Every night on the news recently, we’ve been exposed to the barbarism of civil war in Syria – rebels fight for their freedom from an oppressed Government, willing to lay down their lives for the cause. It serves as a reminder as to how fortunate we are to have been born British, into civilised society, where democracy matters. The question for me, and every other Scot, is whether we’ll die British.
A perfect storm is brewing. A nationalist Government is putting Scotland’s interests first, while in Westminster, coalition policies have provoked anger not seen since the poll tax. And here’s someone dangling a piece of paper in front of me, saying ‘put your X next to that “yes” box and all that will disappear – you will never again be governed by Tories.’
And I won’t be. That at least, I’m certain of. Scotland has a greater socialist disposition than England and while it may have once leant to the right, I can’t see it swinging back there in my lifetime. So, can a socialist democratic country thrive? Yes. Can Scotland be that country? Yes! It must be a Yes vote then?
Well, no. Not yet. There’s a list of questions in my head the length of Hadrian’s Wall. There is commendable passion on the Yes side, their argument is louder and that can give the misconception that it is the better argument. If you’re voting with your heart, for ideological reasons, then your mind was made up long before September 18th became a date etched in future history. I’m voting for what I think will provide me and my family with the brightest future and I don’t know what that is, because neither side has presented a reasoned case to me yet.
But it’s impossible to be emotionally detached. For a start, I don’t like the Scottish Government. I find them arrogant, dictatorial. A Government is there to educate, not dictate and the SNP, since gaining a majority at the last election, has been increasingly unwilling to listen to anything that doesn’t fit their agenda. For me, this has been proven through an arrogance over questions on Scotland’s place in the EU and the currency an independent Scotland would adopt.
I’m aware I can vote Yes in 2014, then Labour in 2016 – but the Labour party in 2016 is a far greater unknown than independence itself. A party still recovering from an election defeat six years ago does not fill me with hope. In short, I fear Scotland will become a one party state. Another quandary then.
And so I sit on the fence. I need answers. More than I could list here. Hopefully November’s White Paper will provide them. In the hoopla and excitement it’s easy to forget there is still over a year to go until this vote – let’s hope both parties put posturing aside and paint a picture that people like me need to study intently in order to make an informed choice that we believe to be our best interests.