The Way I See It

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There’s still a good chunk of the year ahead of us before we vote for, or against, Scotland remaining a part of the United Kingdom, but already I’ve had enough. And I suspect many of you will also have grown tired of the constant referendum claims and counter-claims by both sides. Because let’s face it, both Better Together and Yes Scotland, so far, haven’t done or said anything truly influential. Or maybe they have and I missed it, but I very much doubt it.

With three in ten Scots still undecided on where their loyalties lie, perhaps, it isn’t indecisiveness that’s making people refrain from saying aye or no. But maybe it’s something far simpler than that, something more apathetic. Isn’t it possible that three in ten of us just couldn’t give a rat’s tail, whether we remain in a historic union with the English, or whether we go it alone in the big bad world.

And there’s a reason why people aren’t interested, it’s simply because they don’t believe there will be a great deal of difference either way. People realise that whichever way the vote swings, it’s unlikely that prosperity will appear overnight. This is something that both parties need to address, they need to be more unequivocal about what is going to happen, because the end result could prove to be crucial for both.

It already appears a cross-party warning from Westminster, claiming an independent Scotland would not be allowed to keep the pound, has swayed a number of prospective voters from undecided, to no. Scaremongering it may be, but Salmond hasn’t offered up any alternatives and instead keeps referring to his catchphrase “voting for change”. This isn’t something that those swithering are ready to buy into and I can understand that, because there are no guarantees. The SNP are asking us to gamble and not everyone is prepared to be risky. People want assurances that they aren’t going to get and that is why I believe the Yes campaign will fail.

I’m not happy being governed by a disenfranchised government, especially a Tory one at that. The thought of remaining under the hammer of Westminster and the vicious cuts to public services, along with the perpetual onslaught against the lower classes, is a daunting prospect.

But I’m also unwilling to follow a party whose roadmap isn’t complete. One could say we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On the same issue, but completely disregarding the politics of it all, something which has definitely made an impact on me as the referendum draws nearer is the fact that I myself am British. What I mean by this is that I have English, Welsh and Scottish blood running through my veins. If we were to forget economics, defence issues, the welfare state, disputes over oil fields and fishing grounds, this would be enough of a reason for me to vote no in the referendum. Because that’s who I am as a person, I’m made up of people from all over the United Kingdom.

Obviously things aren’t that simple, the decision warrants more of a reason and far more time put into it. I won’t lie, though, the thought of tearing apart a historic union does instil a little sadness in me. Long ago in a place the Romans knew as Britannia, they accepted that their invasion and occupation of Britain was helped by the fact that the Celtic tribes struggled to cooperate with each other. This inability to work together was prevalent throughout the ages. Now it appears that could soon be the case again.

– By Hawick News blogger Darren Murphy