To paraphrase Allen Chun who said the same of China, something called "Scotland" unquestionably exists, but, more importantly there is a multitude of expressions to denote different aspects of Scotland and Scottish-ness. There is no room for these multiple perspectives in our official political debates right now as Scotland continues to be represented through flags, whiskey, and mountains by British and Scottish nationalists. Impartiality is impossible so let me explain how my biases and personal experiences shape my politics and my choice to vote yes to Scottish independence. I was born in Scotland and I have lived for several years in England and in China. My father was born in London but left the UK's supposedly cosmopolitan capital because it was "too parochial" and because north of Watford is not barbarian country. His father was from Waterford in southern Ireland and came to London to escape his own involvement in a civil war which pitted brother against brother in a battle for control of the nation against the British empire. He was then told "no dogs, no Irish" on arrival, so he had to start his own small business. He married a woman from England who I was lucky to grow up with and who I can't recall even mentioning countries.
Ethnic majorities have a responsibility to understand minority and in-between experiences. They tend to forget they have their own identity attachments because they are surrounded by people with seemingly similar ones. Telling someone to be above nationalism when they have been marked their whole lives as different and foreign is not progressive, it's an unconsciously ethno-centric view of the world which seeks to detach themselves from all responsibility from the complex realities of colonialism, marginalisation, and discrimination. To witness the scandal that is the official debate on the subject which frames Yes voters as nationalists and then fails to deconstruct any of the ideological assumptions of why people vote no or feel British, feels like everything I've just written and the colour and fuzziness of the identity politics I know I have lived through is meaningless. The political debate makes a politics lecturer want to withdraw from politics. To have to justify why I am not a nationalist to people who have thought about these things for a few hours when I have been forced to think about these things every day since I was a boy is tiresome and worrying. You are no or you are yes, you don't like the SNP or you do, you are with us or you are against us. The party political machines have the real victory here not because people want to vote no but because it is impossible to have a debate without relying on these childish binaries, which most children know are imagined. Their victory is society's loss because instead of sharing my hopes and fears with many English friends I'm forced to justify why I'm not anti-English instead of discussing how to make things better. Instead of being excited by politics, I feel like it is nothing to do with me.