The myth of Scottish peculiarity

Go onto the website of Yes Scotland and you will find them promising a ‘fair and caring Scotland for all.’ This is just one example of a recurring theme of the Yes campaign: Scotland must separate itself from England because its people have more caring and progressive values.

This is mostly wishful thinking on their part. The graph below is taken from an article by Alisa Henderson in the Spectator. It shows how small the differences in political values are between Scots and the rest of the UK are on a range of different measures are.

Screenshot 2014-09-07 15.12.54


Much the same is true of individuals issues and on many of them SNP voters actually more closely resemble Conservative than Labour ones.

Which does rather suggest independence is a solution in search of a problem. Scotland and the rest of the UK share not only values but also a language, a political system and a religion, as well as of course being geographically contiguous. What then justifies them becoming separate countries?


3 thoughts on “The myth of Scottish peculiarity

  1. It’s an interesting bit of information, although I would have liked more detail to work out how interesting. I’m broadly sceptical that Scottish people are significantly more liberal than other Brits in similar regions; on the other hand, it strikes me that the important question for independence is whether they’re significantly different in values from the people that take the decisions in Westminster. England (and Scotland, and Wales) have a lot of internal variation, so it’d be interesting to know who was being compared with whom. Edinburgh and Oxford? Yorkshire valleys and Scottish valleys? Glasgow and Chipping Norton? And how do they fit into the overall demographics of their nation?

  2. Pingback: 4 warnings for Scotland from Irish History | Matter Of Facts

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