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.