Today the Scottish people will go the polling stations but, whatever they choose, and whatever the outcome when the votes are counted, the undeniable fact is that, come tomorrow, there will be 2.5 million pissed off Scottish people. The vote is split 50/50; there is no happy ending to be had. One side winning will not end the debate, so while I, an Englishman, do not have a real solid opinion on Scottish independence (on the one hand, fuck Westminster, fuck Cameron and fuck Empire. On the other hand, the pound? The NHS? The deficit?), I would like to suggest a solution the problem that will definitely arise in a few days’ time; how do we reunite the now rivalling people of Scotland?
Last night, when I should have been kept awake by the possibility that the UK may soon be headless and how that excites/upsets me (still undecided remember?), I was kept awake by the fluttering of a daddy long legs fecklessly arsing about between my curtains, around my radiator and, inevitably, near my face. When the tiny insect approached me, I did what any rational person would do; I calmly batted it away… Did I say ‘calmly batted it away’? Sorry, that was a typo. What I meant to write was that I completely lost my fucking shit and exploded into a murderous and terrified rage with my unfinished paperback copy of ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ as a weapon. And when I eventually smashed the bastard against the wall, seething with hatred, I surprised myself with the fact that I hit him a few more times, for good measure.
I didn’t realise I was capable of such anger, but it occurred to me that, for some reason, we all hate daddy-long legs. It’s not simply the act of intrusion; if a baby-penguin, a kitty, or Beyonce Knowles were to have wandered into my room, I probably wouldn’t have beat them to death with a classic American novel.
There is something ‘other’ about the daddy-long legs which we don’t like and it probably explains, in some small way, how and why people are racist. When something, or someone, is that different from you, you don’t like it. Baby penguins are much more similar to baby humans than baby daddy long legs. Penguins have two arms and two legs and can dance and can be voiced by Robin Williams and… Actually, I think that was a film.
The point is that all humans dislike daddy-long legs (which is literally racist seeing as they are a race in the genuine sense of the word; all humans, remember, are part of the human race) for no real reason. We even use racial slurs, as they are not ‘daddy long-legs’ they are actually several different types of fly and or spider which we have lazily generalised about in the way racists tend to lazily generalise.
Scottish people, last time I checked, are all human. Regardless of what side of the independence debate they are on, they are all human. And nothing bonds humans like a common enemy. Gordon Brown, in his ‘No Thanks’ campaigning, made a somewhat over-the-top call to arms for British identity (both camps, for the record, are fiercely and annoyingly nationalist in their own ridiculous way), and in doing so he mentioned the graves where soldiers lie, not as English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish, but as British. Ignoring the fact that this morbid guilt-trip tactic somewhat ignores the fact that many Irish people have some pretty strong things to say about fighting in British wars, and that using war to stoke up nationalist pride stinks a little of the ‘old lie’ (‘dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’), it is very clever. Because, like I said, nothing unites a group of people like a common enemy.
Taking Ireland as an example, seeing as we were just talking about them, their identity is largely forged by a common agreement that they are not British. The United States identity was also largely forged by a common agreement that they were not British. And so, whatever the outcome of the vote, Scottish people need to be united by their common enemy and, as humans, their enemy is the daddy-long legs.
Tomorrow, Scotland may be divided among itself but, whatever the result, they need to remember that they are all still Scottish, they are all still human, and they all fucking hate six-legged arachnids flying into their rooms in the middle of the night.