First off, I’m not going to make any bones about it. I’m for the Union, I was born in UK, all be it in the Scottish part. I’ve lived in the UK all my life, I grew up immersed in UK culture: watching British TV, listening to British music, but with all the access I needed to Scottish culture. In the past, could Scotland have been better represented across all media? – absolutely - but my kids are growing up in different cultural environment. All told I’m British and happy with that.
Looking back, every time (or at least all that I can remember) in every UK general election I got the MP I voted for, so it could be argued that I’ve been more than fairly represented in the Government. Yes, I haven’t always had the Government I hoped for, (nor, indeed, have some of those I’ve voted for lived up to my hopes and ideals) but Scottish Government hasn’t always been the one i wanted either(nor lived up to my hopes and ideals).
So I’m not in favour of Independence, but you know what, I could live with it, if it was the overwhelming view of the Scottish population. However I don’t believe there is that view and here’s my fear. In September we go to the polls, and if we vote for Independence it’s pretty much a one way ticket, there no second vote in five years (like a general election). I believe this is a crucial decision, and one we should be absolutely sure of. If even 1 vote more than 50% of those voting vote yes, we’re going independent. We could end up with a situation where the majority of the population don’t want independence but the pro yes vote is better mobilised and gain that 50%+1 vote required. My worry is the real danger that, just for polling day, enough people may be persuaded to vote yes, even though they are not fully convinced.
The polls have always shown that there is no real appetite for independence in Scotland. The BBC recently carried an article (here) Showing the opinion polls of recent months where those in favour of Independence has sat at about 35% More interesting are the Historical polls (here and here) that clearly show that on the whole support for Independence has rarely ever risen above 50% There is just no overwhelming appetite for Independence in Scotland. If that ever changes, that there is consistent overall support for independence, then even if it’s not my choice I’m happy to accept it. But we should not be making an irreversible choice unless were absolutely sure it’s the right choice.
To me this split is like a divorce and I don’t believe any sane person decides to get a divorce if they’re only half sure it’s the right thing to do.
If your one of the 30-40% that have always been for independence go out and vote for it, but for any of you not sure, I urge you to think about this carefully. We don’t get to back away from it if it doesn’t turn out the way we wanted or expected but If appetite grows for independence then the chance will come again to vote yes.