The Independence Referendum

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In my last post – Another Scoot Round Scotland – I did not mention the topic which was on everyone’s lips when we were there on our recent holiday.

The Independence Referendum has certainly got folk talking and the level of political debate has been higher than I can ever remember in the twenty-five years or so that I was active politically in Scotland and that period included the Devolution Campaign. This can only be a good thing of course and it is to be hoped that the momentum created will continue, whatever the result on September 18.

In a post on this Blog much earlier in the year, I made no secret of where my sympathies lie. They have not changed. At the time, I said:

Whilst it is clear that views are strongly held on both sides of the debate, for me there is much regret that many ‘good’ socialists are ditching their internationalist heritage and jumping on the nationalist bandwagon. As happened in both World Wars I think it is particularly unfortunate and somewhat disturbing that once again the perceived national interest seems to count for more than international solidarity.

Looking forward, another unwelcome aspect is the likely closeness of the result. Whoever wins, will they respect the result or are we in for endless argument?

In this context, I have just watched a video clip on Facebook which I think needs to be viewed by anyone considering voting ‘Yes’. I accept that it has been put together by ‘Better Together’ but the fact remains that Jim Murphy (not a man for whom I have a great liking by the way) has had to suspend his tour of Scotland because of systematic disruption, orchestrated by the ‘Yes’ Campaign, which seeks not just to silence him but anyone attending his rallies.

Good old-fashioned heckling is fine of course but this goes way beyond anything which should be acceptable in civilised political debate. In my view, the content of this video should disgust anyone who believes in democracy and if this is the Scotland that is promised by the ‘Yes’ campaign, then should they win I think it will be a sad day for democratic politics. Let the issues be debated!

Here’s the link: http://vimeo.com/104844421

Please watch it.

As before, these are my views and they are not necessarily shared by Sheila.

John

 

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2 thoughts on “The Independence Referendum

  1. Ann

    yes, John, there is a lot of strong feeling in Scotland at the moment and at times it is not a nice place to be. It is very difficult to find out any real facts as both sides seem to spend their time slagging off the other side. I have watched a few debates on the subject and it is small wonder that many “ordinary” people are so fired up and aggressive on the subject as that is what we are seeing form the “professionals”. Like you, I hope that both sides can accept the outcome of the vote but I am not holding my breath. I feel sure that whatever side loses will try to renegotiate on the basis that the people who didn’t vote may have supported them and it can’t therefore be called a true majority.

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  2. Mairi Marlborough

    I completely agree with you John on the despicability of the haranguing that Jim Murphy was subjected to – there are always extremists who spoil what most of us like to see as good fair fight and I will be one of these who will accept a No majority if it happens. I will still be voting yes because I do have faith that we can make a better fairer society in Scotland when we are independent. You argue really well and I must say that the point you make about the dangers of nationalism is the only argument I can see against voting Yes but this is not an argument that the Better Together campaign are promoting and I wonder why. An independent Scotland is keen to be part of the EU and therefore part of a larger union and ‘ international solidarity’. Is the Westminster government as keen to stay with Europe as the SNP are? As you know I am a political virgin but I find all the discussion really stimulating and feel that things can’t stay the same whatever the result.
    Hope all’s well with you Love Mairi

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