Some of the risks of independence are unknowable and therefore hard or impossible to assess. This is a fact likely to make many overestimate the risks of saying Yes because the unknown is always that bit scarier.
Hence the predictable results of the latest ICM poll for The Scotsman as well as the findings of the Scottish Social Attitudes survey and recent research at Stirling University (your report, 16 June).
Those of us who will vote Yes should insist that we are inviting people to take on some unknowable degrees of risk. Why? Because to do otherwise is to insult people’s intelligence, and few things annoy people more.
But, more importantly still, because as Pat Kane (Perspective, 16 June) and Eric Gillies (Letters, same day) rightly say in their different ways, the whole point about the referendum is that it gives us a chance to get a grip – to take risks known and unknown into our own hands.
To say No will be to expose ourselves to some predictable high risks we won’t be able to control – yet again.
These include UK government policies, whatever the government, likely to lead to further deterioration in public goods, services and amenities including health, education and housing.
There is a high risk that the unionist parties can’t make good on pledges of greater devolution and, even if they can, not enough to compensate for likely losses as regards the Barnett formula and representation at Westminster.
There is a moderate to high risk of finding ourselves outside the EU without at least the option of being in it.
Are the risks of saying Yes really greater or scarier than those risks, given that saying Yes at least gives us the opportunity to deal with risks on our own behalf? I don’t think so. More to the point, there is no good reason to assume that they are.
St Machar Place