“It’s about democracy,” a 35 year old scientist told me.
“It’s about dignity,” his younger brother added.
“If we go independent,” says a 30 year old NHS worker, “I head for England. There’ll be no jobs here.”
Well, a rough trawl for opinions always gets you in trouble. It’s the occupational hazard of vox pop.But under the guise of being a brainless guileless American jakeball, one thing I have noticed is everyone has at least a half-formed opinion about the Sept 18th independence vote in Scotland.
Scottish folks are thinking about who they are individually, culturally. Everyone has a stance: I am British, I’m a Scot, I am sick of Westminster when Scotland only has one Tory MP, we need a united Britain as the global economy runs riot, it’s our bloody oil, gas, timber, coastline.
I could go on. At least everyone’s cogs are meshing, thinking it over. It’s refreshing to hear so much reflection, so much opinion, some of it albeit garbage but most of it gutfelt.
In England too, it seems people are slowly waking up. Though all polls point to a rejection for Scotland to go it alone after 307 years of being tied to England, there is slowly a big realisation.
And it is this:
If the Independence lobby wins, the House of Commons loses about 45 Labour MPs. There’ll never be a government not somehow tied to the Conservatives.
And then there is the crazy scenario where Scotland goes into the EU but England and its allied Celtic fringe votes to get out.
For me, as a rank outsider, a foreigner, an alien who pays my taxes, I think the independence Yes lobby went too soft. Maybe voters wanted more brio, more gutsy off the wall principles. Maybe there should have been a move to wave goodbye to the Rpyals. Send ’em packing. After all, all they do is use Scotland as a Mega picnic ground and grouse shoot so they can dress up in ridiculous tartan outfits no right minded Scot would ever hang in a dark closet.
And maybe clear out the armed forces. Why would a new Scotland need a land army, or a militarised air force brimming with expensive killing missiles? Just a simple brisk coast guard would do. Maybe Scotland could be like New Zealand or Canada and actually act like a grown up instead of a testosterone addled teenager.
And, as for the basic economics, which is confusing everyone with the onslaught of arcane numbers, just wave goodbye to the Bank of England and start again with a BOS. Hey, it can’t get any worse.
Then, then….then, maybe….it could win.
Who knows though? This is third attempt at a separatist state. The accepted thoughts of respected Scottish writer Neal Acherson, banging on in the New York Times, could sum up what many feel:
“I shall vote yes this September. The campaign has already taught me that if we don’t make it with this third referendum, there will be a fourth. It’s time to rejoin the world on our own terms.”