A Letter to No Voters

A Letter to No Voters or “Will Scotland’s Turkeys Vote for Cameron’s Christmas?” By
Peter Arnott

Warning.  This one’s a polemic. Addressed to No voters  Maybe they’re all polemics addressed to No voters. Maybe it’s even a little…angry. But I’m scared of what you guys are thinking…or maybe not thinking clearly enough…about doing. I’m scared of who you’re trusting.  Of what and who is controlling the future you’re voting for.
I really hope…I really hope I’m wrong about all of this…But here goes.
The Yes campaign are constantly being told that a vote for Yes is a vote for uncertainty. George Galloway used the word “havoc” the other day, as he addressed a rapturous audience of Edinburgh lawyers and bankers.
Those people who really don’t see the need for democracy in Scotland as they’ve been getting on very nicely indeed for 300 years without it, thank you!

Don’t Rock the Boat!
Constant demands are made of us to look into a crystal ball and see stability…only to be rubbished. You can’t guarantee any of that, we’re told.  Currency, borders, the EU…you just
don’t know. And of course, we don’t.  All these things are negotiable.  The future is like that.
So the intrinsic uncertainty of the future is used as a rhetorical weapon by people arguing in favour of their “guarantee” of continuity, their promise that things will stay the same, only with a wee bit more democracy, just to keep the weans happy and amused. My question to No Voters is, what kind of negotiations are you expecting after we Vote No?
Underneath the whole Better Together campaign is the “guarantee” that a Yes vote means “havoc” and a No vote means normality. I am here to tell you, and so is Professor David Heald of Aberdeen University, the World Bank and the United Nations, that it ain’t gonna be like that.
The outcome of this referendum is going to change things.  Either way.  The status quo may be on the ballot paper.  It is not on the cards.
I’ve attached Scott McNab’s piece on the Professor’s testimony to Holyrood below and I urge you to read it, and think very seriously through what it means.
If the Professor is even half right, there is already a barely suppressed head of angry, resentful steam building up at Westminster from all those MPs who look at Scotland and see only “subsidy junkies”, who look at the figures the Treasury produces to “prove” that Scotland is the only energy rich country on earth that is an economic basket case…and believe them.
And see a level of public spending that makes them determined, not to raise public spending on the poor, on the old, and on students and the sick in the UK, but to cut those whining Jock’s down to size.
And if we Vote No in September, that’s who we will be handing our asses to.  With no backsies, no comebacks, and no leverage.  We will be, and I’m sorry to use the offensive terminology, turkeys voting for Christmas.
Hang on, you mad, negative, insulting cybernat…what about the new powers they’ve guaranteed?
Okay…who has guaranteed these powers?.  MSPs.  Scottish MSPs. People who weren’t good enough for Westminster.  From the Labour Party, the Tory Party…and the Liberal Democrats.
Do you think, that even if the Labour and Tory leaderships have given a casual half-interested nod to this “power package”, that they’ve really signed these off, line by line, with their backbenchers?  The backbenchers who are standing for election to the “real” parliament  9 months after the referendum?  Have the PLP and the 1922 Committee really said…”Yes…good old Scotland, we’ll give them anything they ask…only please don’t let them go!”
Or do those leaders know that if we vote No, any amount of “powers” can be promised, because power will stay exactly where it is.  Any legislation will have to get through Westminster.  because Holyrood…Ruth, Johann, Willie…won’t matter any more.
And tell me, you three…you’re all experienced politicians…do you really think that the UK electorate – angry and confused at austerity – will really give their MPs prizes for sending “their” money to Scotland?
Pull the other one.
“But forget Ruth and Willie, the polls say that Labour will win in 2015.  Ed Milliband seems like a nice guy!”
I agree, on both points.  The polls do say that.  And he does seem like a nice guy. And I deeply hope for the sake of my Brothers and Sisters in the UK that Labour DOES win Westminster in 2015.
But a) they might not.  And b) can anyone from the No campaign give me a “guarantee” against Boris in 2020?
Or Teresa?
Against the Tories being in power for three terms – till 2035 –  after a fractious, exhausted,unconvinced and unconvincing Labour Government ( possibly propped up by Nick Clegg).makes a pig’s ear of the recovery?
When said Labour government will be undermined at every turn by the vested interests who did “bloody well, actually” out of the crash?  When the Labour Party remain indissolubly wedded to keeping the political centre of gravity on these islands exactly where the financial centre is.
Is that the stability a No vote is supposed to promise? Are these the “powers” we’re expecting from those in power?
Well…let’s be fair.  Let’s take a look a look at the most important element of those powers, pick out the biggest plum, the one that we are supposed to find comprehensible,  novices in democracy that we are.
Let’s forget about VAT, National Insurance ,Corporation Tax, Custom’s Duty, Energy Policy and the Crown Estates off shore where all the oil and wind and wave power is…let’s look at what’s actually on offer.
The power to vary income tax.  The politically untouchable tax. The one no one ever raises  any more because somebody might notice.  That one
The “new powers” will mean that Scotland’s income tax will be cut by 10p in the pound…and then Holyrood will be “made responsible” for raising it, bringing it up to the SAME level as the UK government dictates ..or a wee bit higher, maybe! Imagine how popular that will be!
Or alternatively, slashing public spending even closer to the bone that we’re going to have to do already with all the tax powers we WON’T be given.
Nothing else. Nothing will change in terms of spending.
Largely symbolic, I’m sure you’ll agree, something shiny for the weans to look at. And something that will support the austerity agenda that has already been agreed upon (read the
papers) by all of the Westminster Parties.
Appetizing! And we’ll have voted for it!
Caveat Emptor!
Except, we’re not finished yet.
“In return” for this “gift”, they will slash the Barnett formula.
Remember, they think we’re whining subsidy junkies that they indulge because we “threaten” them with separation, with taking their stuff away. They don’t believe that in this Perfect Union we own anything or earn anything.  The only political capital we hold in London… for the moment …is Independence.
And we will have thrown it away. Because we were scared. And all that oil and wind and wave power that isn’t worth anything, on which we can’t depend…which we’d be much better off not controlling for ourselves?
Let’s just wrap all that up and hand it over.  Forever. When we go round for dinner, we’ll put it on a plate.
And Westminster will say:
“Independence is off the table?  Voluntarily.  Good.  Thanks.  (pause) What? Sorry…remind me…who are you guys? “

Deep breath…

“You were expecting a PRESENT??? You think they’ll give us a PRIZE???? For loyalty??? THESE people?? Who would sell their grannies for a headline?
A Vote for No is a vote to give the Tories permission to do whatever they like. Why do you think Cameron agreed to the referendum?. Because he and his people calculated it was time to call our bluff. Because the cuts agenda, the austerity agenda, that drives EVERYTHING…the whole war against the welfare state…demands that Scotland submit, like it demanded that the Unions submit, local government, submit. David Cameron thought he could trust the Scottish turkeys to vote for Christmas. And we DID!!!”
And breathe normally!
And when we awake, after a No vote, on September 19th…powerless in a way we haven’t been powerless since 1979…as we awake to the monumental stupidity of playing Happy Families in the “greatest Union the world has ever known”, and as Cameron and Osborne laugh like drains at our expense for as long as it takes them to forget that we exist…roughly September the 20th…we will rub our eyes and say: “What the hell did we just do?”
Does anyone really think that that is the path to “stability?” That a No vote is a vote for “Normality?” When we will come very quickly to understand that there is nothing we can do. Nothing. That it won’t matter who Scotland votes for in 2015 or 2020.
We will have to take whatever we are given because we will have declared we don’t exist.
If you vote No, my friends, my brothers and sisters, whoever you think is going to be in charge of your future, it isn’t going to be you. To Vote No means either that Scotland is not a real country, or that if it is, democracy is too good for it.

Time to get real.
Read Scott McNab’s piece on Professor David Heald’s warnings about the consequences of a No vote here:

Comments (39)

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  1. David Agnew says:

    To vote no is to vote for dependency. To vote for dependency is to be 2nd class in the UK. To vote no is to be mocked for the earlier points. To vote no is to lose all that makes us Scottish. Do no voters truly believe that having privatised their own NHS, they can tolerate Scotland with a publicly funded NHS? Do no voters think they will tolerate Scotland paying for its children’s educations, when they saddle theirs with mortgage levels of debt?

    Scotland must be brought to heel. It must be made to bend its knee. It must be made to look like the rUK. It must cease to be Scottish. The only party in Scotland willing to wield that knife and stab Scotland in the back, is Labour. Only labour could do this to us. Yes labour, that party led by that nice man Miliband. You know him, the one who wants to make our future generations pack shelves for benefits and a sandwich. The one who wants to cut benefits to the young to force them onto his workfare scheme. The one who wants to withdraw welfare from the disabled and park them on “work programmes”. The nice man who said he will cut deeper, further and longer than the Tories. The man who’s party is now so far to the right, he actually makes Cameron look like a moderate.

    The union won’t survive a no vote. The no camp has to destroy what it means to be united to prevent another referendum in the future. In short the no camp will have to be like Thatcher was and do what she did for the very same reasons. To stop Scotland going its own way.

    The union was killed by her and the Tories. Since then its nothing more than a hollowed out and rotten shell.
    Time to put it to rest with some dignity. The alternative is a long protracted death that will scar everyone in the UK.

  2. Clootie says:

    The articles and David’s post say it all.

    A NO vote will result in a false calm until the 2015 GE. After that it will be a bobsleigh ride downhill!
    As the article makes clear it will only be a case of WHEN it takes place.

  3. Nova Scotia says:

    This is excellent! Share it with everyone. We can’t afford to vote No on September 18th.

  4. Anthony Cunningham says:

    “Currency, borders, the EU…you just don’t know. And of course, we don’t. All these things are negotiable.”

    So why is Eck telling us that it’s all sorted and will be fine if we just trust him?

    1. gordoz says:

      Please do not offend the office Title is First Minister .

      Because unlike the Union – we the people will be in control. Democracy is most unpopular in the NO camp.

      1. Crubag says:

        I hope that’s a joke! THis isn’t North Korea.

        It’s interesting that the article itself uses first names for Scottish politicians, first name and surname for Lib Dems and Labour, and surnames (with only one “David Cameron”) for the Conservatives (“Cameron” “Osborne”). I don’t think you need to be a media studies undergrad to read the message in that.

        Which I think is missing a trick. The Conservative trend in Scotland gets around 20% of the vote, and I’d expect them to be revitalised by becoming a genuinely Scottish party post-independence. The SNP are already centre right on many policy issues (light touch regulation, closeness to industry, aspiration to lower corporation taxes).

        This is a bloc that could really benefit from independence.

    2. LMS says:

      Trust???…..don’t you realise???…Westminster has been screwing Scotland into the dust for decades…wisen up Man – we are an oil rich country with nothing to show for it but the infrastructure of the London City State.

    3. Mike says:

      The Scot Govt is telling you nothing but what can “REASONABLY” be expected based on the fact that both parties to the negotiations will negotiate on the premise of what is best for their respective camps.

      In the case of the rUK a currency union is not only desirable it is imperative for 3 very good reasons
      1. It prevents the UK pound from being devalued drastically overnight.
      2. It allow business to be conducted across the border without penalty and extra cost.
      3. The rUK NEEDS Scotland to take on a proportional share of the UK national debt. It cant afford to take it all on its own.

      So not unreasonable to expect rUK Government to agree to CU on basis its IMPERATIVE to their own survival as a new member state. And they will be new member state as Union of England Wales and NI has never existed and wont until March 2016 in event of a Yes vote.

      The only threat to our borders is from Westminster initiating and in out EU referendum and pulling the UK out of the EU. If not Independent then Scottish business will have border restrictions with all EU.

      In the case of the EU and a Yes vote it is an INDISPUTABLE FACT the at the time of EU negotiations Scotland will still be within the UK up to about March 2016 and therefore still a member of the EU so the negotiations will not consist of ENTRY into the EU but the transfer of the TERMS and CONDITIONS of EXISTING membership from Westminster authority to Scottish Parliamentary authority.

      What youre getting from Better Together and their state run media circus is from their own description “PROJECT FEAR” misinformation.
      Now you can pretend all you like that this misinformation is credible because you don’t want to admit youre only supporting this corruption of an unbalanced union because you think its still some kind of glorified world domineering super state on the world stage. But even if the UK were still a glorified world domineering super state the benefits of said super state only ever reached a selective relative few in number within the UK. It certainly didn’t benefit Scotland as a Nation in its own right.

  5. Marian says:

    At the Accord Hospice charity dinner event in Paisley during 2013 Andrew Neil of the Politics Show said:-

    “Devolution, the Calman Commission, the Scotland Bill, the Edinburgh Agreement, all of this and more you have, is because Westminster parties are scared of the SNP.

    If you vote NO you massively change the balance of power and they will not only give you nothing, but will probably take powers away from the Scottish Parliament”.

    Honest words indeed from a committed unionist and leading expert on Westminster politics.

    1. MBC says:

      But they will take powers away by stealth, by introducing poisoners, like replacing the Barnett formula with tax raising powers, so that either we must increase taxes or reduce services. That way the SG and the ruling party becomes to blame, and more direct intervention from Westminster, the ‘answer’.

      If there is a No vote the Yes side must continue its campaign of education, information, politicisation, and opposition.

      Alastair Darling thought this referendum ‘will put the constitutional issue to bed for a generation’. Fat chance.

  6. I cant envisage the horror’s in store for scotland and her people if they vote no.
    The carnage inflicted by thatcher will pale by comparison to what’s in store.
    I’m voting yes in any case

    1. Turra Loon says:

      Good Man James. We are all behind you. Vote Yes or become a slave.

  7. Ian Kirkwood says:

    Great article which puts all the nice unionist offers into perspective – deceitful nonsense. Who are they trying to fool? More powers? Playing with numbers more like and all designed to make the people of Scotland think they are actually getting something for voting no. Disgraceful.
    Thanks for highlighting this important issue, which I hope people will now see in its proper light.

  8. gordoz says:

    I particularly like the forcefullness of this piece. Right on the money for me.

    I can’t get my head around the ‘Proud Scots’ who will vote no.

    1. MBC says:

      They are either afraid or doing all right and cannot see what the problem is for their own generous comfort blankets. Some have a misplaced loyalty and devotion to Britain. But Britain has changed. They are the romantics, lost in the Danny Boyle theatricals.

  9. Andrew Skea says:

    So let me try to understand what you are all saying. After 300 years of Union, with poverty gradually declining, health gradually improving, we’re all gradually becoming better educated, Scotland is one of the wealthiest parts of the Uk, with devolution to allow us to raise our taxes and spend what we want on health and education.
    Suddenly, if we vote no, everything will be put into reverse gear and we’ll drive at top speed backwards into a huge brick wall.

    Personally, i think you’ve all been locked in a dark room together, you’re not getting enough fresh air and you’re all going a bit mad. You guys are not only scaremongering, but worse, i think you actually believe your own prophecy of doom.

    1. Clootie says:

      Obviously a misunderstanding here. We are talking about the Scotland which is connected to England as the UK. I’m not sure where your Scotland is?

      We are the one with food banks, increasing child poverty. Payday loans, 19th. Of 20 countries for old age pensions, 4th most unequal society etc etc.

      Ours has suffered massive austerity cuts and more planned by the next Westminster Government regardless of the colour of the rosette.
      As an added bonus the interest rated are about to go up because house prices in London are overheating.

      Do you really think things are getting better?

    2. rabthecab says:

      You are *wrong* on poverty & health; you are *wrong* on devolution & tax-raising powers; you’re right about reversing “into a huge brick wall,” doubtless the one point you want to be proved wrong on.

      You really do need to put that keyboard down & get out into the real world for a change. I can promise it will be enlightening.

    3. David Agnew says:

      poverty declining? where did you hear that? We are in a union that is sitting on a debt mountain of 1.7 trillion and growing, despite the most savage and brutal cuts to public services. We have food banks being threatened if they bad mouth UKgov policy. We have the labour party boasting about how much worse it will be than the Tories. The tories have no intention of rolling back bed room tax and uklab only intend to mitigate it, not abolish it. Labour want workfare with a sandwich and are going to cut assistance to young people to force them to do it. The tories want to enlarge it to pensioners. Labour want to cut assistance to the disabled if they have not paid 5 years worth of NI, Meaning that those born with severe physical and mental disabilities will be left with nothing.

      The UKgov are privatising their own health service and they will not tolerate Scotland having a publicly funded model. Labour has already announced its intentions to fold the Scottish NHS into the English NHS. leaving it open to the same disastrous policies we are reading about down south. They want to introduce tuition fees here and privatise our water. They have already taken our powers over energy policy and it would not be at all difficult for them to take more off us. They have already signalled their desire to do so.

      I can see nothing but misery and poverty with Scotland in the Union. Rich yes, but its wealth pocketed by Westminster and squandered.

      The you come along and try to pretend that the last 4 years of austerity and the greatest transfer of public wealth into private hands, never happened. Vote No, everything will be ok. In 300 years of union, the last 50 has seen Scotland represented to the rest of the UK as a beggar with a bowl looking for handouts. To never be acknowledged for contributing to the success of the UK, shows a level of contempt that is hard to stomach. I’ve had a belly full.

      Do I believe in prophecies of Doom if we stay in this union. Yes. I do. And nothing you have said or indeed any other no voter has said has convinced me otherwise. Did I come to this conclusion in a dark room. Hardly – If I had I would never have seen Ruth Davidson say to an English Tory conference that 8/10 Scottish households have contributed nothing to the success of the UK. This constant doing down of Scotland and its reputation within the union has had a toxic effect of convincing 6 out 10 English voters that they really do pay for everything up here. Who is responsible for creating that impression? Unionists.

      You think we should vote no and take all the misery, all the pain and anguish. Because that’s what union is about, taking the good with the bad. But when you are in a union were one half thinks all you do is take and treats you accordingly….that’s were I think its time for a divorce. I don’t want a parliament that thinks so poorly of Scotland to be in charge of Scotland’s future. If that means your “most successful union in history” gets consigned to the dustbin of history, then so be it.

    4. LMS says:

      Are you serious?…do you live in Scotland?…have you ever lived in Scotland?….do you realise how far removed from reality your post is?
      Do you have any comprehension of the economic wasteland Scotland has become for many skilled professionals under successive Westminster governments? – with 30,000 Scots having to leave every year for decent employment opportunities, along with food banks and increasing poverty?…the only regress from this being through better governance at Holyrood from SNP policies over the last few years – alas a devolved parliament, so curtailed in its fiscal powers, and able only to mitigate so little as to be a futile battle against Westminster domination.

      Scotland should be as you say,one of the wealthiest parts of the Uk – through our tax revenues produced which exceed those of the rest of the UK per capita, Oil wealth etc etc – BUT ALL flows to Westminsters coffers – and we’re ” graced” back with a budget – leaving Scotland “a wealthy Nation with an impoverished society”.

      If anyone has been locked in a dark room for too long( along with all your “I’m all right Jack” Unionist chums) and has gone completely and utterly stark raving mad…IT IS YOU.

    5. Mike says:

      Poverty gradually declining? relative to who? Health gradually improving relative to who? gradually better educated? relative to who?

      As other Independent nations compatible to Scotland in size potential & aspiration thrive and record real levels of declining poverty improved health and better education Scotland continues to wallow in a prison of restriction where it cannot use its own full potential to tackle its own specific social economic & structural problems because its too busy providing the means for the rUK to deal specifically with their own problems as a PRIORITY given to them by the authority of being a majority of influence and power within an UNBALANCED Union.

      The levels of denial and ignorance pretended or otherwise required to be a supporter of this union from a Scottish perspective is frankly disturbing and not a little frightening.
      Its either genuine ignorance or agenda driven deceit.

  10. bringiton says:

    What Scots thought they were getting with devolution is a far cry from the reality.
    A parliament with control over less than 10% of it’s income is not in a position to do anything radical to change people’s lives here in Scotland and that,of course,was the intention of the one nation Labour party.
    The intention was to give Scots the impression that they had democratic control over their affairs but leaving real power at Westminster.
    The referendum debate has exposed this truth and should we vote No,Westminster will assume that we are happy with this arrangement and continue to ignore us.
    That is what No voters will be agreeing with.

    1. Mike says:

      That’s the problem with devolution from the perspective of those who support the idea. No 2 people can agree on what the best level of Devolution should be at any given time. Not only that they cannot articulate a reasonable response to the question if this far why not further?
      What is the ideal level of devolved power and influence if it isn’t full power and full influence?
      It is a ludicrous concept, a stitch up whos only real purpose was to stifle further moves towards Independence and even in that it failed miserably.
      Only Labour could have conceived of something so self destructive and contrary to purpose at the same time.

  11. Will McEwan says:

    “Poverty gradually declining?”
    The first part of the first sentence renders reading the rest of it a waste of time.
    The devolution “powers” offered will allow us to raise less than 20% of our tax (which is collected already)and we can only spend on health and education that amount of our own money that is sent back to us by London.

    We are indeed one of the wealthiest parts of the UK yet with lowest life expectancy and a huge proportion of our population facing continually lowering standards of living as the well-off get richer. Which is exactly why we need to get independent control of our resources to run our country for the benefit of all of our people

  12. Dan Huil says:

    The Rubicon has already been crossed. If we vote No we’ll be thrown back into the river and ceremoniously drowned.

  13. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

    England the drowning man of Europe clutching at oil slicks, a conjoined Scotland to suffer the same fate

    England’s obituary Death by drowning
    Scotland’s obituary Death by suicide

    Bruised Heads
    Divide and conquer it’s the English way
    Then you are made to pay and pay
    Pretty soon they’ll have the clothes off your backs
    Then will return for your shoes and your dacks
    One thing is clear for it couldn’t be clearer
    Your in the hands of an expert shearer
    The Empires wealth from the many for the few
    At this the English have earned their due
    If Scotland can’t learn from historic example
    Then on their heads they deserve a good trample
    James Dow

  14. lowlander says:

    Peter Arnott, Thank you for for putting so clearly.

  15. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

    Are we dealing with a psychological condition? Britishness has many odd threads running through it. The British as a “nation” being unique is one. Drawing heavily on myth connecting the lost tribes of Israel, ancient Troy, King Arthur and all that stuff about “those feet” in Glastonbury. A quasi-sacralised foundation mythology has been created that psychologically underpins the aloof attitudes and exceptional qualities of “Being British”, faites attention M. Juncker, as opposed to being anything else. Until fairly recently British imperialist history was not about invading, conquering or exploiting but about the great civilising mission, actually a French concept but no matter, the black-bound Protestant bible in one hand and the latest lethal gadgetry in the other. Gordon Brown and Nial Fergusson may not consciously identify with the model but sub-consciously they are its children. It is neat, it excuses every excess and profiteering because armed with such weapons the gods were with us. Of course this myth has actually little to do with “us”, we Scots, we acquired it along with the rest of UKGB flummery. However like something borrowed, the neighbour’s lawnmower for example, having got used to it some are very reluctant to return it. Even imagining it was theirs all along. Until, of course, the thing stops working.

    1. Crubag says:

      I think you are conflating Englishness and Britishness here (William Blake has “And did those feet in ancient time / Walk upon England’s mountains green: / And was the holy Lamb of God, / On England’s pleasant pastures seen” – not Britain’s mountains green).

      “Britishness” as a political identifty is a product of the national groups in the British Isles getting together (or being got together) and pre- and post-dates the relatively short-lived British empire. Even with an independent Ireland and Scotland (and one day perhaps Wales and Northern Ireland) there would still be a cultural Britishness, though probably more easily identified by outsiders than those on the islands.

      1. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

        I do not conflate the two the system does. Being English and British was and is referentially virtually identical. The supra-nationality it supposedly signifies it signifies in the form of a comfort blanket only to Scots unionists. The empire may have been British but in its law, constitution and spirit it was manifestly English; albeit a particular type of English. Scots would actually use the term English to describe themselves as being Scots in the wider global scheme of things was pretty meaningless. In that respect the imperialist writer John Buchan is one example that springs to mind. In most languages even the terms British and English are synonymous. Americans customarily refer to England when talking of the British state. The things that bind the British polity are the products of the poetic and mythic imagination. When examined there is nothing substantial there and certainly nothing that we ought to be dragging on our coat-tails into independence. The Irish, the West Brits, ditched it so should we

  16. qzchambers says:

    Part of my concern over what will happen following a “no” vote (from an English perspective) is that Westminster lack real statesmen and women. We need politicians who can understand differences, engage with ordinary people, build bridges, and follow through on promises.

    Most of our political class in Westminster lost their integrity in 2003 when they voted to invade Iraq. Most Westminster politicians simply don’t have the skills and the courage to get involved in the independence debate seriously. David Cameron is afraid to debate with Alex Salmond. Alistair Darling accuses Alex Salmond of behaving like a dictator. John Major wants to get involved “subliminally”. Gordon Brown goes for soundbites. There are no obvious younger ones growing in political maturity.

    I can’t see that the policymaking process in Westminster will improve any time soon. Every time Westminster misjudges the Scottish situation, it will be subjected to a level of scrutiny and resistance from Scotland that it won’t be able to handle. The tensions in the union will only get worse. Westminster politicians either can’t see this coming or are too weak to have any idea what to do about it.

    1. Pete Bradley says:

      In other words, we need politicians and civil servants who’ve had experience of life outside their protected Wastemonster/Shitehall bubble. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen. Politics ought to be a vocation, but it’s become a ridiculously overpaid career. Why work for a living, when you can have Mr and Mrs Public do everything for you for your entire adult life?

  17. YESGUY says:

    Brilliant piece again Peter and Dave

    You both hit the spot . Agree with everything you both said.

    The thought of a NO vote would leave me disgusted with Scots everywhere . We are a country not a region and what country turns down independence ? Beggars with their bowls out. By the time the 2015 election comes we will all be subsidy junkies as Scotland is milked dry and the money spent in London S.E.

    YES = hope
    No = doom and the breakup of Scotland to a region

    And the death of thousands , Yes thousands of disabled and infirm thanks to the austerity of the west minster elite.

  18. manandboy says:

    A No vote would be a massive act of self-destruction by the Scottish Unionists on so many levels.

    And in the minds of 7 billion people

    the term ‘canny Scot’

    would change its meaning overnight.

    It’s time to wake up, Unionists.

    Vote Yes.

  19. Peter Arnott says:

    Thanks for all the comments. I am particularly grateful for qzchambers pointing out that one of the hidden causes of what is happening in Scotland is the cultural exhaustion of the UK political project. It’s desperately sad, for one thing, to see that mighty engine for positive change in 1945 and 1966, for example, reduced to what it is now. As witness recent press coverage of an entirely vacuous and ill thought out speech from Galloway like he was Cicero come again!

  20. tern says:

    Yes we will rub our hands and ask “what did we just do?” but it won’t be because we voted No. It will be because our Yes campaign morally forced us to vote No, by utterly refusing to budge on a betrayal of our diaspora and division of families, a line of refusing to give unrefusable citizenship entitlement by descent to the Scots born outside Scotland, mostly in rUK, to our emigrants. Offering a shockingly unplesaant closed community anti-outsider form of nationalism that will be a moral scar on our history. “What did we just do?” will be, how did our Yes side just blow it for us in such an unimaginably malevolent way to keep a few bigots happy?

    Whatever else we get with No, we get by definition a totally open border with rUK, and that is the humanitarian priority over the picture of divided families and a cruel rejection of Scots from their land, that Yes has dug in to offering. I have petitioned the European Parliament for the EU not to accept the referendum as legtiimately mandating and faily conducted, and for all its dealings with a new state to be on that basis towards its legitimacy, unless this citizenship issue is by automatic right covered prominently enough in the campaign to make overwhelmingly most voters aware of it.

  21. Elgin quine says:

    I’m voting NO, not because of the rhetoric being spewn forth from both sides of the divide but because I want to stay part of the U.K. I’m Scottish first and British second.

  22. kurikatKate says:

    I stopped reading when I got to this…” And I deeply hope for the sake of my Brothers and Sisters in the UK that Labour DOES win Westminster in 2015.”

    How anyone could wish for a LABOUR party to once again get into power, to take us into more wars, to bankrupt us even more, and to carry out their promise of cutting DEEPER & HARDER than the Tories, is just beyond me. Vote YES and leave them to their Westminster privileges.

  23. football says:

    Stick by your team through thick and thin, despite the wins and losses.

    Most online football managers give you a team when you sign up and you’re stuck with them forever, no matter how well you do.
    Fan evaluations of the seat ranges will give you a great idea if the tickets you are bearing in mind are worth what you will splurge.

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