Monday 22 September 2014

Aye, so that happened

Scotland voted.

Scotland voted No, to be precise.

With a ten per cent margin, 55:45, Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Do you see what I did there?  I accepted the result.

I could list the actual turnout, and so on, I could break it down by each individual count, but I accept that this was the vote.

I am disappointed, as are many (a little over 1.6 milllion, not to mention all those who weren't allowed to vote for reason of residence or age) by the result, but because at least some readers will, by the end of this short piece, probably be trying to label me as in denial, I will reiterate one more time:  More people, by a substantial number, voted for Scotland to remain in the UK than voted for it to be Independent.  I do not deny this, and, indeed, predicate much of what follows on this fact (possibly the third time that the word fact has been used to mean a fact rather than a nebulous possibility that the writer places hopein in Scottish political discourse since 2012).

I have seen some people asserting that the count or the vote themselves were in some way rigged.  Having had friends at the Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee counts that I trust implicitly, none of whom have suggested any foul play, I am happy to accept the result as stands.

The referendum is a snapshot of public opinion and will at a given moment in time.  Up until the tail end of 2013, I was formally undecided, with a preponderance towards a No vote, my movement away from which I have detailed previously.  People change their minds.

The binary nature of the Referendum question posed polarised the campaign massively, and the idiot fringes of both sides did much to try and drag the debate into the dirt.  From my perspective, the Scottish Secretary and a few other BT high heid yins were rather terrible for presenting gendered hate speech directed towards JK Rowling as being official Yes campaign policy, while the many sins carried out in their name without their request or support, Yes were less likely to attribute to BT.

The majority of the debate wasn't abusive, wasn't aggressive, and was in fact an exposition of just how much everybody cares about Scotland.

And people will go on caring about Scotland.  A good number will believe that Scotland and her people would best be looked after through Independence.  I don't think, and never have thought, that Independence is the only way the poor people of Scotland could attain better lives - that is palpably not true - but I worry that the triangulation of politics towards the interests of a minority of the population in swing seats in England means that it will be harder for this to happen than if we were independent.

In the tail stages of the Campaign, Better Together received a boost when the leaders of the three main Unionist parties made a vow to offer faster, better change (or some similar form of words) in the event of a no vote.

What this means is still foggy, but implied in it was massively increased fiscal control for Scotland, whilst retaining the Barnett formula.  A change which could, if also applied to Wales, be massively to their detriment  possibly, given their differing economy.

The referendum, in which a majority of people voted No (still not denying it, notice) took place after this vow was made.  We are now seeing Westminster frantically trying to work out what fater better change is and how it is delivered.

If it is not delivered, won't some No voters feel very aggrieved?  And wouldn't it be understandable for yes voters to feel like they possibly lost as a result of a lie?

In such an event, if a party, or coalition of parties, were to present themselves to the Scottish Electorate with a priority manifesto commitment towards running a further referendum in light of that failure to deliver, would that really be denying the previous result?  I would argue not.


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