A few reflections on the Scottish Referendum

The Scottish Referendum ended with a win for the Better Together campaign and devastation for the devolutionists and its leader Alex Salmond. Here are a few unedited impressions of the end-game

September 18th 2014

An emotional roller-coaster of a final day of campaigning and a night waiting as the results were counted. The process is hailed as a template for democratic elections. The commitment was impressive, the over ninety percent registration, over eighty percent turn-out.

Hope and denial

Hope in bucketfuls from the Independent Scotland ranks. For that dreamed-for freedom.

Freedom from the auld enemy, reborn as ‘the politicians in Whitehall’. Denial in bucketfuls, too. Denial that Scottish leaders were of a similar moral standing and competence to Whitehall’s toffs and scoundrels. The anger of one old-school socialist brought memories of an earlier age of fire-breathing working-class Scottish Union leaders with a long rehearsed loathing of his class enemies.

The pain of loss

The expressions of a lost dream in which a free Scotland would have been free from Trident -that was often mentioned. Free from perceived unjust laws imposed from Whitehall. For some, free from fears of what might happen, for example to the NHS [National Health Service].

From under a duvet

A distraught and inconsolable young caller to a phone-in. Upset after campaigning all day, staying up all night. Polls show the Better Together win. More questioning. She is nineteen. Tearful. In bed. I imagine her curled up, foetal position, under a duvet, clutching her I-phone.

Whitehall. It’s politics as usual

Early morning. A prepared statement from David Cameron confirming concessions to Scotland but also to the other constitutive parts of the [still] United Kingdom. Seized on as an electioneering ploy.

The agony of Alex

Alex Salmond, indefatigable leader of the Yes campaign for two years. Final speech had been as confident as ever. Within hours of the result, he announces he will step down as first Minister of the Scottish Parliament. The mask of command had been wearily taken off.

World reaction

Excellent International review from BBC Scotland.

Local reaction

Just heard two Labour politicians in deeply-divided discussion [BBC Radio 5] much easier for the Better Together camp to seek reconciliation. Sad.

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3 Responses to A few reflections on the Scottish Referendum

  1. Neil McCallum says:

    Our dreich streets which
    for weeks, teemed with hope of
    a brand new Scotland
    do not feel like ours anymore.
    We have cancelled our identity.
    We have become a cultural affectation.
    We have risen up
    to be a region again.

  2. Thank you Neil. Poetry has its own truth.

    Politically, I think the referendum marks something important. In your loss, Yes campaigners may find you have triggered changes beyond Scotland, and that you will gain more than you so eloquently believe just now.

    Best wishes,

    Tudor

  3. sam.scw@gmail.com says:

    It’s impressive that this referendum has been an excellent example of free exercise of democracy. Better if the process had international involvement and independent review / monitor by UN or others of similar authority – this could be able to avoid alleged claims of faults in ballot counting.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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