An English girl’s view of the Scottish Independence Referendum

I’m not really one for writing political posts. Whenever I try to say anything remotely so it tends to come out very awkwardly and nine times out of ten I end up scrapping it as I feel like I’d come across as an idiot if I did post it. Sometimes however, an opinion is swirling around in your head that much that you just have to put it down somewhere. This is certainly one of these times.

I write this on the eve of Scotland making one of the biggest, if not the biggest decision that they (and indeed any other country on these islands) have made in their history. In case you’ve been living under a rock this last year, they are deciding tomorrow whether to become an independent country or remain part of the United Kingdom. It’s a big deal and one which will be sure to cause big changes regardless of which way the vote eventually swings to. I don’t have a vote, being in England and all. Some say I shouldn’t have an opinion and for a time I thought so too. But as each day has passed and coverage has been cranked up across the media on both sides of the border it’s become impossible to not have one. It also makes me think that, whatever the result, it is going to impact on the rest of the UK in some way. We just don’t know how yet.

For those of you who can vote, I’m not writing this post to tell you how you should vote. I’m sure many of you by now are so committed to your decision that nothing I could say would change your mind anyway. For the record, if I had a vote in the referendum, I would probably still be undecided even at this late hour, still weighing up the pros and the cons of both sides until I end up choosing what I think is the better option (I’ve always been a bit last minute when deciding on voting things). If I’m being honest, I feel that both the Yes and No campaigns could have done a better job of getting their messages across. In the case of yes, I’ve heard a lot of noise, but I haven’t heard any real answers. Meanwhile the no campaign have come across the more rational of the two yet they haven’t really made themselves heard enough – at least not until now (some might say that they’ve struggled to make themselves heard). The tone of debate as a whole has been passionate, as you’d expect it to be, but it has also turned ugly and divisive in places. In social media, the debate is extremely heated. One look at the #indyref hashtag on twitter will tell you all (it ain’t for the faint hearted, that’s for sure).

At the end of the day, people on both sides of the debate want the same thing – the best for Scotland. I hope that whatever the outcome of the referendum people accept the result and come together in order to make it work. They owe it to themselves and future generations to unite and reject the things that divide them in order to make it happen. I trust that they will.

There’s a lot more I could say here, but I’d be going on all night and I’ve rambled on enough already, so I’ll leave it that. Thank you for reading, even if you don’t entirely agree with me. We can still be friends after Thursday, right?



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