Scotland divided – the downside of the referendum
Whichever way the Scottish Independence Referendum goes today, the outcome will include a country that is battered and bruised by the bloody fight over the rights and wrongs, ifs and buts of independence vs. remaining a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
All the polls imply that the vote will go down to the bitter wire, which by default means just under 50% of the voters may feel alarmed, angry and possibly cheated by the outcome. Cheated of their country’s shot at independence or cheated of their birthright to belong to Great Britain.
At the same time, half the voters will feel relief, elation and, irresistibly, perhaps a certain sense of smug satisfaction at having won the biggest battle over Britain since, well, yeah, the Battle of Britain.
But what happens when the votes have been counted and verified, and half the voters feel they have been robbed of their national identity etc. (Brit) or chance of home rule etc. (Scot) by family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, strangers?
The first real test of the strength of Scotland after the referendum – be that in preparation of becoming an independent country or in embracing continued unity with England, Wales and Northern Ireland – will actually lie in how quickly they can put their differences behind them.
And while I, like most people, have my own preference re. the referendum outcome, I hope the good folk of Scotland will soon find enough strength and humility to face their future reunited.