Sunday, 14 September 2014

So What Should Be Said on Friday Morning ?

Another day, another burst of vitriolic comment on Indyref (see my previous) across social media, the printed media and the blogosphere. The so-called historian Andrew Roberts is wheeled out by the Daily Mail to try to create an outlandish dystopic post-independence Scotland and the growing anti-Scottish hysteria and vitriol from some in England and Wales shows no sign of diminishing.

As is so often the case in politics, reason and understanding have been superseded by innuendo, waspish jibes and downright hysterical abuse.

Given we already know the world won't end IF Scotland votes YES on Thursday, what should the political response be ?

No doubt whatever the result, forums such as politicalbetting will be replete with gloating "winners" and indignant "losers" but again what should our leaders do ?

Whether it's YES or NO, Friday will need to see the return of some elements we've not seen for a few days - reason, compassion, generosity, understanding etc.

That requires David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage (and let's see if he's a real politician instead of a vacuous populist and opportunist) to stand together on Friday morning (even if not physically).

Let's try some words for the aforementioned Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and Farage if it's a YES vote:

"We recognise and accept the vote for independence and the expressed will of the Scottish people. We recognise it is in the interests of all the peoples of the United Kingdom for an independent Scottish nation to come into being in an atmosphere of understanding, security, peace and above all hope.

We call on those who voted NO to rally behind Alex Salmond and other Scottish political leaders as they begin the huge task of building a new nation which we will support and assist. We call on those businesses who threatened to leave to reconsider - the new Scottish nation will be open for business and needs the custom of the rest of the United Kingdom to build business, maintain jobs and continue prosperity and growth.

The pound sterling is and continues to be the currency of Scotland until independence. We encourage all businesses, both in Scotland and elsewhere, to continue to accept Scottish banknotes as these are and remain legal tender supported by the Bank of England.

Finally, we call on those who have threatened to leave Scotland to reconsider. The new Scottish nation will be open, free and democratic and you have a chance to shape that at the first Scottish General Election. Our parties will be fighting hard as no doubt will Mr Salmond's and others and all of us have a share and a say in the new Scotland which will enjoy a strong and comprehensive relationship with England, Wales and Northern Ireland."

All right, let's try some words for NO:

"We recognise and accept the will of the Scottish people expressed through the ballot box and are naturally delighted they have chosen to remain part of our historic and successful Union.

However, we cannot go on as before. The demands for greater powers for the Scottish Parliament have been heard and the granting of these new powers, which enjoy full cross-party support, will be the priority of the forthcoming session of Parliament.

Business and individuals can continue to invest and lead growth in Scotland knowing it remains an integral part of the Union.

Yet we cannot ignore the calls from within England, Wales and Northern Ireland for greater local powers and accountability. For too long, the great communities of our nation have not enjoyed the benefits of true control and accountability. Therefore, in the next session of Parliament, we will be promulgating new legislation with cross-party support which will cede important powers to County, District and Borough Councils as a way of re-invigorating our communities and local democracy and, in a very real sense, returning power to the people"

I can but hope. The fear is that a narrow YES or NO vote will create new bitterness and resentment. If YES wins, how will those in for example the Borders (which will likely vote strongly NO) react ? Will we see some hotheads go down a very bad route or will we see a flight of Borders residents south of the Border ?

What if it's a narrow win for NO ? Will those in the city tenements of Glasgow and Edinburgh react well to the continuation of what they may see as foreign rule ? The political impact of the vote on the fortunes of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish Nationalist Parties ? That's a subject for a future contribution but there's a long way to go before Friday morning and at 51-49 all to play for.

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