Anton Joseph

Are Scottish voters giving informed consent?

If anyone is asked whether they would like a salary rise, free higher education, a better NHS, what would be the expected reply?

So, it is hardly surprising that many Scottish people want independence.

How different would it be if we asked, can we afford a salary rise, free higher education or a better NHS?

Although the question of cost is a consideration in the above instances, there is a much more relevant question to be answered for independence.

This involves the risk associated with any decision. Crossing the road does not require a risk benefit analysis. But, at the risk of sounding stupid, I would not take the risk of jumping from the tenth storey of a building in exchange for the entire wealth of Bill Gates.

But, if it were offered, I could still take that negligible chance of survival.

The question is not do you want independence, but the far more important ones of: can Scotland afford it? And what are the risks attached?

Following independence is there the capacity to live independently not for the next decade but for the next century and to maintain this irrevocable decision.

Neither side has based their arguments on a true risk-benefit considerations. There will be a risk to every facet of Scotland’s post-independent existence. The Scottish people should ask themselves am I voting for independence at all cost? There is an associated risk, but what is the risk and can that risk be ignored?

Who has the answer?

It is a shame that no one has worked out some figures of the risk to financial security following a declaration of independence. It could be low, it could be high.

Let the people of Scotland then decide the level of risk that they are willing to take. But this week it has just been threats that are being presented and promises being made.

With all due respect to the Scottish people, may I ask: Are you giving an informed consent?

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3 Responses to “Are Scottish voters giving informed consent?”

  1. Tom Goodfellow says:

    I write this after 10.00pm but before the result is known.

    “Scotland decides”. “This is the most important day for Scotland since…”

    I am incandescent with fury. What gives a small minority of the population of the UK the right to decide the future of the vast majority of us who have no vote with consequences which will be unknowable?

    The politicians who have got us into this mire merit the deepest criticism. This is not democracy, whatever the result! This is national selfishness at its extreme and the consequences will last for generations.

    I admit I have voted conservative on the past – but I will never vote for Cameron again, and I hope he falls!

  2. Dr John Peterchild says:

    The debate in Scotland did involve the protagonists discussing the costs of Education, NHS and the forecast revenue streams from North Sea Oil & Gas, Whisky sales and other exports and imports. The extension of the Barnet formula for funding of a Devomax Scotland was yet another highly contested element. But one of the most important factors of an independent state, ie. the currency it will use was dodged by the Yes side by claiming the Pound for an independent Scotland but the Bank of England and the UK Treasury stated that there was no hope of a currency union with the rest of the UK. My view is that with Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown, two former Chancellors, leading the No campaign the economics of the proposals were clearly expressed. But the Scots had to deal with the psychological and sociological issues of ‘What sort of country did they want” and a strong belief that they were better able to govern themselves instead of Westminster. Anyway, we now know that the Yes resolution won. Now it is up to the Westminster government to draft the necessary constitutional proposals to offer maximum devolution to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and of course to the regions of England.

  3. Dr John Peterchild says:


    The penultimate sentence in my comments above should have read “Anyway, we now know that the No resolution won and not the Yes resolution”.

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