To those of us in favour of a No vote for unity and solidarity, the result of the Scottish referendum is a huge relief. My own sentiments were a mixture of emotion and fear. As the child of a Scottish mother and English father I have been raised to be British, never English or Scottish. I was proud to wear my kilt at my wedding and have many relatives and friends on both sides of the border. I would have been entitled to Scottish citizenship had the vote gone the other way. At the same time, I have been shaped primarily by the English education system and experience. I felt like my country and identity — one that I have always felt was by its very nature more inclusive than mere Englishness or Scottishness — was about to disappear.
I was also hugely fearful that progressive forces in the remainder of the United Kingdom would be massively and perhaps fatally wounded by separation from our Scottish comrades. Independence for Scotland would have unleashed quiescent but nasty English nationalism and consigned the vulnerable in the remainder of the United Kingdom to ever more miserable lives.