In my ongoing theme of identifying ways in which the Scots are different enough from the English to justify being an independent self-governing country, I’ve touched on a number of themes including our preference for more inclusive, communitarian, caring, social policies and generally more left-wing politics. See, for example:
- Free bus pass for the over 60s
- Free care for the elderly
- Superior NHS
- Free HE tuition
- More GPs per head of population
- Compensation for the bedroom tax
- Stronger fire and flood safety regulations
- Giving all new mothers a baby box of essentials
- Less child poverty
- Lower stillbirths and early deaths
- Better police/Muslim community relations
- No junior doctor strikes
- Highest organ donor rate in UK
- 26% of Syrian refugees taken in by only 8% of UK population
- First to end period poverty
- Tories who support the winter heating allowance!
Don’t these add up to evidence of the dominance of a more caring communitarian set of values even in our Tories? If you need the evidence for the above, search my site. It’s all there.
In a recent YouGov poll ‘What do Brits think of the social classes?’ a look at the regional breakdown is illuminating. While the Scots subset respond in quite similar ways to the regions of England and Wales with regard to perceptions of the working and the middle-classes, their views on the upper class are significantly more negative.
In response to the statement ‘Contributes the least to society’, 60% of the Scots respondents choose the upper class with the North closest at 50% and the South at only 42%.
Perhaps most striking, in response to the statement ‘Are the least moral’, 56% of the Scots respondents choose the upper class with the North closest at 47% and the South at only 42% again. That’s quite a strong, condemnatory, statement for so many to go along with and so indicative of a quite deeply-held view.
These are quite large gaps and suggest further evidence of a difference that makes a difference between most Scots and many of those living in, especially Southern England. I’m reminded of my recent piece based on a survey suggesting Scots business people were actually more principled than might have been thought. Listening to Ruth Davidson recently, you might even argue our Tories are less right-wing and more communitarian than many English Tories.