(A small chuckle at having the option of placing Salmond in the Center, Left or Right)
AFTER THE 2014 referendum on independence what are the facts?: 55% of the turnout voted NO, 45% voted YES.
The ten percent difference is not indicative of a large disapproval of independence, but decisive enough to end Salmond’s reign as SNP leader and the dreams of many.
What saddens me is the NO vote was never about Scotland’s best interests and anyone who thinks it was, is stepping out into a delusion. When has England, let alone Wales and Northern Ireland, ever cared about Scotland’s welfare unless there was something in it for them? That is the crux of the issue for me in the decision to go solo or remain a part of average, I mean good, no, I mean ‘Great’ Britain.
Certainly Salmond could have had a more transparent financial solution to going indy. I think that in itself may have been his downfall. People started worrying about what currency they’d be using. What implications would this have for savings etc? As if somehow Scotland would become independent and not have a currency to use, as if the SNP were that stupid and disorganised. It’s almost laughable. People do not think like that however, people want concrete this or that, the simple A or B option. Anything else confuses a lot of people.
There was a huge amount of short termism at play alongside voters being suckered in by fear tactics – nothing gets them like fear! Salmond never promised instant returns and improvements to life (in the 14th wealthiest nation out of 200+). Independence is the long game, it’s a vision for the future as well as today. All the UK, Westminster and lobbying-Better Together campaigners care about is short term profits, Scotlands oil resources and…actually there is no and, that about sums it up.
The United Kingdom has never been fully at ease as a union barring perhaps WWI and WWII when we were forced to repel genuine threats to our countries (not perceived threats from, let’s say, Afghanistan). There are of course benefits to being part of a four country merger, no rational person can deny that, just as there are pros and cons to everything in life. Again, the main issue is that Scotland is not getting a government that we voted for.
Voting for independence is a chance for self rule, a chance to influence your nation, a chance for 5million Scots to feel accountable for the society they live in, an opportunity to feel like we are in control of the ship through whatever seas lie ahead. As part of the union we are anchored to England which means London in essence.
I live in Leith. It is about three miles from Holyrood. Westminster is over 400 miles away. Which one am I more likely going to be able to feel connected to and influence? It’s a no brainer. Even the north of England feel totally disconnected.
What has been lost? A golden chance for Scotland to govern itself in full, without having to worry about what London thinks. A chance to govern five million people – surely that is preferable to being run by a UK government (Scotland never elected) that deals with 64 million+?