So, ACCORDING to weekend reports, the Labour grandee Alex Mosson (anyone else never heard of him?) believes that the independence debate isn’t about party politics.
Who’s he kidding? It’s only about party politics. If he is serious, then he’s as naive as an electorate that expects to get clarity on the key practical issues such as membership of the European Union and the currency. It ain’t gonna happen. The practical issues will remain political footballs right up to the vote.
The SNP can write a 50,000-page white paper, seek the views of as many experts as it likes, but its opponents are still going to play politics and introduce as much uncertainty as possible. We’ll remain in the EU is the cry from the SNP. I think you’ll have to reapply and sign up to nasty things the UK has opted out of with funny names like Schengen, is the political reply. We’ll use sterling as our currency, says the SNP. Despite it being our currency, Chancellor Geroge Osborne tells us mischievously, there’s no guarantee he’ll agree to that … and so it goes on.
So what is the electorate to do? We could of course get a grip of Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Osborne and remind them they work for us, but that seems unlikely. The reality is that change comes with risks and those in favour of change will downplay the risks and those against will continue to overstate them.
My suggestion is that the electorate uses its common sense and focuses on the bigger picture. If you believe (to quote Mr Mosson) that independence will increase our self-confidence and let us become a successful, more prosperous and fairer nation, then vote Yes. If you don’t, vote No.
Andrew S R Gordon