In a little over 48 hours the good people of Scotland will vote in an historic referendum which decides not only the fate of its governance but also how the rest of the Union will be defined in the world. Make no bones about it; every vote cast is a momentous decision from which there is no return. Whatever happens, these islands will never be the same and Scotland will take a generation to recover. With a country divided, wounds are being opened that will if not treated carefully will fester as Scotland marches towards its future.
I won’t hide my feelings; I am a true believer of a United Kingdom. We are stronger together. The future is more assured and thanks to the arrogance and slack-jawed approach by not only our incumbent prime minister but coalition government and an even weaker stance by the Labour party we are on the verge of seeing the union dissolved.
I can understand a distrust of Westminster politics but to rage against that in the face of common sense and advice seems very short term against what could be long-term disastrous ramifications of a vote for independence.
An independent Scotland (I will resist using the term IS) will not have a currency union for the very reason that the Bank of England will not underwrite the huge risks involved with a go-it-alone small nation. It’s not a case of if Scotland’s oil revenue dries up but when Scotland’s oil revenue dries up. The UK estimates 16 billion barrels are left. Alex Salmond states 24 billion. If we go in the middle and suggest 20 million as a conservative estimate which equates to 20% of an independent Scotland’s entire budget who will make the shortfall when oil runs dry? If an Independent Scotland overspends who will make the shortfall? These are just two of the reasons why a currency union won’t happen because the Rest of the UK (RUK) won’t be the falls guys in this scenario.
The notion that an Independent Scotland will automatically join the EU is also a point which Salmond adamantly states even though the EU itself has stated this could take up to five years and then only if Scotland accepts the Euro as its form of currency. But that’s okay because an Independent Scotland can join the list of Nordic trading countries.
An Independent Scotland wants to rid itself of nuclear weapons, maybe blue facial paint and harsh language will work against unknown nuclear threat but one thing it won’t do is allow them to join NATO despite what Mr Salmond says. Alex Salmond seems to be living in total denial of any legitimate objection to an independent Scotland. Not just partial denial but TOTAL denial. An Independent Scotland is beginning to sound more and more like a one-party-state with President Salmond at the head. His attitude of it’s my way or the highway is very unsettling.
Yes, things aren’t sunshine over Leith with Scotland’s current arrangement in the UK. Believe me it’s not for England too. We don’t even have our own assembly/parliament, we don’t have the promise of extended powers, in fact as an Englishman I watch Scottish MP’s presiding over and voting on affairs which have nothing to do with the governance of Scotland but affect me as an Englishman. Things are not fair, things are not equal but things are a damned sight better together than apart.
This referendum has been divisive, it has been damaging to the economy of the UK and it has opened wounds which were once closed and caused rifts in families that were never there. I only hope that whatever the outcome on Friday morning that those divisions heal.
Regardless of which way you are voting, think about your children’s future and their children’s future and remember the old adage “How do you tell if a politician is lying?”
“It’s because their lips are moving.” is true.
If the vote is for yes then good luck and bon voyage because I think the voyage may be a lot lonelier than you anticipate. I will be sad to see Scotland annex itself from the rest of the UK. We will be weaker apart regardless of the spin and the hyperbole from the politicians on both sides.
If it is a vote for yes then Prime Minister Cameron should do the decent thing and immediately resign. There is little point in calling for a new election or even having the proposed election in May as we would then be placed in the bonkers situation of re-electing Scottish MPs to reside over UK matters for a period of 16 months while the road to independence is mapped out. If it is a yes vote then the RUK’s general election should be differed until Scottish independence is complete.
The political landscape for both an Independent Scotland and RUK will be changed forever, making it very difficult for any party to have overall power in the RUK. Alliances will be drawn and coalition governments will be the norm, with the balance of power held by parties such as UKIP and other independents.
I honestly believe this Pandora’s box was never fully thought through and I believe either way we lose. Welcome to Lostland...