Thursday, 18 September 2014


Today the people of Scotland decide whether or not to split from the rest of the United Kingdom and go it alone.

I've listened to the debate on both sides. Well, to the extent where I began to lose the will to live! It has gone on forever and a day. But quite rightly so, as this is a major decision. Despite all this debate I feel it is too soon to vote. Not enough time has been spent figuring everything out. There are too many unanswered questions.

The one great thing about this entire process is people are talking about Scotland all around the world. But here at home it has divided the nation. Even as I write this the polls cannot call it. It is virtually split down the middle.

Which is a problem.

On something so decisive and so historical it should not have been a simple case of one vote could swing it. It's too important. We need to know the vast majority want independence or not. Even a golf club that wishes to amend its constitution has to get a 66% majority. This is a nations future we're debating and yet one vote either way will decide it?!

People talk about the referendum in 1979 and 20 years later we had out own parliament. They go on to say how much longer do we need this time as we've had three years to deliberate. To me that's just not long enough and everything feels rushed. I love Scotland and we owe it the respect to consider it's future more carefully than tit for tat argumentative political debates.

There's also far too much emotion and this has created aggression among some friends in opposing camps. It's reasonable to say that emotion plays a part, and even a touch of the romantic notion, but we should be deciding on hard facts, and we don't have enough at the moment to decide either way.

From the romantic notion of "being that nation again", let's not forget that when the Act of Union took place in 1707 to create the United Kingdom, Scotland was all but bankrupt. We have less than five million people in Scotland, not all of which are tax payers. We give everyone a free education in university and free medical prescriptions. Let alone the cost of converting to independence and small things such as our own armed forces, how do we afford all this?

I'm very tired of the nationalistic point of view and the anti-English attitude. That is so archaic and ignores the fact the world is a smaller place these days and we're far more connected than ever before. Though I am from Scotland I consider myself European. Will I lose that status along with my passport? Already I see fierce antagonism and insults thrown between the yes and no supporters, and it worries me that maybe that aggression will escalate on Friday by the losing side. Whatever the outcome, it has sadly led to a divided nation, so even if we do decide to go it alone, there are deep wounds.

This all said I too am attracted by the prospect of independence, but only if we can be far more organised and knowledgeable about how we go forward, which we aren't at the moment.

So what to do.

In my view the best way forward for the chance of Scotland going independent is to vote no.

That sounds illogical doesn't it? But think about it. If we have a yes decision then that's it. There's no going back. However, if we have a no decision we buy more time to get better organised and gather the knowledge we need before we decide to walk away from a United Kingdom.

Or not.

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