Tuesday, 2 September 2014

sick of the Scottish independence referendum debate

I've been a definite no, and a definite yes, and so have been trying to pay attention to the debate on Scottish independence. The latest poll shows Yes and No are almost neck and neck, but really, all the mud slinging is doing my head in, and we've still got a fortnight to go!

I spent my evening last night half trying to write a post on how lovely Largs came out third most desirable place, out of all the postcodes in Scotland, and how it's true, Largs is a desirable place to live, but so are lots of other parts of Scotland...

...while half chatting to people on Facebook. 

Much of the chat is about the independence debate and the upcoming referendum. People care deeply, and they're not letting pesky things like facts get in the way.

There seems to be a lot being said about how Scotland didn't vote for the Westminster government. Well no, of course not, the Scottish people just voted for their representatives, that is how democracy works here. 

There is talk of how Scotland did not vote for the Tories. Annabel Goldie and the other Scottish Tories in Holyrood may beg to differ, but the important point is that as the Tories are a minority government in Westminster, most of the people of Britain didn't vote for them.

A vote for independence is not a vote for the SNP, despite the SNP wanting independence. Similarly, a vote to stay in the union is neither a vote for a return to London rule, nor a vote for the Tories, despite them being unionists. The fact is that most Scottish policy, including that on education and health, contrary to popular opinion, is made at Holyrood, not Westminster, already.

Rather, what is at stake is dissolving the union of nations created when the Scottish King took over the English throne in 1603, and formalised in the Act of Union of 1707.

Personally, I was born in Yorkshire, and consider myself Yorkshire first, British second. My daughters were born in England, my son and husband in Scotland. Our family is British, and my inclination is to stay British.

However, I like living in Scotland. The weather may be 'character building', but the general attitude is great. There is an ethos in Scotland about helping each other out, about having free access to health services and education, and it is different to that in England. Even in left-leaning parts of England. 

I think the Scottish education system is great, and if the Curriculum for Excellence is causing some problems, at least it hasn't been tinkered about with as much as the English system.  I also believe it is morally right to keep the NHS free.

If I could have voted for greater devolution of powers in the referendum (so called devo-max) I would have, but I can't. So I have to choose between the pro-union side, scaremongering about losing the pound and the BBC, so obscuring the issues which actually matter, and the pro-independence side who seem to be trying to make out that if we don't vote for independence the Tories will take over Scotland.  Why on earth would the Scottish government change their policy on free NHS services if UKIP were to come to power in England? The British government has as much impact on the NHS in Scotland as the European government, so I think this is just scaremongering.

I'm sure it'll work out if we do become independent, but I'd hate to see the nasty divisivenessn involved in the Yes campaign carry on. I am hearing so much about how you can't really call yourself Scottish if you vote No. I have been told I should vote No because EVEN THOUGH I am English, I have been allowed to live here.  People have told me that the older generation can be 'racist' (meaning anti-English), but that things are better now. Apparently now, the Scots don't mind the English moving here (and taking their jobs).

Personally, I can't wait until it's over.

What are your thoughts on the debate?  And if you can't be nice, please keep your thoughts to yourself.

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