Head Lines with Jonny Mitchell: Say ‘nae way’ to losing our Scotland!

HEAD LINES Jonny Mitchell.
HEAD LINES Jonny Mitchell.

Thornhill Community Academy’s straight-talking headteacher Jonny Mitchell showed the world what life in the classroom is really like in the award-winning TV documentary series Educating Yorkshire.

Now he writes exclusively for us.

Every week he will give us his take on life in and outside school from his hometown in Dewsbury.

Perhaps it is because I spent four years in Edinburgh whilst at University that I feel so passionately about what is about to happen in Scotland, a potentially historic decision which could very well change the whole climate in the United Kingdom.

It is hard for those of us south of the border to understand what the Scots are going through, just – I suppose – like it is hard for us to imagine the Union without Scotland.

I mean, will we need a passport to go there? I visit Caledonia quite often, and am finding it pretty difficult to fathom the concept of customs and frontiers, and the possibility of having to change my pounds sterling into McEuros before I take the barely three-hour journey.

And I wonder whether the price of haggis will increase as import and export tariffs are thrashed out between Governments.

But, perhaps hardest to bear is the fact that, whenever we talk about great Britons in the future, we will have to bite our lips and do some checking.

There have been so many influential Scotsmen and women down the centuries that they have become a symbol of the United Kingdom. Will we be able to call them British once the Scots become independent, then?

And what will happen to Team GB at the Olympics? There have been so many recent sporting achievements by icons from north of the border that we sometimes forget their national identity.

Sir Chris Hoy and Andy Murray, who have always been Scottish when they lose and British when they win, will always be just Scottish, win or lose.

And we will have no claim on them. And how can we say that Billy Connolly is a foreigner? It beggars belief.

This is surely enough of a reason to implore the Scots to remain with the Union, to settle their obvious differences with Whitehall, and to ensure everyone across the constituent parts of the UK gets a fair deal.

England and Wales would, of course, probably be fine without the Scots and I dare say the Scots would at least think they were fine without the English. But is there really any need for this high-profile divorce?

All that needs to happen is for Central Government to provide a genuinely believable roadmap for increased devolution of power to the Scottish Assembly, and to keep its constitutional promises.

I am proud that Scotland is part of the United Kingdom; it represents history, culture, pride and, in many respects, beauty.

Let’s not just call it quits over a mere few quid and a divergence of political ideology. Governments are here today, gone tomorrow.

Countries and Unions are, let us hope at least, here for the duration.