2007 - 2020

Don’t Know 4

tunnocks

I don’t know and I have to admit, I’m not sure that I care. I assume it’s a big deal. After all, we could re-shape our entire country. This could be bigger than the Covenanters. We could cast off the evil Tory Party forever(ish), or we could scrap taxes and become a massive Luxembourg with the GDP per head to go with it. Maybe we could become the green energy Saudi Arabia with human rights instead of a royal family. But will any of this happen? I can’t see us becoming the next Singapore and I can’t see us becoming the next Somalia but maybe the next Sweden? No, not even that I feel.

If we vote for independence we’ll still be the same old Scotland. An overly large public sector, wealth in the hands of the few not the many, a sullen neighbour on our doorstep, bad weather, crap football team and so on. Politics doesn’t change overnight and independence isn’t a panacea for all our problems. There is plenty that could be done to change the problems we have already without divorcing ourselves from our English (and Welsh and Northern Irish) partners.

Yet, despite this, there is still the possibility, gnawing at the back of my mind like a mosquito in my sleep, that maybe a fresh start wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Similar to the renewed sense of purpose you get when you cast off a staid relationship (they were alright but you had both become a little too comfortable, too much Britain’s Got Talent and not enough passion) we could dive headfirst into the 21st century unencumbered by the shackles of our past. A written constitution, sky high alcohol taxes, no army or navy, we could join the Euro perhaps. It doesn’t matter that we may not want some of this but for the first time in a long time it would all feel possible to your average Scottish voter. With only five million people to convince, the possibilities for change increase exponentially as the number of vested interests decrease.

So therein lies the rub, I am almost completely certain that if we gain independence we shall remain almost exactly as we are at the moment. A developed country in some sort of managed decline. Yet the possibility of a country that could be radical and a little different is eating away at me. Is it wiser to accept the reality of a populace uninterested in the minutiae of politics, who will shrug their shoulders and let out another pathetic sigh of acceptance and ennui, staying at home on polling day with their war cry of, ‘it doesn’t matter how I vote’, or to care enough to hope for a better future.

I don’t know, and at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. I don’t live in Scotland anymore so I won’t even get to vote. Best of luck to the rest of you though.

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  1. wanvote says:

    Is that you, Rab? Did you get the loaf I sent you for? The teacakes are getting cold so you better get a move on. Love, MaryDoll.

    1. wanvote says:

      David, Your take on the situation here struck a chord as I’ve heard numerous variations of your points (though maybe not as well put).
      That wee mosquito that buzzes around in your sleep, the possibility of a country that could be radical and a little different, that is exactly the heart of the matter. That possibility doesn’t seem at all likely within the British state. That same possibility is why I will vote yes.
      Slainte mhor, David and haste ye back!

  2. panda paws says:

    I’m beginning to see where the phrase “never confuse a Scotsman with a ray of sunshine” came from! Until i read this piece I thought I was a pessimist…

    “There is plenty that could be done to change the problems we have already without divorcing ourselves from our English (and Welsh and Northern Irish) partners.”

    Well tells us about that then instead of wittering on about how you aren’t sure that you care.

    David, as for Scotland’s overly large public sector, you mean the one that is 42% compared to England’s 45%. Too large perhaps, but certainly lower than the largest country in the union.

    “Politics doesn’t change overnight and independence isn’t a panacea for all our problems”

    Scotland’s politics are already different from rUK/England, it’s not a matter of independence changing politics but getting the government that mirrors your politics. The LibDemTory coalition doesn’t reflect our politics, increasingly neither does Westminster Labour and as for a UKIP/Tory coalition – arrghhh!!! And who in the Yes camp says it will be a panacea?

    “A written constitution, sky high alcohol taxes, no army or navy, we could join the Euro perhaps. It doesn’t matter that we may not want some of this”

    A written constitution I heard about that yes, but which party is advocating sky high alcohol taxes, no defence force or joining the euro?

    “I am almost completely certain that if we gain independence we shall remain almost exactly as we are at the moment. A developed country in some sort of managed decline…”

    And I’m almost completely certain, we’ll manage to arrest the decline. And as for bad weather, the sun has been splitting the coconuts all day. Cheer up, son.

  3. annie says:

    Wanvote, you always make me smile 🙂

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all the comments to all ‘the dinnae kens’ and would like to thank them all – it has just confirmed the reality of exactly why we should be voting YES. It’s really all about the ‘evidence’.

  4. wanvote says:

    Cheers, Annie. Wid ye believe it, Sky not showing STV Road To Ref due to technical fault, it’s a conspiracy so it is!

  5. annie says:

    Naw!

    I’m gettin’ pished oan the rid biddy an’ watchin’ STV wae ma lassies. I so love Margo 😉

  6. annie says:

    “Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement.” Jimmy Reid

  7. Jen says:

    Given that the writer doesn’t have a vote, he seems unable to see a better Scotland and why should he it doesn’t affect him. Interesting and well written article.

  8. annie says:

    Yes, Jen, you are right, it is a well written article and I appreciate the time and thought that all of the ‘don’t knows’ have given. I also apologise for my tipsy banter with Wanvote.

    There really isn’t much more I could contribute to the comments, having read all the excellent contributions from the commenters of the previous articles. They really did take me by surprise and made me feel more than a little proud of my fellow YESers. Again, I thank them.

  9. Macart says:

    Steady now, any day soon you may break into a bout of apathy.

    You mention all those examples of small countries which turned around their own fortunes. You think that’s great, excellent role models. Yet still you feel we’re somehow incapable or in some way reluctant to make the effort. That maybe we shouldn’t make the transformation because it looks a bit hard that, that whole aspiring to better thing. Shocker – the transformation has already started. Its why we are where we are today with a right to self determination and a government willing to put the future of a country into the hands of the electorate.

    Nothing worth having is ever achieved easily. Its going to take effort, will and patience, but the end result may just be another Sweden or Norway. That is worth getting out of bed for.

  10. Rod Mac says:

    this is as good as it gets ,so we might as well no bother huh?
    My god how depressing this article is.

  11. DesiMond says:

    How exactly is someone who doesnt have a Vote a “Dont know”
    Or is this the definition of Ifs Buts and Maybes

  12. Tam C says:

    The difference, David, is it will be the people living and working that will shape it future. At the moment it is who every England vote for that determines what happens. You have to aspire to be better or whats the point.

  13. felibrilu says:

    Plenty of people living in Scotland who so have a vote aren’t bothered either. It’s great to see them represented! Thank you!

    The thing about the debate is that to be decisive for either independence or the union, I think you have to have already made an emotional commitment either to the ‘national’ idea of Scotland or Britain. Or you need to be or or against a political vision of how you envisage things will be in an independent Scotland. Then one finds the arguments that back up one’s commitment. That’s not a criticism, I think that’s a natural process of reaching positions in many debates, you have to start somewhere and where you start is always tempered by your personal experiences even if you try to not let that happen. My personal problem ( and I don’t expcet anyone to be able to assist with this) is that I have no overwhelming emotional commitment to the nation of Scotland or the union. I am emotionally committed to a political aspiration for both Scotland AND Britain, whether together or not; but sadly I’m not convinced that going independent will bring it very much closer. Note, the qualifier ‘ very much’ – I’m still ready to be convinced….

  14. crisiscult says:

    felibrilu: I very much understand that sentiment. In fact, I know several people, all of whom have lived abroad for some time, who pretty much reject the whole nationalism thing (whether Britnat or Scotnat or any other nat), and like me would go for federalism, because notwithstanding the comment on nationalism, we think Scotland is a country that constitutionally and socially needs protecting. If we had a constitution like USA or Germany, it might not have come to this. But we don’t, so unlike those two countries, we have a big plug hole sucking all the money towards it and no way to stop it. Solution? Vote for federalism? When does that opportunity come up exactly?

  15. Macart says:

    Hullo felibrilu:

    You may not be coming from a place of national identity, but you do have a starting point in a political ideal. So what’s on the table from status quo? No change in system of governance or autonomy. An ever rightward leaning UK identity. A system of economy based upon political cronyism, patronage, elitism and geographical favouritism. A system of governance where sovereignty lies with the crown and parliament. A system whereby regardless of how your country votes as a body politic, its larger partner decides who sits in the big chair.

    An independent Scotland: A system of governance based on popular sovereignty. Where parliament derives its power from the people. A constitution whereby the powers of this parliament are limited by law and the rights and responsibilities of both public servants and the populace are enshrined. A true democracy where you will, for the first time in many lifetimes, see the party the people votes for in power. That’s a starting point, the rest is for future generations to decide. That would be another selling point, what we pass on is choice. Choices and opportunities we weren’t given in our lifetimes but that we can pass on.

  16. This probably reflects the opinions of a fair few folk! Nothing much may change post indy but the point is to give us the powers to make changes if we want to.

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