The ante has been well and truly upping over the last couple of weeks over the issue of Scottish Independence. The cases for and against have been rigorously pushed forward in various debates, interviews and media speculation. I can only imagine what it has been like in Scotland.
If the amount of canvassing and leaflet-posting for a by-election in my constituency of Newark is anything to go by I feel really sorry for the Scottish people. I also feel sorry for Scots who are living outside of Scotland who are unable to vote. That has to go down as a huge injustice. These are the people who really feel the benefit of a United Kingdom and hence, were their vote to be included, I suspect the polling would be 60-40 in favour of a NO vote.
Ever since a poll was published two weeks ago showing that the YES campaign were leading, the NO campaign have finally woken up and realised that Alistair Darling is an uninspiring monotonous politician; the stereotype that helped Alex Salmond portray Westminster politics as such a hopeless and lost cause. Gordon Brown, in general, is the same but since he has stepped into the limelight and almost taken the mantle as the NO campaign leader he has made sense and put across points with a surprising abundance of sense and plausibility. He has been a real asset for the NO campaign over the last couple of weeks.
You can see his (and Alex Salmond’s) interview with David Dimbleby here:
The polling shows that the debate is very much undecided with no clear winner. But it really shouldn’t have come to this. Over 400 years of history as four nations working together is an incredible achievement and it is an arrangement that admittedly requires change but overall works so well. The poor campaign rolled out by Better Together now means that whatever the final result is, the NO campaign have been defeated; it was an easy victory for them.
Ultimately, it’s down to the Scottish people to decide where their future lies and I do indeed applaud Alex Salmond for getting his case for Independence to the stage where the people can make a decision. His motivations for doing that as well as his ability to lead a country in the event of a YES vote is up for question however.
My message to Scotland is simple. Don’t do anything that you’ll regret. Yes, it may be your chance to seize the moment. Yes, it may be your chance to test the water and head off into a brave new world on your own. Yes, it may be your chance to shape your part of the United Kingdom into more of what you want it to be. But remember, there’s no going back.
I love democracy and I think it’s vitally important that no government is too centralised. Giving power back to communities is really important. And you’ll get that if you vote NO. It took the threat of independence to get it but that is now what you been offered. So please take it. Why risk your pensions, your health service, your futures? Just stay with me …