A very worrying aspect of the Independence debate is that as we get ever closer to the day of decision itself, the accusations, mud slinging and indeed vitriol on both sides will reach fever pitch, and this is very dangerous territory indeed.
It has been noticeable for some while that UKOK have been ramping up the spoon stirring in what it sees as the divides in Scottish society. It has actively encouraged Northern Irish Unionists to get involved in the debate,particularly in the fertile ground historically of the West and South West of Scotland.
The more extreme on the Nationalist side have been banding words such as quislings at those who they see as being against Scotlands interests.
While extremists on both sides are thankfully in the minority,and most don’t pay the blindest heed to them, they are still very dangerous and should not be totally discounted.
What is perhaps more worrying is the damage that can be done within families and long standing friendships as people take a more ensconced personal view of what they want to see happening.
The fall outs between opposing or differing views on Independence between friends could cause untold harm to relationships as both sides argue passionately for what they believe is best. Inevitably what happens in debate or argument where there are conflicting views is that as the passion of debate rises the more personal in their attacks people are likely to become,and it is here that the real damage is done.
What one says may be misconstrued, deliberately or otherwise, to mean something entirely different. What is thought as inoffensive may be deemed by another as extremely offensive.
It is from here that arguments rage and become utterly destructive on both sides. Where one accuses the other of something they haven’t said,thought and agreed to, and the accused gets all defensive and fights back saying that is not what I meant at all.
This sort of thing suits those who are being negative and destructive, who really do not want to see rational and substantive debate of the issues taking place. Ultimately however it all bounces back on them, perhaps not at the time, but later on sometime in the future for sure.
It may well be that Scotland votes NO to it’s own Independence, It may well be that it chooses to be Independent, that is still to be decided and until it does the arguments will rage between one side and the other, and some will encourage real rage by their actions.
Divide and Rule has long been the tactic of the British Empire, keeping the natives at each others throats, and as long as they were doing that, they were ineffectual to do anything about their colonists. It was often the case that a lot of these countries once under British Rule only gained their Independence when Britain lost interest and advantage by having them.
In places where the British wished to hang onto a different and ultimately extremely destructive scenario played out, a classic example being Ireland. When the Irish finally fought their way to Independence, Britain annexed and retained the North by playing on sectarian division. In effect they played on the historical base fears of the protestant lowland Scots and Northern English who had been previously planted in that country.
What they did with Northern Ireland was create areas of Catholic ghettos in the main cities, where streets were divided. From this action the troubles of the North were born to catastrophic effect. It was only as Britains reliance on the Industrial North of Ireland had changed that they loosened their stranglehold and encouraged the peace agreement, but the damage and mistrust lives on till this day in some quarters.
Whatever happens as the Scottish Independence debate reaches it’s conclusion, one thing for certain is that the Scotland that remains, either Independent or Not, will never again be the same.
Imagine if you will, that Scotland does become Independent, we will have a moment of euphoria for the majority, but the process of Independence will only have just begun. Should some of the bleakest pronouncements of the Better Together campaign come true, and some people who were well off become less so, they will blame those who wished for an Independent Scotland for their ills.
On the other hand, If Scotland remains in the Union, and what transpires is a continuation of Tory/UKIP/Labour right wing policies of continued austerity, and victimisation of the poor for the benefit of the rich,and all the resources being driven to London and the South, then those who voted No will be seen at fault for allowing us to be shackled to a union which cares not a jot for Scotland other than for our resources.
Scotland has already changed during this debate, and Scotland will not be the same whichever way the vote goes, but the worry has to be, what will happen to each of us, and how will we come out of this?
I believe, for I have to believe, that in the event of a YES vote, the vast majority of Scots on all sides of the argument will strive to make Scotland work and work well, and make the most of our Independence and strive to create a better country.
But on the other hand, I have very serious concerns that should there be a NO vote that about half of the population will be extremely disgruntled to say the least, and whilst they will try as they are now to make the best of things, the anger at having neo liberal right wing governments in the South will be palpable, and they will agitate extremely loudly for another stab at Independence. The issue will not go away, and it will not be resolved with a No vote, particularly a close one. So years of struggle will go on.
My real concern however id for personal relationships, as the pot gets stirred to boiling point by those who would encourage it, I sincerely hope that people will try to be respectful of each others views even if they don’t happen to agree. So whichever side of the debate you sit on, please think to the future and don’t resort to name calling when you have no need to. Argue your truth quietly and clearly, whatever you perceive that truth to be.