Tag Archives: british

Scotland, Please Stay British!


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With the Scottish Independence Referendum only just over a week away on 18th September 2014, I wanted to send my plea to Scottish people to vote to stay British! The rest of the United Kingdom loves Scotland and we want you to remain part of it.

Although a lot of the debate has rightly focused on issues such as the economy and currency I have been surprised the discussion hasn’t been more about why do some Scottish people not want to be British anymore and/or what are the benefits of being British?

I’m a British person born and raised in England and have relatives from Scotland on my father’s side of the family. I think being British is great, actually it is awesome, and feel the United Kingdom is unique in combining the individual country states of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It means each individual country retains it’s own identity and heritage with Welsh people being as proud of their country as Scots and English people are, but it also means we are also get to be British. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts and by being united we can all reap greater benefits and achieve more. Our countries are individual but yet so entwined together.

It is a long-running partnership ingrained in our culture. No partnerships run smoothly and there will always be issues from time to time that need addressing to ensure fairness and equality. However, when we work together we can solve these.

There are many sporting competitions where we compete as individual nations (football, rugby, etc.) but we also compete together as Great Britain in others too. The 2012 Olympics was a triumph for ‘Team GB’ demonstrating what can be achieved when combining our best talents and resources.

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The Scottish are very rightly proud of their country and their countrymen and women and I am sure if they choose not to be British they will make an independent country work. It won’t be easy and the whole currency issue will need to be resolved. I am sure Scotland will be able to deal with the situation but it make take some time as the plans around this area look decidedly shaky.  Nevertheless, concerns about currency arrangements should not be the only reason for not voting for independence. Although it is a very good reason for some as they may feel it’s not the right time until the plans are more sorted.

I feel the main reason to vote no should be to want to remain British (and European) and a very important part of the United Kingdom. Scotland has it’s own parliament and it’s clear a no vote would see an increase in more powers, but the plans on this too are unfortunately rather vague.

In short, of course Scotland can be an independent country, but that doesn’t mean it should. Staying part of the United Kingdom and retaining its Britishness is special and although it may seem exciting and adventurous to give independence a go, Scottish people may not realise the value of what they have until they lose it.

Stay British Scotland and please vote no on 18th September!


How often do you say Sorry?


by Jake McMillan

There’s not a week goes by that I don’t end up saying sorry for something I may have said or done. This may suggest that I am rude or mean person, but I would disagree as I think saying sorry is a good thing.

Apologising to someone does not necessarily mean you are taking the blame or responsibility for something, but it is an acknowledgement that you understand and empathise that an action of yours (or others) has led to a negative impact on their life in some way. Saying “I’m sorry to hear that” or “I’m so sorry” demonstrates you care and helps the other person know that they are not suffering alone.

There are people who never say sorry and they can be very frustrating and this can lead to arguments and resentments whereas a simple apology can diffuse a situation very quickly. Some don’t want to say sorry because they think they will be admitting fault or guilt and others see it as a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign of strength and respect and apologising can lead to a closer and trusting bond to the person you’re apologising too.

Saying sorry is also quite a British thing, where it appears in everyday polite language in a very Hugh Grant type manner. If I’m travelling around London and someone bumps into me, I have found myself automatically saying sorry before actually realising I wasn’t at fault.

If you say sorry too much then it can become irritating or seem false. When I stayed in New York for a long weekend, Risa’s friends kindly looked after me and showed me around town. One of them told me to stop saying sorry. I immediately apologised for this.

I was not even trying to be funny, my automatic reaction to someone who was complaining I was doing something too much was to say I was sorry.

Think about the last time you said sorry? Was it a long time ago? If so, then maybe you need to re-evaluate how you interact with people and whether there are times saying sorry may have helped a situation. None of us are perfect and we all say and do the wrong things from time to time so you should be saying sorry on a regular basis.

So, go and say you are sorry!