There is a decent motive for voting for Scottish independence, far removed from pie-in-the-sky romanticism or disgruntlement with the English – widespread though both of those conditions are. It is the desire to achieve a more socially just society than is thought possible within the UK.
Even so, those who have this motive are overly-pessimistic about the prospects for progressive change at UK level. Voting No in the referendum is voting “yes” to the UK. Voting yes to the UK is not the same as voting yes to the policies of the present government or those of the previous Labour government. If we really are concerned with social justice, why limit our concern to those living within Scotland’s borders? Are the people of Hull and Liverpool, Doncaster and Minehead, Aberystwyth and Belfast, any less worthy of our concern? When it comes to social justice, separatism is parochial and defeatist.
Voting No is not voting for the status quo, nor is it an expression of pessimism about the prospects for increasingly dynamic Scottish culture and enterprise. It is saying yes to a polity that is still respected and admired worldwide, that still has the potential for great good in the world.
Bridge of Allan, Stirling
I HAVE no time whatsoever for nationalists who campaign so aggressively for a Yes result totally indifferent to the potential turmoil created by such an outcome. On the other hand, I have some understanding of the position of those who intend to vote for independence, perhaps even with some reservations, because they see an opportunity to break away from an increasingly dysfunctional society, an opportunity to create a “better” society
I believe, however, that their mistake lies in a failure to recognise that the problem is not just with the UK but with the global consequences of the current model of turbo-charged western capitalism. Their belief, for instance, that it would be possible for an independent Scotland to adopt the Scandinavian model is naive in the extreme.
Above all, I am convinced that independence will just not work. It is as simple as that. Our efforts would be far better put into working within the UK to ameliorate the appalling consequences for our democracy of the increasing dominance of the multinational corporate sector without having to divert our attention, totally unnecessarily, to struggling with the issues of setting up a new state.