I like it when politics is interesting and there aren’t many stories more interesting than the vote for Scottish independence happening next week.
This has become a lot more interesting in the past week for two reasons. Firstly, the opinion polls are getting closer and it looks like more people were favouring independence (“Yes”) over staying in the Union (“No”). Also, there were reports released by several major banks advising investors to expect more volatility and lower economic growth in Britain should independence go ahead.
Now the leading of the major political parties in the UK are taking the prospect of a break-up more seriously and going around and trying to raise support in Scotland from the “No” vote.
To me it seems like they are trying to do too little at this late stage. Months ago, the British government was promoting scare stories about the potential effects of independence. Yet the stories were so absurd and provided little in the way of facts.
The politicians were trying to treat people as if they were stupid in wanting independence. I believe that the converse was actually true: the politicians had no understanding of why Scots might want independence from the United Kingdom.
If you talk to many Scots, they have a dislike and distrust of the Westminster government. Scotland and its people are different from those south of the border. The politicians are much more left leaning. The actions are much less colonial. They feel they have been betrayed over the past few decades, especially by the Thatcher government.
Trying to convince voters with scare stories was never the right move when voters expected lies from the government. This has all the signs of an abusive relationship.
Living in New Zealand, I have no real opinion on whether Scotland should be in or out of the Union but if the PR campaign has been so badly handled by Westminster, maybe Scotland are better off being out. All the scary economic issues will never be as bad in reality as expected.
Note: I should probably link to some articles to back up my claim of “scare stories”. I’m reading a few articles now. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to find their own articles.