Friday, 19 September 2014

The Scottish referendum ...

I've studiously avoided writing anything about the independence referendum in Scotland, for, despite an emotional attachment to my homeland, I don't live there any more, and in fact havn't lived there for over thirty years.

Basically, as an Australian, I felt it had bugger all to do with me, other than sentiment. I won't have to live with the consequences of the vote and the inevitable post vote horse trading.

While part of me wants to shout 'Feart!', it's not my call.

I did use to be a British citizen, but I made a conscious decision to choose Australia, even to the extent that I'll probably not bother renewing my British passport next time it runs out as I don't realistically see myself ever wanting to live or work in Britain again. Yes, we have thought about it, and while there's a lot of good things about living there, on balance we prefer Australia.

That's the migrant's curse - while you're part of the new, there's always a little tug from the old, and it will always be on balance. Like our neighbours, who on Friday night put on bagpipe music and held a wake for what was not to be.

As to the vote, looking at the voting figures it's interesting to see the split - it's the old rural counties that were overwhelmingly pro-union, not the industrialised areas that have been traumatised by the loss of industry, and while the pro-union vote may have won, a substantial number of people did vote for independence, which means it's move from something espoused by whisky soaked romantics to something considerably more mainstream.

Equally, it's clear that the electorate was undecided - the margin is close enough to allow for ambiguity - in a very real sense neither the Yes or No campaigns won, and for the result to be conclusive there would need to be a more decisive vote either way ...