The National:

THE broadcaster Andrew Marr recently admitted in the pages of the Spectator magazine that Scotland is on the road to independence.

Now the BBC stalwart has spoken of his fears that England is unprepared for the consequences of Scottish independence. England has not, he said this week, "grasped quite how big this is". 

A more jaundiced observer might note that it's telling that one of the BBC's leading Scottish presenters appears more concerned about the impact of Scottish independence on England than the effect of UK rule on Scotland, but he does have a point.

There is a huge blind spot in discussions in England about Scottish independence.

READ MORE: Andrew Marr: Scottish independence would have 'enormous' impact on England

Whether people in England are opposed to it, in favour of it, or have no opinion, the consensus is that England will sail on regardless of what happens, regally unaffected by the political concerns of its neighbour to the north.

Scottish independence is not thought to be something which will affect England one way or the other.

This is in marked contrast to discussions in Spain about Catalan independence. Many in Spain, particularly those on the left, fear that Catalan independence would risk the return of military rule in a country which experienced a civil war some 80 years ago, a war which was sparked off in no small measure over fears that Catalonia and the Basque Country might secede.

Scottish independence strips English nationalism of its non-nationalist disguise, revealing the regressive mythos which has lurked unchallenged beneath for centuries

Few in England, however, fear for the fate of English democracy should Scotland leave the UK, despite the fact that the UK has no codified constitution and currently has a government which has proven that it's prepared to break the law in pursuit of its political goals.

What Scottish independence represents for England is the final end of Empire.

For generations English nationalism has hidden behind an imperial mask, disguising itself as a non-nationalist nationalism which is better than the nationalism of lesser breeds by virtue of not being nationalist at all.

The result is that England is decades behind other countries when it comes to the analysis and deconstruction of national myths and what national identity really means in the modern global age, stuck as it is in a nostalgic reverie of Spitfires over the White Cliffs of Dover, the royal family, and bunting bedecked military parades.

And yet in the mythology of English nationalism in British drag, none of this is perceived as nationalism. When supporters of Scottish independence wave a saltire, that's nationalism and it is to be denounced. When British nationalists wave a union flag and get all weepy about Vera Lynn, that's healthy patriotism.

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Scottish independence strips English nationalism of its non-nationalist disguise, revealing the regressive mythos which has lurked unchallenged beneath for centuries. English nationalism has become a creature of the right, and has been coopted and colonised by the supporters of Brexit.

The British and imperial disguise worn by English nationalism for so long has prevented England's rich history of liberal and socially progressive traditions making any real contribution to the formation of a modern English civic nationalism.

English nationalism remains lost in its nostalgic dreams and its royal pageantry while the left in England prefer to ignore the topic of English nationalism entirely and the Conservative St Georges slay the mythical dragons of the EU.

When the left in England give Scottish independence any thought at all, it's usually to entreat us to stay in the UK in order to make a Conservative government less likely, as though it were Scotland's responsibility to sacrifice itself in order to save England from the consequences of its own democratic choices. It's not so much solidarity as a suicide pact.

Just as England is blind to its own nationalism, so the Conservative party is blind to its central role in the destruction of the precious Union which it professes to defend.

Scottish independence will mean that England will lose the British model which can only perceive of relationships with other countries as being those of domination or colonisation

Just as the English nationalism which is disguised as British nationalism wants to be the non-nationalist nationalism, the Conservatives are likewise in pursuit of mutually contradictory ends. They talk of union but seek a unitary state. They say how much Scotland is valued as a partner in a union, but treat Scotland as the equivalent of an English city or region.

You can't have a union which is a unitary state, and the Tories can't have the hard Brexit which right wing English nationalism demands while at the same time keeping Scotland under their thumb. Something has to give, and that something will be the UK itself, leaving behind an England that no longer knows where or what it really is.

Scottish independence will have massive consequences for England. It will be deprived of one third of the land mass of the UK, and an enormous chunk of its natural resources. More seriously for the imperial pretensions of the British state it will have lost its nuclear submarine base in Faslane.

READ MORE: Scottish independence: Scots share stories of switch from No to Yes

Scottish independence will mean that England will finally have to face up to the realities of modern England, a middle sized European country which must forge relationships with other nations as an equal, and lose the British model which can only perceive of relationships with other countries as being those of domination or colonisation.

The metrocommentariat often tell us benighted Scots that a newly independent Scotland will face a period of adjustment and change which could be difficult and trying. But everyone in Scotland who supports independence already knows that. We relish the challenge of building a better Scotland.

However England will also face a difficult period of adjustment and change. The difference is that they are completely unprepared for it. Thankfully for Scotland, by that time the complex travails and contradictions of English nationalism will no longer be our problem.