Partly political

I’m not, by nature, a political person. I’ve got views and I vote accordingly but I don’t get all worked about it. However, like many people up here, I find myself getting increasingly engaged politically right now. Because there’s a vote coming up in September and a decision to be made.

A poll last year claimed something like 40% would vote No in the referendum, with 25 % Yes and the remainder yet to make up their minds. That 35% is interesting because it suggests that a healthy portion of us aren’t kneejerking on this. Thankfully there seems to be less Mason Boyne or  McGlashan style jingoism than was feared. Instead, as we prepare to decide what kind of country we realistically could be living in, we’ve been waiting for information and as it started to trickle in we’ve been talking about it on a daily basis. We’re taking this seriously. There’ll be a turnout this time round.

And while we try to make our minds up about all the different pros and cons, we take a look around to find out what other people are thinking — and, that’s where it gets interesting. On the Yes side there are rafts of people across the cultural spectrum talking eruditely and passionately about the subject. On the No side…there’s really just that awful Barrowman clip. We’ve yet to see any glimmer of impassioned hope about the future of life as part of the UK. Honestly, we’re open to persuasion, but no-one from that side of the blanket has stepped up.

I’m in that 35% (a shrinking figure as people increasingly make their minds up one way or another; and the most recent polls show that the gap between No and Yes is narrowing). At some point I’ll make my own call and we’ll see what will happen in September, but I guess what I’m saying in this post is whatever happens the referendum is not being taken lightly here. Many people, like me, have friends and family who we love dearly in England and the rest of the UK. A Yes vote won’t change that in any way. We’re not going anywhere. You’re not going anywhere. Those of us that felt kindred to our neighbours still will, those that never did, won’t. Things will go on exactly as they always have, mostly.

See, Britain as a political nation, isn’t that old. I’ve been alive for what, a seventh, of that time? The UK is even younger. In it’s current form less than 100 years. Twice my lifetime, give or take. When I think in those terms, I ask myself: what are we so scared of? Part of me is thinking it’ll be healthy for Scotland to take full responsibility for itself again. We might even get to the stage where we can have an adult, equal relationship with our neighbours.

McGlashan, no more. Hopefully.


4 thoughts on “Partly political

  1. I would also claim to be a non-political person, and I have no say in the upcoming vote, however, my own (purely selfish) motive for wanting Scotland to remain part of the union is that without your forty or so labour MPs I fear we in England will be condemned to a permanent safe Tory government and gods help us if that happens. If Scotland gains independence I’d be happy for my bit of Yorkshire to become part of Scotland. Please.

    OK, that aside, I would, in general, worry for Scotland’s financial stability. The left-leaning ideals sound wonderful (protecting the poor and vulnerable from horrors like the bedroom tax etc.) but in reality, with a population of something just over 5 million, (close on a tenth of the population of England) and an area of 78 km2 (slightly more than half the area of Enland) to maintain how will Scotland raise enough revenue for maintenance of infrastructure? Roads, for instance?

    On the other tentacle, I note that Cameron invoked history as a reason for Scotland remaining in the union. Oh, please! Tactful? I don’t think so.

    Whatever happens, i wish Scotland well.

    1. Thanks, Jacey. It’s definitely going to be an interesting year up here. All the things you mention are part of the debate, including whether it’s ethical in our left-leaning fashion to scarper and leave the rest of the UK to the mercies of the Tories…(then again, the debate goes, perhaps that’s what England needs to kick the political apathy out of a sector of the populace that currently doesn’t engage…?)

      Cameron…you have to feel sorry for him. His big, stupid, shiny face is the single biggest reason most who vote Yes will do so….and he knows it. Every time he opens his mouth on the debate it’s like the nationalists Christmases all came at once…but he can’t do nothing either. Salmond wants a one on one televised debate but it’ll never happen. Talk about damned if you do…

      1. From what I’ve seen Salmond would wipe the floor with Cameron. It still doesn’t make independence the right decision, however. Personally I’m glad I don’t have a vote because I can’t begin to fathom the ‘right’ answer – if indeed there is a right answer at all. I can see that for some it will be a single issue vote (get-the-nukes-out-of-Scotland or preserve-the-benefits-system or payback-for-the-Highland-Clearances or whatever), for others there are so many pros and cons that they are impossible to weight accurately. Good luck with making your own mind up. Please think hard and vote wisely. 🙂

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