On the eve of the referendum in Scotland, which is crippling Sky news’ scope and diversity, I thought I would share my thoughts on the matter. Not because I want a debate, as everyone is sick of those and to be honest I am as interested in others thoughts as others are of mine. However, I feel that people are being duped into thinking that this is a good idea.
I am obviously very mindful of the fact that I do not live in Scotland, so this is the excess verbiage of a British citizen with genealogical roots both sides of the border.
For me, the foundation of this referendum is legacy. It is obvious that Alex Salmond, as the First Minister, has been dying for an opportunity to be immortalised in any which way, for years. The majority of those in current political positions are following suit so as to ride on those coattails, convincing others that this is a good idea, regardless of their own views.
There is no doubt that Scotland has more than its fair share of top quality thinkers and doers, they are a proud people and rightly so, they have a fantastic country. Yes, they would make a good fist of going it alone, but none of that talent is in the political arena. People in the private sector, for instance, will follow money to the best paid jobs, which are arguably south of the border, in turn starting a self perpetuating cycle of stagnation within the domicile industries. The same has been happening in England for years. People from all over the country go to London to make proper money leaving the large (but small in relative terms) cities behind with a smaller pool of talent, which has ultimately stagnated their growth over time widening the chasm between them and the capital. Investment is key to it all and it is completely unknown as to whether there would be an increase of inward investment following the split or, as has been rumoured, a great exodus of businesses that don’t want to deal within the Euro.
It all seems quite short sighted in my limited and ill-informed view. During the debates Alex Salmond was referring to the North Sea oil as a positive thing “…it will be here to stay for at least the next forty years”. Forty years? Is that a good thing? It’s better than ten years admittedly but what happens after that? The split of the wealth from the oil within the ‘granite city’ is currently not clear and what the distribution would be like after independence, throughout the rest of the Scotland, has not been clarified, yet it is accepted that it is one of the higher proportions of income (second to shortbread – that is my natural flippancy). In forty years time, when the oil has run out, Alex Salmond will be old, frail and probably won’t remember what country he is in. He will have left political office years before and won’t necessarily care about the state of it all as it was all OK during his watch, having never really contemplated the fall out if things go wrong and how to recover.
It is right that the younger people get to be a part of such an important debate, but when I was 16 I was so patriotic (for Britain not just England) that I would have voted anyway that a rugby player, Lawrence Dallaglio for instance, told me to. I am genuinely not meaning to be patronising, but 16 is too young. However, it works for Alex Salmond to whip the impressionable people up and get the extra votes.
I am all for Scotland to get better powers, why shouldn’t they, but this whole process has been ill conceived and driven by one individual, in such a short period of time, during a down turn that has hurt the whole country. I don’t want to loose Scotland. The rivalry during the 6 Nations will not be the same as they will be just another country and not like the older brother that you live with who rubs you up the wrong way just because he is breathing the same air as you, but secretly you will be gutted when he leaves home, because you won’t have anyone to secretly admire anymore.
Please Scotland. Please stay within the UK. It would not be the same without you. It’s not you, it’s me. I can change, I promise. I will come and visit every other weekend. Please stay.
Miles today: 3.00
Miles completed: 149.69
Miles to go: 955