Tuesday 6 May 2014

An Expat’s Twa Bawbies' Worth

Posted on April 4, 2014 in


I’ve been reluctant to write this blog, being an expat and no longer living in Scotland. In fact at the time of writing I will have spent roughly a third of my life here in The Netherlands. And especially now with the news of the death of independence campaigner and politician Margo MacDonald.

But I feel the need to share the feelings of at least one expat who will be affected by this.

I’ve always considered myself Scottish, always been my Identity. Scots first, European second, never felt British, and could never understand from a young age why Scotland wasn’t her own independent nation.

Voting Past

In the past in Scotland I always voted SNP, the only pro independence party I could turn to back in the day. Not only for their independence ticket, but also their social democratic stance as well, yeah social democratic, not socialist nationalist as many Cyber Brits wrongly label them. The name Scottish National Party being the clue NOT Scottish Nationalist Party.

Despite a period when I became cynical with politicians and politics, and still am, I still voted Yes Yes in the devolution referendum in 1997, voting to create yet another group of “them”. I saw through that cynicism and voted for more powers for Scotland and that slippery slope to independence the Tories and other nay sayers feared. A proper Scottish Government with real international presence and not just Scotland Regional Council. still hooked to Westminster. Just a wee pretend parliament to keep us quiet.

Voting Future

Should I return to live in an independent Scotland how could I vote? Could I vote Labour? I wouldn’t rule it out, wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole in their current Unionist guise. They’d have a lot of work to do though. They would have to get back to their traditional roots and rid themselves of the Red Tories of Darling, Sarwar, Lamont and failed Prime Minister, turned backbencher, Gordon “Northern Britain” Brown etc etc etc. Sounds to me to be too much work for them.

After sleeping with the enemy in Westminster, the Lib Dems are dead to me. I did vote for them once, once. In a local election, as a tactical vote. Living in a ward where SNP were routinely beaten into fourth behind the Tories and Labour v Lib Dem being neck and neck I voted for a new face. Won’t be happening again.

I could just stick with SNP, or I could turn to the Scottish Greens, but if another post indy social democratic or social liberal party catches my eye, well who knows.


I honestly don’t think a celebrity endorsement has ever swayed me to buy a product, never mind vote in a particular way, but it is nice to know that creatives are getting involved in the indy push. Having said that, David Bowie and Eddie Izzard, I still admire your work, but don’t worry, Scotland isn’t going anywhere. Nobody is sawing Scotland off at the border, turning our wind turbines into propellors and sailing off into the sunset. You’re still welcome to visit, and if you want I’m sure we’ll even let you move in.

English Tories

I always thought English Tories would be glad to see the backs of us. A “region” that constantly rejects them. A chance to get rid of several Labour votes and make a Westminster win that bit easier for them. But of course that would mean a loss in oil revenue, WMDs at not quite as safe a distance from London as they are now and I’m sure it would irk their institutionalised colonial senses.

Cyber Nats v Cyber Brits

Sounds a bit like a Saturday morning kids cartoon to me, but while there seems to be plenty of moaning and whining from the Unionists about nasty Cyber Nats I haven’t heard much about the Cyber Brits, and they are out there. A quick trawl through social media will find many there. Poisonous attacks on First Minister Alex Salmond as if he is the lone face of the Yes campaign. Mainstream media has been quiet on that one.

Seems to me the Yes camp are getting the grassroots thing right, and the No camp, so wrong.


What doubts? I don’t have any doubts that Scotland can do this. A resourseful and inventive people famous for grasping the thistle. A sensible forward thinking immigration policy attractive to bringing in new talent would surely help.

I have no doubts about our place in the EU, I have no fears that my residents rights / privileges of living in The Netherlands will change.

I have no doubts about keeping the pound.  I’m already used to being ripped off by the Dutch Grens Wissel Kantoor when I come home from a trip home with leftover Scottish bank notes.

I don’t worry for Scotlands security. I still don’t see headlines where Iceland, Ireland, Sweden and Finland are fighting off intruders from their borders.

I know the oil won’t be around forever. Another reason I’m angry with Westminster for NOT creating an oil fund similar to Norway for when that day arrives.

I’m sick of the Stockholm Syndrome amongst some Scots, that no matter the crap that Westminster, and in particular the Tories are always willing to put us through, they’ll stick with it regardless.

I’m sick of the better the Devil you know mentality. Not something I recognise amongst the creatives, inventors and explorers our nation has produced.

Look that devil in the eye and tell them “Sorry honey it’s not you it’s us, you can keep the WMDs, but we’re taking the oil and creating a trust fund for it.”

I’m looking forward to the day we can become the brand spanking new, but also ancient nation we know we can be. 


  1. Loved the "Stockholm syndrome" analogy. Pretty much sums up bitter togethers strategy. JimnArlene.

  2. I prefer the Scottish version, Jockhome Syndrome.

  3. Love both...

    It's a good article though...huh?

  4. Good article there, and so nice to read something from someone who to all intensive purposes is an "outsider" looking in. By this I mean of course he is a Scot living abroad and will not be unable to vote in September but yet feels no anger by that fact unlike certain other individuals who wanted every Scot on the planet to have their say. DOH!

    1. I .liked it a lot, Arbroath...

      And I agree that it's nice to see no rancour about not having a vote himself.

    2. Thanks for the comments. And as for not being able to vote. Thems the rules. But if my post can turn a don't know or. a no into a yes, then I'll count that as an absent vote ;-)

    3. Brilliant... and who knows you may have converted a few.

      See you in an independent country...

      Lang leve Schotland en Nederland ook!