Today has been a joy on Twitter; #WeAreScotland has been trending for a lot of the day and reading people’s stories of how they or their families have moved here has been heart-warming. Some have only been here a month, others years, others multiple generations.
This hashtag is not saying Scotland is better or worse than anyone else, it’s an attempt to make our friends and neighbours feel welcome. It’s been like a big Refuweegee letter.
It turns out it has a historic precident:
The country has lost so many through emigration over the years that our population has remained relatively stable especially when compared to England and we bear in mind we only have 9% of the UK population in 30% of the landmass.
Our needs as a country are not the same; we need an influx to balance our aging demographic.
And whilst this is partly a reaction to the xenophobia coming from the Tory conference, it is not the first time our social media has made a stand for inclusion. In 2015 the odious Nick Griffin posted this in an attempt to undermine the SNP vote.
Unfortunately for him it backfired.
Now I know I’m no oil painting (maybe a Picasso) so I try not to comment on any politician’s looks (although politician is a stretch in this case) but I do wonder why the ones who go on about superior white races etc. are usually their own worst advert.
I’m not saying there are no racists in Scotland, sadly there are; but post the EURef Police Scotland stated that the number of reported hate crimes had dropped – despite an 14% increase UK wide. It still isn’t good enough- ideally the figure would be zero – but it is going in the right direction.
Of course there have been some moaning today – the usual suspects – The “Proud Scot buts.” But you know what, fuck em. If people don’t stand up for their neighbours who will?
The Home Office have already had to back down on deporting one family due to community & wider public pressure and hopefully do so again soon (the good news is she has been given an extension until the end of the month.)
Scotland needs migrants and their children. We want to be a forward-looking, inclusive, intentional country.
[And whilst going on about international links, if you have time please read this about the map above; I think it’s amazing.]
As I been writing this I’ve seen #WeAreWales has started. Good.