Back in 2014, the oily Alex Massie, one of many doubters, wrote in the Tory mag, the Spectator:
‘Top of Form
Bottom of Form
True, Scots are more likely than other Britons to identify with the left but when it comes to actual individual policies they are much closer to the British average than is commonly presumed. Nice, kind, progressive Scotland is a myth as cherished as it is, well, mythical.‘
In the months before the Referendum, BBC Scotland used our money to commission a survey which again seemed to suggest we were not that different from our southern neighbours on issues like immigration, taxation and welfare. It beats me why they think attitudes to immigration can be classified as a left or right-wing.
However, this new survey from YouGov, on attitudes to capitalism and how it is currently operating, does seem to demonstrate that Scots are significantly more concerned about it. See below:
Which of the following comes closest to your view on capitalism in Britain today?
|%||Total||London||Rest of South||Midlands Wales||North||Scotland|
|Capitalism is working well in Britain and does not need tinkering with||17||18||21||16||14||11|
|Capitalism isn’t working properly and Britain, and needs to be fixed as it is the best way we have to run||33||34||34||35||27||39|
|Capitalism is harmful to Britain and there are other, better ways to manage society||17||17||14||18||17||22|
The lumping together of Wales and the Midlands is both puzzling and probably distorting. While 61% of Scots have negative perceptions of capitalism, in none of the English regions do more than 50% share that view. London, even with its large pockets of poverty only just passes 50%. I suspect a discrete figure for Wales might approach the Scottish one but combining it with the English Midlands seems likely to have concealed that. I find it remarkable that the impoverished and neglected North has only 44% with negative views but again that figure is misleading in its conflation of the more affluent areas in the North with the North-East around Newcastle. We’re often told the Northern English are more like us in their political views.
Remember, this survey was done after the Corbyn surge too.
So, to my mind, this is more evidence we are different enough to be a different country.