Tomorrow, Scotland goes to the polls, to decide if Scotland should separate itself from the United Kingdom or not.
You’ll notice, of course, that I haven’t used the word ‘independence.’
Why? The SNP isn’t promising us independence. All it is promising us, in reality, is a chance to become a smaller state within Europe. ‘Independence in Europe’ is a lie, for the very simple reason that Scotland will not even begin to have the real or potential clout of the UK, vis-a-vis the EU. Nor can we count upon the EU choosing to accept us, even if we wanted to join (and do we?) There are strong reasons for the EU to refuse to allow us to join without making major concessions to Brussels.
But let me put that aside, for the moment.
Frankly, I’m sick of the whole referendum. The YES campaign has managed to do remarkably well on a gossamer-thin tissue of wishful thinking, polliyanish naivety and emotional manipulation. The NO campaign, in the meantime, has lost itself in the simple fact it doesn’t have as attractive a cause as the YES campaign.
Much of this, alas, has to do with the state of modern politics. Events move slowly, but reports of events travel very fast. There are times when the only realistic thing to do is to hold steady and grit one’s teeth as one travels through a storm, but politicians have lost sight of the wisdom of such a course. Instead, we have politicians panicking and scrambling to make concessions (thus projecting an atmosphere of fear) when the polls take a sudden downswing.
There is no such thing as perfection. There is no way to prevent teething troubles, no matter what you’re doing. No matter what you do, there will be problems. The only question is how well you handle those problems, when everyone and their uncle is screaming in your ear that you have to change course. Politicians either trim their sales to the wind or stubbornly stick to the course they choose, both of which can lead to disaster.
I’d feel sorry for them, really, if they hadn’t done so much to make such a situation inevitable.
But, back to Scotland …
I don’t know which way the vote will go. Once, I would have bet that it would be a NO. Now, watching the fumbling idiocy of the NO campaign and the shameless manipulation of the YES campaign, I have my doubts. All I can really do now is go to the polling station tomorrow, cast my vote and pray.
But one thing is clear. If Scotland votes YES, we will face a long period of prolonged instability and uncertainty. This will be the greatest divorce in history, bar none. If there are benefits from the faux-independence offered by the SNP, it will be a long time before we see them.
That’s my final word on the matter. If you’re Scottish and you’re going to vote in the referendum, read around the subject and think, coldly and logically, about just what sort of ‘independence’ Scotland might be offered. Read my earlier two articles, if you like, or see what else is available on the web.
And then cast your vote.