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.