For a moment there on Sunday, I felt some respite. The death of the Reverend Ian Paisley and the incineration of a dog’s home pushed the Scottish Referendum off the front pages.
But come Monday morning, it’s back in the headlines.
I, for one, am mind-numbingly bored and fed up with the whole wretched farrago.
Don’t get me wrong - of course I think it is important; it is incredibly so! Indeed it is probably the defining issue in our country since the end of the Second World War.
Despite the fact that this is a process which will have a profound effect on the whole of the UK, the vast majority of us, including me obviously, have no say whatsoever in the outcome. We have no vote – we are disenfranchised and are not even invited to join the discussion. This is a decision for Scotland alone we are told.
The population of the UK is about 64.1M (2013) while the population of Scotland is about 5.3M, which is approximately 8.2% of the whole. Now I am not a mathematician (which is why I had to become a doctor) but if 50.1% of residents in Scotland vote “yes” then the whole future will be decided by about 4.2% of the UK, or 2.6M voters with over 90% having no say.
Would someone please explain to me why this is democracy because I simply cannot get my brain round it. I have now got to the stage that as soon as I hear someone with a nice Scottish brogue blathering on about the benefits to Scotland (not the rest of us) I rush for the ‘off’ button on the radio or TV.
The whole of the ‘yes’ debate is based on the suggested benefits for Scotland, but challenge them on the effects on the rest of us and there is a deafening silence. The simply don’t want to know and completely avoid the issue. There is a deep national selfishness at the heart of the issue. We want our rights, and we simply don’t care what happens to the rest of you.
I have to say that I think the level of the debate on both sides has been appallingly dismal. Salmond smirks his way around the country ridiculing anyone who disagrees with him, and answering every question he can’t answer (a great many) by saying it is “scaremongering”.
Yet in sepulchre tones he waves the shroud of threatened NHS ‘privatisation’ despite the fact that NHS Scotland is completely separate from England and any decisions on its future are entirely a matter for the Scottish Parliament. If that is not scaremongering I don’t know what is!
Darling and the rest of the Better Together crew have been just as useless mounting a totally negative campaign and failing to present any defining view of the future of the Union. As panic ensues we see the Westminster glitterati rushing to Scotland to try and engender a bit of eleventh hour support for the Union, but all I can say is too little, too late!
If the ‘yes’ vote wins then I think there will be a huge political price to pay.
The breakup of the Union will have huge effects on all of us which, as yet, are largely unquantified. It will certainly cost us taxpayers £billions as institutions have to be carved up and re-formed. Britain, as a whole, will be diminished internationally and we are already seeing money disappear from our pension funds as the markets contemplate the uncertainty of the future.
The Deutsche Bank, a major independent financial institution with no axe to grind, has stated that the breakup would be as great a mistake as that which led to the great depression of the 1930’s. Scaremongering of course!
I have seldom felt so depressed about the political state of our nation and whatever the result of the vote on Thursday it will leave deep scars which will take a generation to heal.
As it happens I am a full Scot by birth, but whereas university students there for a brief three years may vote, I cannot. Perhaps I should burn my kilt!