Scottish referendum: The pain that was inflicted on family and friends by David Cameron’s narrow politics

This should never have been reduced to a facile division between England and Scotland

Andrea Calderwood
Friday 19 September 2014 15:05
Comments
Ballots arrive to be counted at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre during the Scottish referendum in Aberdeen
Ballots arrive to be counted at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre during the Scottish referendum in Aberdeen

The real losers of the referendum campaign are David Cameron and the people around him. It has been clear throughout the Scottish referendum campaign that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland would have voted for more autonomy within a UK framework, and by refusing to give them that democratic choice for his own narrow political reasons, the prime minister pushed people into taking absolutist positions they wouldn't otherwise have taken. He’s created artificial divisions among the Scottish people.

I live in London, so I didn't have a vote, but it's been painful for me to watch family and friends who fundamentally agree about the values they'd like Scottish and British society to have being forced to take opposing sides.

It's also been really uncomfortable to see people being forced to define themselves by their national identity, when what they really want is a political identity. Making nationality the issue is a dangerous road to go down, and all of that was caused by the wrong question being asked at the referendum, for reasons that were about political gain, rather than democracy

Having had a far-reaching debate about the way the United Kingdom is governed, we now have a great opportunity to make bold constitutional changes which will allow real representation for people all over the UK. Reducing it to a facile division between Scotland and England misses the point. I'm sure there are people in the north of England, the west of England, Northern Ireland and Wales who feel just as disenfranchised by the current set-up of Westminster politics as many people in Scotland do.

A really positive outcome of the referendum would be for our political leaders to listen to what people are actually saying, rather than pushing them into one camp or another. They should seize this opportunity to create a new structure for UK politics. If David Cameron and his colleagues don't have the political will or vision to do that, they should make way for people who do.

Andrea Calderwood is a Glasgow-born, Bafta-winning film producer whose credits include The Last King of Scotland, Half Of a Yellow Sun, and the just-released A Most Wanted Man

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in