout the 1980s people here overwhelmingly rejected the selfish, individualist ethos of Thatcherism. The political colour map clearly showed the very different concerns of these two, separate Britains. Trades unionism and friendly societies are hardly the natural bedfellows of "Essex man". Many of us will be hoping our turn will come.

STAFFORD HIGGINBOTTOM

School of Biological Sciences

Manchester University

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