The Scottish Question

Welcome to Scotland
Soon to be accompanied by border guards and customs if Salmond has his way

I originally wrote the following as a comment on this BBC News article regarding the current tiff between Holyrood and Westminster over a referendum for Scottish Independence. Unfortunately, the BBC don’t make it clear there’s a (fairly short) limit on the number of words/characters in comments so I thought I’d shove it up here instead.

I’m English born of Scots and Welsh parents. I grew up predominantly in England (Newcastle and Bradford) with a short stint in Scotland and now live and work in Glasgow where I reckon I’ll be settling for the very long term.

I also dislike the Tories and the current UK government. However, I dislike Salmond and his hyperbolic rhetoric even more. I find myself amazed to say this but I fully support Westminster – and the Conservatives – on this matter.

While part of me does see a future for 16/17 year olds getting the vote in general elections they – as yet – cannot. As such they should not vote in any referendum. The simple reason for Salmond wanting them to do so is that they are, at that age, very reactionary and nationalistic. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your country but I can’t accept that this would allow them to help make an informed choice in such a vote. It would, however, help Salmond’s cause.

I also seriously doubt the maths which “prove” that Scotland could survive financial independence. I am prepared to be corrected, but have these figures been published and confirmed by an independent body?

By all means have the referendum, but Salmond must be prepared to do it within the existing rules. He can’t go making his own up until/unless they win – and even then, they have stated, it will only be taken as an advisory vote as to the opinion of the country. Not, as people seem to be thinking, the immediate departure of Scotland from the UK.

We are a United Kingdom. Our strength comes from that unity. Much as there is rivalry amongst the countries and separate national identities we’ve worked wonders as a nation combined. I also agree with other viewpoints that the departure of Scotland from the UK shouldn’t be a decision for Scotland alone. It would affect the other three nations every bit as much and they should have a say – based on the results of the referendum – as well.

It has the potential to be a hugely historic move. But would it be a good one? I wholeheartedly doubt it.

 

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