And so the “Oh F*cK” moment arrives for the No camp in the #IndyRef

As we get closer to the crunch moment for the #IndyRef sides, it’s clear where the confidence is. Last night after a scrappy three a side encounter on STV, the two Blairs (Jenkins and McDougall) were both claiming victory.

Jenkins for the Yes keen to emphasise the emotional connection of their ringer, the actress Elaine C Smith with the audience, whilst McDougall pointed to Labour’s Kezia Dugdale for bringing home the policy beef.

This, in shorthand, is the difference between the two campaign. Yes has been incredibly successful in bringing a strong emotional charge to the proceedings (sometimes a little too strong), whereas No is trying to make a determined pitch to the head.

Alex Massie puts hammer to nail when he argues that in the Sturm und Drang of the long, very long in Scotland, campaign people are tiring of listening to the policy detail…

There is a sense, I think, in which many voters have tired of the endless statistical wrangling that’s supposed to predict – and prove! – the future one way or the other. If true, that’s a win for the Yes campaign since sidelining those concerns – particularly on the economy – opens a path to voters who quite like the idea of independence – the idea of Scotland! – but are nervous about how, or even whether, it might actually be accomplished.

From a Unionist perspective, it does not help that, in general, London has been useless. Even now Westminster seems more interested in the Clacton by-election than in the referendum that will decide the future stability and integrity of the United Kingdom. Viewed from North Britain, this seems desperately petty and small. There is, whether one likes it or not, a sense that perhaps they’re just not that into us. At the very least they appear to take us – and the result of the referendum – for granted. And this, naturally, cheers Yessers.

Then again, this can be a lose-lose situation for Unionists. London’s apparent indifference is galling but there are moments when you could be forgiven for thinking indifference is at least preferable to the ignorance – and indiscipline – shown by London-based politicians when they do speak about Scotland. Yes, Boris, that means you (though you are not the only guilty party).

Ah, calling London. Anyone there listening? Matthew Parris was back in October 2007, when he tentatively suggested…

A split, perhaps deliberately engineered, between the Scottish Tories and the Tories in the rest of the country would best serve Conservatism in Scotland (What I would call the Germany / Bavaria model), as otherwise English nationalism could be the accomplice of Scottish nationalism.

A Scottish and rest of the UK Conservative parties could be good for both, and there are plenty of areas where a Scottish Conservative party could act alone and in the interests of Scotland rather than the UK, so the final question is whether the Conservatives can successfully pursue an approach between what we have now and prospective Scottish independence.

Well, no one was listening, and it didn’t happen. Now not only are the Tories in UK Government are reduced to bit part players in the debate over the reduction of the UK to a rump state, but their great rivals in UKIP are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of the departure of what they see as the grumpy and anti English Scots.

In February I rather vaingloriously declared Scotland’s current bid for independence dead, after the currency debate erupted.

As noted yesterday the current polling figures show now that the game is rather closer than back then. Mass voter registration campaigns have been ongoing to try to get previous non voters to the polls, almost exclusively on the No Yes side.

Alan Renwick suggests there’s are now two key factors at play

…reversion point reversal and the anti-establishment bandwagon.

Reversion point reversal relates to the fact that voters are generally risk-averse. The side of a referendum debate that can convince voters it can protect what voters most value about the status quo is likely to see its polling figures rise. In Scotland’s case, it seems pretty clear to an outside(-ish) observer that the uncertainties associated with independence are greater than those linked to staying in the UK.

But Alex Salmond and other Yes campaigners have been increasingly effective in arguing that, actually, independence is the best way to protect Scotland’s social model and its position as an open, friendly society within the European Union. Independence, says Salmond, will protect the NHS from the cutters and privatizers in Westminster. Independence, say pro-Yes businesspeople, will insulate Scotland from English isolationism in a future referendum on EU membership.

Though No campaigners have counterarguments to these points, they seem to have the additional problem that voters have grown so familiar with their arguments as to have become partly inured to them. Better Together have been banging on the same drums about currency, oil, and so on for months. When Alistair Darling returned to them in the televised debates, he was greeted with audible groans.

For what it’s worth, he thinks it will probably go No, if only because of the risk aversion factor. Like the woman on C4 News last night who told reporters she wants to say Yes, but is ashamed to admit she’s probably going to vote No.

This matters, not simply in the short term, but in the longer term too.

If its a Yes, the SNP will have pulled off something of a minor miracle (considering where the campaign had to start from). If it’s a No, then Unionist parties can thank the Oldies for their caution at leaving (rather than their commitment to) the United Kingdom.

And if it’s a tight No (as seems likely) another bite of the Independence cherry may come soon enough after to be delivered at the hands of Salmond’s current capable and highly likeable deputy Nicola Sturgeon at the head of an SNP whose grassroots have been firmly planted in many of the places where Labour once was the undisputed class champion.

  • Henry Hooper

    With no possibility of devo-max…independence is coming sooner or later

  • Neil

    The odds continue to drop, down to 5/2 with most bookies now. Might even have a wee punt. 🙂

  • Fuarach Blas

    It’s strange how the establishment have become so disengaged from the electorate that they no longer understand the issues that drive the common man or woman.Career politicians go from education to insulated jobs in their chosen party without once getting close to those who they will one day represent.
    This,in effect,is the reason for the rise of UKIP.
    The call for independence has different roots but has benefited from the disenfranchisement of the populace from the legislators.
    The YES vote has always been in the bag.It’s only dawning on those,now,who look inward towards their own interests that something has been going on behind them.Aristotle was a clever man.

  • The media is almost entirely and relentlessly biased in favour of No. However, the people are now not dependent on the traditional media for their information and analysis. Social media is conducting this campaign and overwhelmingly this has favoured the Yes side. The people of Scotland have woken up to the lies and threats being fed to them on a daily basis from a Westminster Tory elite and they are daring to dream.

  • dougthedug

    This, in shorthand, is the difference between the two campaign. Yes has been incredibly successful in bringing a strong emotional charge to the proceedings (sometimes a little too strong), whereas No is trying to make a determined pitch to the head.

    Actually completely arse about face.

    The No campaign’s biggest tactic has been emotional. it has played on people’s fears.

    You’ll be out of the EU.
    You’ll be out of NATO.
    You can’t use the pound.
    Scotland’s economy will fail.
    The oil is too volatile
    The oil is running out.
    Everyone south of the Tweed will become a foreigner.
    Shipbuilding will disappear

    The Yes campaign has been appealing to the head with figures and statistics because the only side of the campaign which comes under sustained scrutiny from the media is the Yes side.

    Scotland’s economy will be better outside the UK
    Scotland will have less of a deficit than the UK
    Scotland can organise its own social security system
    Scotland can get rid of nuclear weapons and have a larger conventional army in Scotland.
    Scotland can become the renewable energy leader in Europe.
    Scotland will get the government it votes for.

    Yes has been appealing to the head not No.

  • mickfealty

    Should have done it last week Neil, you would have got a far better price than that…

  • Morpheus

    It seems that rather than being at the “Oh F*cK” moment some have reached the “Oh F*cK off then!” moment

  • Neil

    Probably the bottom of the market, that’s usually when I get on the merry woe round. Hopefully not though.

  • mickfealty

    I tend to max out at the ten p each way doubles (though I did once put 50p on a grey called Fealty). Any suggestions?

  • Neil

    Friend the Punter’s Guide (from ATN) on FB. Tipster wise he’s pretty good.

  • mickfealty

    Actually, they have been pretty crap. Nearly as bad as Scotland’s performance on the international football scene (your best players are all commentating for Sky in the EPL these days). 😉

    I note the difference between the wills and the cans in your list. I take it that’s the difference between near term (what you inherit from your membership of UK), and what you might (or might not) do with it.

    The real question (which actually no one can answer in a referendum) is what do you want Scotland to look like in 50 years time? How do you plan to use your independence/’union status’ to achieve that?

    Brian Walker pointed out that no one was making an emotional pitch for the Union and that that would proved to be mistake going into this debate without an emotional ‘standard’ follow.

    Breaking 300 year old common bonds is an emotional mission. It requires an emotional response. I’ll only judge by the results whether it’s worked.

  • The real question is not “what will Scotland look like in 50 years time”, why on earth would it be? Did you just make that up out of thin air? The same 50 year question could be asked about the UK, or more relevantly what would the rUK look like in 50 years time without Scotland. The real question is should Scotland be independent, not can it be or what about rUK or what about 10 years time or 50 years or 100 years or whatever, but SHOULD it be. What happens in the future is in the future and we will find all that out in due course. We know the past and present and know this is the best predictor of the future. While it is not possible to predict what Scotland or any other country will look like in 50 years time, it is possible to make reasonable comparisons between the likely outcomes between Scotland controlling all of its own resources and making all of its economic and political choices, compared with remaining in the UK and being at the mercy of Westminster cuts, foreign wars and national debt devastating the economy. Just compare Scotland to Norway to get a glimpse of the future following a Yes vote. Then compare the UK to any other failed empire that has ever existed, to have a sense of what that might look like 50 years hence.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And Scotland can then join in the scramble to borrow sums considerably over the gross national product for themselves instead of having the “morgage” underwritten by daddy’s old house (which is even more in hoc to that many tentacled monster “international finance”). And yes, they will be able to make their own decisions as to how they wish to run the country, just as long as the bankers agree.

    And looking at Stormont, the virtues of getting the government voted for seem highly overegged to a despairing cynic such as myself.

  • chrisjones2

    Perhaps.The danger is that lots of the ENglish are saying ‘let them go’ and can we have the £600 a year they currently cost us

  • mickfealty

    Like any good artist would do, I stole it from someone else. In fact I’m hoping the person I stole it from will do a blog post for us on the subject..

    I wasn’t thinking of it in terms of a prediction, so much what sort of vision we might have for ourselves. Norway is not bad aim, and a forty to fifty year cycle is not an unreasonable timeframe in which to fit it.

    As for Westminster cuts, they are deep (moreso in local than central or devolved government), but nowhere near as deep as those made in Dublin at the behest of the Troika. As a result Dublin is beginning to re-emerge economically.

    The Celtic tiger’s origins lie in a rough consensus arising between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael that the country needed radical restructuring in the late 1940s and early 50s the fruits of which took between forty and fifty years to become apparent.

    That said, its essentially an evolutionary process rather than one which can be come to at the whim of a ballot.

  • Mick, one major difference there that you’ve overlooked – oil. Ireland didn’t have any and Scotland has huge untapped and tapped reserves of gas and oil, not to mention wind and tidal power. That makes things a little bit easier for an independent Scotland, wouldn’t you agree?

  • mickfealty

    I’m not overlooking it because I’m not judging the potentiality of oil so much as trying to justify my previous ‘stupid’ question! 😉

    I often use John Kay is my lodestone here. He says Scotland will do grand in balancing the books over the long term.

    You could get very lucky and become a new Dubai, but Norway is probably more realistic. There’s also a possibility that production will go down, but at current post Iraq war prices all sorts of new stuff becomes available.

    I do think there will be a lot of disruption (and some uncertainty) in the short term and unforeseen consequences from the unbundling of UK finances.

    I think the No side got itself too engaged in instrumental arguments. And that has left itself with what you guys call the deeply pessimistic fear agenda.

    But the Irish experience in the Republic is that fear often works.

    The Lisbon and Nice referendums were lost because like UK Labour and Conservatives they got too bogged down in the instrumental detail of running the country.

    The opponents on each occasion were able to create an anti govt bandwagon, and also use the downhill energer of No, to win.

    But ‘No’ also opens up the endless opportunism of the neverendum.

  • Fuarach Blas

    Yes we will have the £600 the rUK currently cost us…and the rest.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    I understand fine and well the ‘potential’ that wisely exploited and managed oil reserves can bring, perhaps if independence were to be a reality then the Scottish Government might belatedly follow a Norwegian model and invest in heavy engineering and support e.g. build rigs at home, not Asia.

    However, living in Aberdeen has made me quite sceptical of the element of oilfield-centric pragmatism.

    E.g. It’s city that has rail running to and THROUGH the main industrial areas (Dyce, Stoneywood, city centre, Tullos, Altens and then Portlethen, not to mention residential areas that are near the railway line but with no railway stations; Ferryhill, Kittybrewster, Bucksburn etc) and yet there are only THREE train stations in a 13 mile stretch which is strangled with very very heavy traffic.

    Not only that, the airport train station is on the other side of the airport and there may be a taxi rank but you’d have to nip into the chippy to get a phone number for one.

    Instead of tearing up expensive Deeside they could alleviate traffic by re-opening a few platforms for very little cost.

    If the ‘Oil Capital’s’ big-wigs don’t have the wherewithal to see that then what hope for a sensible state policy on oil, especially as so many of the big-guns carry a lot of weight (though some are scaling back their operations).

    So, although a bizarre basis to have some doubt about the pragmatic direction and policy of an independent Scotland I would nonetheless refrain from using Norway as a realistic goal.

    Aspire by all means, but don’t get your hopes up.

    (NOTE: Don’t take that as a slight, NI is easily home to the most useless, least-pragmatic ‘authorities’ and decision makers going, if Scotland does decide to breakaway then I wish her and all those who sail in her the very best. Except Aberdeen council officials…)

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And when they waken up they will still have the same kind of politician mediating the exact same people to fund a Sots National debt. I’m not even slightly a “NO” man, I’m actually all for a really independent Scotland, but not for one following in the pattern of Irish independence and simply producing a clone of Westminister’s endemic faults. That simply produces lies and threats spoken in your own accent, such as we see at Stormont. Am Ghobsmacht’s comments above on the performance of the political “professionals” in Aberdeen are very to the point here.

    And its the same international bankers with exactly the same agendas when anything will need to be paid for………….

  • AG, you answered your own concerns – “a bizarre basis to form some doubts about the pragmatic direction and policy of an independent Scotland”. And you are right, how can you seriously extrapolate the micro positioning of a few railway stops to whether a country with over 5 million people is capable of self determination. A cheap shot, sure you could come up with something a bit better than that! I am also familiar with Aberdeen and especially its road infrastructure problems, getting through it by car is a nightmare – and who exactly is to blame for that? Indeed who exactly is to blame for lack of improvements to the railway stations.
    Aberdeen has been the oil capital of Scotland for the last 40 years or so, and who was in charge for most of that time? That’s right, the UK Government. Scotland has had limited devolution for about the last 15 years and who was in charge at Holyrood for most of that time? That’s right, those same parties now in bed with each otherrunning Bitter Together and telling Scots to vote No. Who is in charge in aberdeen City Council? That’s right the most most anti-SNP and anti-independence Labour council in Scotland. However, who is it that has now managed to procure the land and appoint contractors and published the route plan for the new Aberdeen A96 by-pass, due to start work within the next year? That’s right, the SNP Government in holyrood under the their Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP.
    So, Aberdeen after nearly 40 years of mis-rule by successive UK Governments and pro-union parties in the council is finally going to get its traffic problems sorted out properly by the SNP government. I think that indicates that Scotland will when independent will manage to govern itself just fine.

  • SU, glad to hear you support Yes, but you almost sound like a No. Firstly, following indepence, Scotland will not “have the same kind of politician mediating the exact same people to fund a Scots National debt”. The politicians will be Scots and not English Tories, and debt, well we will see. Scotland may not have any debt, and if it does, it may not have it for long. If rUk refuses a currency union, they may find themselves stuck with the whole debt, but even if – as is thought like by most commentators, that an agreed currency union is arranged – with Scotland taking its share of the debt, an independent Scotland will not be long clearing that debt and building a surplus – just look at Norway (no debt and over £500 billion in surplus).
    I haven’t heard anyone from the Yes camp argue that Scotland should be run like the Irish Free State following their independence, or that Scotland should be a clone of Westminster. Actually, the exact opposite would be the case, with Yes supporters looking for a new Scotland to plough its own very different furrow based on social justice, fairness and equality and an end to nuclear defence strategy and illegal foreign wars. Doesn’t sound anything like Westminster, does it?

  • Mister_Joe

    Yes, It’s gonna be a bed of roses, which the long suffering people will wake up to and smell every morning for the rest of their lives. Fantasy lives for ever and ever amen.

  • mickfealty

    I don’t think there’s a question over whether Scotland can govern itself. It can, and most probably will at some point in the future, if not from the #IndyRef on.

    Changing the flow of oil from London to Edinburgh will help underwrite that independence but it won’t by itself underwrite substantial change.

    For those to whom independence is enough, the rest is carping and negative chitter chatter. But if you want Norway you need to retain some of the dreamers close to the executive after independence.

    What all the Nordic countries have in common is strong local democracy and clear lines of demarcation (and responsibility) between central and local democrats.

    Norway’s oil is a significant part of its prosperity, but it has high quality public services in common with other non oil producing countries because it has high taxes and strong lines of public accountability.

    After nearly 100 years of independence Ireland is only now getting round to tackling that basic building brick, and you want to hear the screams of so-called leftists at the idea of the re-introduction of council tax.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    A/ It was more an excuse for me to bitch about a frustrating problem

    B/ The parties in charge may have been pro-union, that does not by definition guarantee a more non-pragmatic stance regarding public transport and oil infrastructure than nationalist parties.

    c/ This ‘problem sorted’ that you speak of, would reopening a few stations o an existing line as a taster really be such a bad idea? Is that not what northern Europeans would do? (I’m sure there’s a platform of sorts still around in Kittybrewster)

    d/ I didn’t say Scotland wouldn’t govern itself just fine, I just said not to be disappointed if ye don’t hit the Norwegian nirvana levels in 50 years. (Yes yes, much greater than what we’ll achieve).

    e/ I didn’t realise that the opening of railway stations was directly handled by Downing st, I would have assumed (mistakenly, seemingly) that it was more of a local level thing.

    Now I know that when the company I worked for helped lay the track for the new Gartcosh station we were actually working for the establishment! That’ll shock a few fellas on the railway line.

    I said not to take it as a slight…

  • AG, I can understand your frustration with the railway line, although I have little knowledge of this as I rarely travel by train. Road traffic conjestion is my hobby horse. But just on the railways, the new propsed HS2 multi-billion rail link for Engalnd will only go as far North as Manchester, but Scotland still has to pay for it. Once all the fiscal and policy levers are in the hands of an elected Scottish government, I believe you will find that problems (such as rail link connections) in Scotland get moved up the priority list very rapidly in an independent Scotland in comparison to what would happen if Westminster remains in charge. Are you Yes yet?

  • Mick, I don’t think an independent Scotland plans to model itself on any one country, such as Norway or the Irish Republic. There are many small and successful independent countries and ex UK colonies in the world which all can demonstrate different good ideas of how best to survive in the global world we live in. New Zealand is also a good model for Scotland in many ways, as is Denmark and Canada. The Irish independence experience can also demonstare some useful do’s and don’t for going it alone, but the Irish model is also completely different model from Scotland due to partition in particular and the much stronger religious divides that existed in Ireland, which are nothing in comparison to Scotland. Scotland will take many ideas from many of these countries and follow its own path. While Norway may be a good comparitor due to the oil, it is not the only comaprator and Scotland will not wish or plan to itself into another Norway. The Scots, as everyone knows, are a very canny lot and they might just surprise you (and everyone else) just how brave and bold they turn out to be. Fingers crossed for a Yes vote, the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I can’t say I’m a ‘yes’ person but I’m not tooooo opinionated on it, I honestly try to detach myself from your big vote as much as I can (though living there for most of my adult life obviously leaves its mark)

    I’d be a wee bit sad to see Scotland go but brave new world and all that and like I say I hope Scotland flourishes if it does go (especially the oil, selfishly speaking).

    I do like that you have a significant number of people who are able to at least weigh it up and think for themselves and not be accused of being some sort of ‘traitor to the nation’/’Lundy’.

    Oh for that to be the case in NI…

    Jealous? Not ‘alf!

  • Mister Joe, it’s precisely that type of patronising attitude displayed by the pro union stooges which is beginning to win the debate over to the Yes side. Really, why so patronising, have you been let down so bad in your own life that you can’t believe anyone else has any hope of anything better for themselves? I never said or implied at any point that an independent Scotland would be a bed of roses. Every country has its problems buts Scotland’s problems are likely to be a lot less when it becomes independent!

  • AG, you may not be a ‘yes person’ but on the other hand a NO vote based on being ‘a wee bit sad to see Scotland go’ is hardly a ringing endorment of the union. Why not just embrace the land you have now made home, give it a Yes vote and then work with the new Scottish government which emerges following independence in order to ensure that all those thing which frustrate you – like the railway stations in Aberdeen and the conjestion in that city, to make sure that it gets fixed. Put your shoulder to the wheel and join in to help make an independent Scotland a better country for all its citizens. Vote Yes 😉

  • mickfealty

    Quite. I don’t think it is in the least bit likely to become anything like Norway.

    It may not even become anything radically different to what it is now, a centralising power (like Ireland), only pulling it in to Edinburgh rather than London.

    Until the Celtic tiger it was often the case that in conversation between senior civil servants in Dublin there would come a break in the conversation in which someone would ask ‘what are they doing over across?’

    As I see it, independence is the body of Scots giving a long felt political itch a damned good scratching. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Oil will only perform the social goods that it is forced to provide. Norway is one end of a very long continuum that ends in Nigeria or Sao Tome.

  • Maybe so, but I will be placing Scotland much closer to the Norway end of the spectrum. Wouldn’t you?

  • mickfealty

    Of course, but I don’t expect to see an 50% income tax level either. I suspect rather that like Ireland an independent Scotland will move to the centre/centre right.

    Oil, business and Finance make up around 50% of the Scots economy. That’s a hefty hammer with which to threaten any government which even thinks about raising taxes.

    The only mainstream party of the left is the Unionist Labour party. After a Yes it will be in opposition for the next ten and more years searching for its head and a viable mission in a new country.

    This won’t make the SNP Christian Democrats, but it will make them pragmatists, perhaps in the mould of the Swedish moderates (who are currently trying out SD the SDs).

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sounds great! God love your idealism! But how does your new reborn Scotland avoid a national debt being created? Is a new administration going to avoid any borrowing whatsoever and run in (oil) credit?

    I’m very much a “Yes” man. My direct ancestor (not the O’Neill) was once Lord Chancellor of a very independent Scotland and my wife is descended on one side from Andie Fletcher of Saltoun, so I’m reluctant just to watch another parcel of rogues kowtowing to international finance to fill the coffers of an independent Scotland and thereby loosing their (and their peoples) sovereignty (in common with every other country in the west) to the guys who dole out the loans all modern countries need to keep afloat. All modern governments owe their responsibility firstly to their sources of finance, and then, at a very far second, to their electorate (perhaps!).

    This is what I meant as “cloning Westminster”, and I’ve met too many professional politicians at (and in ) parties to believe that anyone entirely survives the Party Discipline requirements that must inevitably emasculate any strain of sincerity and idealism in candidates. So although I’m saying lets hope for a big “YES”, I still want to see what can actually be done in the real world, away from committees (the very word seems to have two of everything) and paper agendas.

    But as for believing the promises, I’m afraid I read “Twelve Days that Shook the World” at an impressionable age, and feel that John Reed’s “I have seen the future and it works…” sounds rather hollow to someone whose own idealism was brutally blunted in the NICRA experience.

  • I will not attempt to predict the future political make-up of an independent Scotland, anything could happen. The SNP may well leave the stage, new parties may emerge, smaller parties may grow and various coalition mixes may be possible. The point is that it will be up to the Scots, no one else, as to what colour and shade of political opinion they want to govern them and what sort of society they want to embrace. Scottish Labour may well find its socialist roots again when released from shackles of Millbank centric New Labour. The SNP is much more in tune with working class needs in Scotland than Labour has been for a long time – which is why the SNP are in government now and Scottish Labour isn’t. The only prediction about the future which I will make in the event of Scottish independence is that whoever is in charge, the people of Scotland will be better off and better served then than they ever will be under the current Westminster arrangement.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Ah, Scotty

    I’ve inadvertently thrown ye a curved ball:

    I left Scotland a few years ago so fear not, this one won’t be voting for yes or no.

    For what it’s worth though, were I to vote, I’d apply a lot of thought to the matter, being ‘a wee bit sad’ might not come into it if I was still there and was immersed in the debate.

    Though I could be bribed with railway stations (this is just starting to sound unhealthy now…)

  • mickfealty

    That’s a fair point. And I’m probably guilty of a fair bit of futuring there (a bit of a no no in these here parts.

    But I would like get someone to write for us an outline for a Fieldbook for social democracy after Scottish Independence.

  • SU, an insightful and thought provoking reply, thank you. I am also very impressed by your Scottish lineage, I wonder what your ancestors would make of the referendum debate now? As for your concerns about national debt and global capitalism doing what global capitalism does, well we all have concerns about the future but more importantanly we also have hope. The Yes side believes that Scotland can manage its affairs properly and much more effectively than currently is the case under Westminster. No other country that I can think of in modern times has begun its own independence with so much opportunity, so many natural resources, so much potential wealth and actual wealth, such a well educated, skilled and hard working population and all this without a single shot being fired in anger. Any other country would give its right arm to start out life under such privileged circumstances, most that did usually had to first fight terrible bloody wars for the right to earn their independence. Scotland, if it is a Yes vote, will prosper and flourish and be the envy of every other country in the world. Please just have a little more faith in your fellow Scottish celtic cousins to manage their own affairs for the best for Scotland! 🙂

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you also for a careful and considered reply. I am, I must admit, very jaundiced about politicians, and remain a great fan of Beppe Grillo. I keep calling on Slugger for a local “páirtí cúig réalta” to slice through a lot of the vested interest thinking that colours most European assemblies, the Dail, Stormont and Westminster certainly. Lets hope that your vision of a Scotland starting its new beginning untrammelled by long established debt burdens and all the poison of the quasi religious cult of the Mother of Parliaments and the professional politicians it creates florishes and the Scots are blessed with wise and selfless public spirited leadership. Sincerely.

    Westminster posits itself as the pattern of democracy, and the only way to go, but Scots have had their own equally ancient parliamentary tradition that differs considerably in some respects from the endemic ding-dong of Westminster that has developed into a very English Sport ever since King James VII was driven out of his three kingdoms. “Scotland, if it is a Yes vote, will prosper and flourish and be the envy of every other country in the world.” It would be a joy to see it, and to see how the development of governance in free Scotland can perhaps become a more sensitive expression of real democracy in a country that is sufficiently compact (like Switzerland) to avoid slavishly following the almost totalitarian centralisation that still marks Westminster’s inability to devolve anything meaningful to the people themselves. Good luck!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But I’d still forgotten to add that the YES vote is the fist necessary step before anything can be attempted, as I’ve spoken of below.

  • SU, kind words indeed, thank you.