Today Scotland votes on whether to stay as part of the UK. I hope they say No to Independence. Why? Because the conversation has only just begun and a YES vote will end it. The debate is necessary, vital, crucial. We are at a point in history where we must take stock and ask ourselves the question… what kind of society do we want to live in and how do we make that a reality? We must do this without the devastation of a World War. We must come together, if only to decide we must part. But come together we must to have the conversations. Not simply about how Britain is structured and where the boundaries are drawn but actually much more fundamental questions – what do we want our children and grandchildren to inherit? Want values do we want to pass down to them? What society do we want to create for them?
This is what I want to give mine.
I want a fair and equal society.
That will never be possible while a two tier education system exists. I would begin with removing private and public schools from this fair isle. Too radical for you? Stay with me. I do not judge any parent for making the best choice they can afford for their child. I judge the fact that 93% of the British population do not have that choice. I judge the fact that the majority of MPs children go to fee paying schools and therefore our political system is biased and undemocratic.
I want all children to have as excellent level of education as those who go to Eton.
That will never be possible while Eton exists.
I want us as a society to value art and culture as much, then more, than we do the pursuit of monetary gain.
That can only exist when we change the terms of debate we inherited 25 years ago from Margaret Thatcher.
I want us to remember the ideals of a welfare state, state education, the NHS, public transport and state investment that post-war Britain prioritised without the horror of war to make us remember.
I want a Great Britain which prioritises humanity over class and wealth. Which prioritises giving every child in Britain a high quality education with art and culture at its heart. Because art and culture helps us to understand and express our humanity.
Let us have this debate. It is a much wider debate than whether or not Scotland has Independence. I hope they stay for the debate. I personally would value their opinion.