Let us Not Like Snarling Curs, in Wrangling be Divided

You can run but you cannot hide from the big debate that is the Scottish Referendum, no matter how hard you try.  The past week has certainly seen both the YES and NO campaigns take on a life of their own. Newspapers, television, social media – it’s everywhere and everyone is talking about it. Whether you are Scottish, English, Welsh, Irish, American or Australian – the subject is everyone’s lips.  And, with good reason.  The splitting up of the United Kingdom will have a huge impact not only at home or in the rest of Europe but across the globe.

Barack Obama was quoted as saying, “The United Kingdom has been an extraordinary partner to us — from the outside at least it looks like things have worked pretty well and we obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies that we will ever have remains (a) strong, robust, united and effective partner.”  

Whilst the Australian Prime Minister said, “It’s hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland. I think that the people who would like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom are not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom.”

Firmly in the ‘yes’ camp, writer Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) compared the UK to Scandinavia, “Swedes, Norwegians and Danes remain on amicable terms; they trade, co-operate and visit each other socially any time they like. They don’t need a pompous, blustering state called Scandinavia, informing them from Stockholm how wonderful they all are, but (kind of) only really meaning Sweden.”

I don’t envy those having to make the choice tomorrow.  If we all let our hearts rule our heads then the answer would be an easy one but more than national pride is at stake here.  Answers are still needed on currency and defence, not to mention the every day needs of education, health and benefits.  Much has been made of ‘scaremongering’ tactics.  Having a more expensive weekly shop being just one of the topics. Will distribution costs go up?  What about banking? Will businesses leave and move their headquarters to other parts of the UK?  Without definite answers, though, is it too much of a risk to separate so completely from the UK?

I am Scottish and moved to England in 1996 for my ‘dream job’.  I wrote to a number of companies, in Scotland and England, before getting an interview and then being offered the job in London.  My only concern on moving was, would I still be able to watch Hamish Macbeth!

I love being Scottish. I take the flack when our football and rugby teams are beaten. I love Great Britain and rejoice in our successes, such as those at the Olympics, or when Andy Murray (yes, for GB) won Wimbledon!

Over the past few months I have been asked many times how I would vote, if I could.  The phrase, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” is, today, attributed to a founding father of America but its origins go further back.  It’s one to keep in mind, is it not?


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