Nick's Blog

Personal posts on the things I see and do

Posts Tagged ‘Scotland

Bowie’s Five Words

with one comment

You might have noticed David Bowie – my favourite artist – said something on Scotland last night, in a message delivered by Kate Moss at the Brit Awards in London. Five words, to be precise: ‘Scotland, please stay with us’. A short sentence, but one that got the Internet terribly excited.  His name was trending across Scotland within the hour and the comments have continued to flow in this morning.

As with most of Bowie’s recent comments, his remarks on Scotland offered very little in the way of explanation. There was no suggestion that he doesn’t think Scotland has the right to a referendum later this year and nothing to indicate he doesn’t like the SNP or Yes Scotland campaign.  In fact, the only thing that can be read in his remarks is that he would prefer Scotland to stay in the UK.

Despite working for a newspaper that covers independence every day and seeing first hand just how animated the debate can get, I was surprised that so many people felt the need to argue overnight that Bowie should not be allowed his opinion – largely because he lives in New York and isn’t Scottish.

Here are some examples:

It’s become almost inevitable that people get wound up very easily when it comes to independence. In one sense I can understand why– this is the biggest decision Scotland will make for centuries and people on both sides have some very strong views. But we also need to keep a sense of perspective and lighten up a bit. This was five words, a short sentence, a brief interjection.

Bowie’s opinion wouldn’t sway my vote and I’d be surprised if it has a significant influence on other people. But I do think he’s entitled to it because I’m fascinated by what other people think of Scotland’s constitutional debate. I enjoy David Leask’s As Others See Us pieces and, whenever I’m down in London visiting friends, I like to hear what others think of the discussions we’re having north of the border. Is it not  better to hear a variety of views, domestic and international, on the subject? Is there a suggestion I shouldn’t listen to my pal from Aberdeen who lives in New York  on the issue? Or my brother who is off to Spain for his third year of uni shortly before the referendum?

We need to be able to listen to people we disagree with over the next few months, even if they don’t have a vote. Whatever your politics, Bowie should be allowed his five words.


Written by Nick Eardley

February 20, 2014 at 10:18 am