The NO campaigners repeat the slogan “better together”, however the very fact that the YES campaign has gained so much traction suggests ’better together’ does not hold as much water as previously assumed.
Scotland is a country with considerable economic strength, with and without oil reserves, and has been a major contributor towards the UK economy. For decades Scotland has generated more income into London than output in return. The NO campaign have realised there is much more to YES enthusiasm than Braveheart and misty-eyed national pride; facts are being researched, shared, and consumed with great interest. These facts are a very welcome surprise to many Scots.(See FACTS VERSUS OPINIONS).
For more power, vote for less power?!
The recent developments in the campaign have opened up huge rifts in UK politics that could have enormous consequences for the old political order at Westminster. Many commentators, not only in the UK, but across the world have been extremely critical of the NO campaign for not taking the YES position seriously enough. Indeed YES has become a movement, not least through social media, it has become a rising tide in the opinion polls, and the NO campaign have been caught woefully unprepared for the possibility that the vote may go against them. This may be why there has been such a panic to cobble together all manner of promises of more power to entice the people of Scotland to vote NO. Why was this not done months or even years ago? It could go down in history as monumental complacency and arrogance.
In the final stage it is almost as if NO campaigners are actually now making the offer “for more power, vote for less power”.
The greatest irony has been that from the outset David Cameron did not want the third option of Devo-max on the ballot paper. This was probably because it was wrongly assumed that NO would have it by a safe margin, and the whole ‘Scottish issue’ could be put to bed for another generation or more. But it looks like Scotland will indeed rise, through the ballot box, and be a nation again.
No matter what happens, the Westminster establishment in their panic to hold Scotland have ignited a movement south of the Scottish border for devolved powers. Their rush to offer Scotland more powers has been met with surprise in the remainder of the UK, and bound to cause political rifts as remaining UK regions seek more autonomy. It is almost as if the Scottish electorate have challenged not just the rest of the UK, but more specifically the London Establishment, as were there two states on these islands; the City State of London, and everyone else.
So the real question is whether Scotland has what it takes to be a successful independent country? The numbers stack up, the geography stacks up, the cultural identity stacks up, the strong and proud history stack up. This could be the beginning of a New Scottish Enlightenment, and it could light a beacon for many Western countries that the old ways should be challenged, and that social justice and people power rise above greed and dangerous social inequality. From fundamentals such as the right to free education and health for all, through to the creation of a people-led constitution, without a gun being fired, no blood shed, just an outstanding demonstration of proud people power through democracy, something Scotland should be very proud of.
All of this or hold with the status quo, hold with the view that we are ‘better together’? By way of partial capitulation the No campaign have move their own goal posts rapidly towards the YES camp with rather desperate last minute promises (or bribes) of more powers. It looks like both sides are now for YES, but how much should YES mean? The Scots can be owner occupiers of their own country, and make their own destiny free form majority rule beyond their borders and coastline, or take partial self-determination and run the continual risk of having Scottish decisions taken away or overturned.
To be part of the same United Kingdom, or standing alongside each other as United Kingdoms, the choice will be up to every voting Scot on Thursday. We could well see the birth of a New Scottish Enlightenment, history may well put Scotland back on the world stage.