Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 5 May 2013

500 days to go until "THE" referendum

As I was reminded today by the "media" and a number of blog articles written to mark the occasion (not that it has any importance in reality other than numeric coincidence), in 500 days (on 18th September 2014) the residents of Scotland who are entitled to vote will be invited to answer the referendum question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" with a YES/NO response; the date and wording of the referendum was announced only quite recently.

Of course, people like me who wish Scotland to remain a partner within the "United Kingdom" (one of the most successful and long-standing political partnerships in history) believe that Scotland is already "independent", or at least as independent as any country can be in our modern inter-dependent world. It is difficult to advance, plausibly, the theory that we Scots are somehow disadvantaged or "put down" within the UK - one only has to look at the people who have 'managed the country' over the decades to know that it makes not the blindest bit of difference from which part of the UK our political leaders (or their pretty recent forbears) hailed - whether it be the current Prime Minister (who may be English, but is not exactly not Scottish either) or the last two from the other main political party. Of course I don't have the "chip on the shoulder" mindset of most of the SNP-supporters I have ever met or heard speaking, including naturally enough our 'illustrious' First Minister Alex Salmond. I have never doubted, just to be clear, that Scotland could go its own way and run its own affairs, just as England (and Wales and Northern Ireland) could, but I simply do not wish this to happen - I am British and want to remain so. It is nice to see the "Welcome to Scotland" sign when driving across the 'border' into Scotland from England, but beyond a momentary glow it really doesn't mean too much - when I lived in London I felt just as much "at home" as I do in Scotland and the same applies when visiting other parts of the UK outside London.

I'll be returning to the issue of the September 2014 referendum from time to time until it takes place, focussing on different aspects of the non-issue of Scottish "independence", but of course I shall be voting "NO" on 18th September next year, 500 days from today.

Now, as they say, 'Have a nice day'.

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