Independence is Personal

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.

About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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7 Responses to Independence is Personal

  1. bringiton says:

    Passion comes from identity and since most Scots view their identity as Scottish,the Yes side tend
    to have the most committed activists.The anger I have witnessed of late has largely come from the minority of people who identify with the British state (quite often for obscure reasons).
    A No vote (and I am certain that this will not happen) would leave a lot of very committed people feeling extremely let down by their fellow Scots,especially from the younger people involved,and the independence campaign would continue.
    A Yes vote on the other hand would leave a small group of disaffected British state supporters who will get over it once they see that we were right all along and that an independent Scotland will be a better place to live in.
    This may not be enough for a very small minority e.g. NI extremists but that’s life and if they hate independent Scotland so much,they can take their prejudice and hate elsewhere.
    The referendum is about Scotland and not the UK despite how the No side try to steer the debate.
    Thanks Rod.

    • Agreed… But I am very concerned at some of the attacks coming from people I would normally view as being very reasonable, there seems to be a fair degree of anger and frustration going on in some quarters, and it is not all pleasant.

  2. Cyberbrits – a right nasty lot that make the somewhat overpower the occasional luke warm insults from the YES side – the NO side are just so mean and arrogant that nasty actually doesn’t alway cover it

  3. Jane Hunter says:

    You have hit the nail on the head. Social cohesion after Yes worries me greatly. After Yes it will get messy. a) you have so many different visions of an independance that not everyone will get the scotland they dreamt of (thinking of the more radical ideas – which I agree with alot of) they won’t happen for a long time. There is going to be squabbles fallout galore over the direction of the new scotland and we will get things wrong at first ( cause you can’t get everything right first time) b) the 40 odd % that voted no are going to be livid thinking we have sold them down the river. Bearing in mind the are voting no in fear, they will become hostile to anything the new scotland does. C) evidence of this is I see no voters I know getting hopping mad now because they are aware this is now a possibility and they feel powerless to stop it. The no voters will hate us for at least 5 to 10 years till they start to see the benefits of indy scotland and families will be torn apart. That won’t stop me voting yes however I feel a strategy is needed to deal with this issue.

  4. Chris Law says:

    I appreciate the points raised in this article and they are important and as valid now as they have ever been in the context of previous troubles in Northern Ireland. What I would say that May shed some hope, is that thorn the sharing of information through social media, people have never better been informed and whilst there is a minority who let their anger boil over at some of the ridiculousness of positions taken in the debate, the anger vented has not spilled over into violence. Scotland has now irrevocably changed and continues to change and no amount of attempts by the advocates of the status quo will ever stop that. Even in the event of a NO vote, I feel the push again for Indy, will be soon leaving little time for blaming of the NO side. On the other hand, if it is a YES vote, then I think the rhetoric of the NO side will change dramatically to work with the new constitutional status.

  5. matt jones says:

    An excellent article that makes several valid points. It’s a bit simplistic, however, to imply that a “southern English establishment” is the source of all the UK’s woes. The history of pre-union Scotland suggests that she was more than capable of creating a first-class balls-up without any help from her neighbours. Nor should we grumble about realpolitik: over the centuries the UK has prospered mightily thanks to the hard-headed realism of successive governments, and I would hope and expect any future Scottish government to show similar pragmatism in protecting her citizens’ interests.

    A recurring feature of the independence debate has been the tendency of the Yes campaign to equate independence with the permanent removal of any Conservative influence – an idea which might prove true in the literal sense, but which would probably be meaningless in reality. Scotland, like England, is a complex society with a large and ambitious middle class. It is naive to suppose that such people will inevitably possess a socialist viewpoint simply by virtue of being Scottish; indeed I’d guess that they share the same views as their English equivalents but find that their ambitions can be achieved by voting for other parties, secure in the knowledge that any decisions will be held in held in check by the overall outcome at Westminster. After independence, of course, the situation would be altogether different, and I would be surprised not to see the emergence of a centre-right political grouping whose policies resembled those of the English Conservatives, albeit with a tartan nationalist hue.

    As Auld Acquaintance rightly identifies, the biggest danger for Scotland is that she might face the challenges of independence in a disunited state – but I am far from convinced that “all sides would pull together in the nation’s interest”. Even leaving aside the inevitable political differences, there remains the whole question of national identity. At present it is easy to understand what “being Scottish” means, if only in the sense that it means “not being English”, and perhaps “being more inclined to social justice (i.e. higher levels of government expenditure) than the English” – but after independence these notions will become obsolete. Tartan, bagpipes, scenery and “loyalty to your pals” can take you so far, but at the core of any national identity lies a unifying system of values and beliefs – and herein lies Scotland’s problem. Under the surface a newly independent Scotland would be as divided as any part of the UK, and more so than most; added to which there would inevitably be widespread disillusion as the more overblown promises of independence proved hollow. Unfortunately for all concerned, the independence debate has been conducted with such venom that in the aftermath of September 18th there are going to be a lot of very unhappy people, many of whom will feel that their views have been treated with insufficient consideration or respect. Ironically, it may turn out that the only nation to have been strengthened by this affair is England – ostensibly the loser, but quite possibly the biggest winner in the long run.

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