By Christopher Price
Anybody who knows me will tell you that when it comes to elections, I am a nerd. Seriously. Any US election that is on, is viewed late at night until the wee hours, trying to decipher why some states are “too close to call” and how some states call the election while others still vote. I suppose they call that time zones.
When Tony Blair was swept into power in the UK in 1997 we all sang, “Things can only get better” at six in the morning as Conservative rule on Britain was finally cut loose. Irish elections on the other hand are 43 separate marathons where the margin of victory in any seat can depend on a neighbour’s voting intentions. That’s why I will be up as late as possible to see if Scotland and its people are brave enough to cut the umbilical cord from Westminster and believe in themselves for once and for all.
As a passer-by in all this and watching from the outside looking in, the campaign on the Scottish Independence referendum has been a riveting watch coupled with a distaste on how the UK government run their show.
The establishment in London for decades showed an indifference to Scotland and derided their population (can’t say citizens as they are not free yet) as freeloaders and benefit cheats, while they in irony, claimed the oil in the North Sea as British.
The “NO” campaign have been depressingly down beat, warning the Scots of all the doomsday predictions that they will lose pensions, benefits, jobs, that all the large companies will move south. That their food will be dearer, their mobile phone calls more expensive and their banks shut as their banks take flight. They even warned that they will lose the soap operas and populist rubbish from the BBC to their television screens. That would be enough to make me vote YES if I had the choice.
Of course any country that wishes to achieve self-determination is a romantic cause. Anybody that is governed by a government that the population does not elect will always dream of the future and the choices that they can make for themselves.
The last few days has seen the London elite unite, if you pardon the pun in pleading with Scotland to stay within the UK. Never have the Jocks felt as loved by the English as of now. As of now, Scotland is hugely divided as the polls will got down to the wire.
Can the Scottish electorate resist all temptation and believe that they can collectively move out of the mammy’s house and start a new life in control of their own destiny.
Even now as I write that I have Sky News on, and they are sending out the old militaristic tones of past deeds in the two world wars that are dewy eyed and pulling at the heart strings. Heavens above.
This referendum on Thursday will come down to whether Scotland would rather slump down on the couch on front of the telly, being fed hand to mouth, or get up and find their feet in the world and a voice that can make a difference.
Scotland can if they so desire, as in the line of their anthem “Flower of Scotland”, “send them over to think again”.