Peter Bell wrote a lovely article in his blog which I agreed with nearly 100%. Sadly, nearly isn’t quite good enough.
Peter, I would like to agree with you 100% because I do agree with you right up until the end (well, I am not sure the independence is inevitable in 5-10 but I definitely think there is a chance for it, though I tend to agree with Ms Tomlin’s points too) but I am one of those that will be leaving if Scotland votes No. Not immediately (I have a degree to finish) but soon. I’ve left before and I came back by choice and I dearly wish to remain in Scotland but there are limits, and I think mine are being reached.
My mother’s family emigrated, several generations ago, to New Zealand (some went to Canada and the USA as well) and have made very good lives for themselves over the past three or four generations. I count 22 cousins, most of whom are now parents themselves, while my father’s Scottish family line will die out with me and my sister (neither of us have children). My mother (who emigrated to Scotland from NZ and is now a naturalised Scot and staunch Yes voter) claimed that those who left in the past thought they had the get up and go whereas the ones who stayed were too stuck in the mud. My father’s retort was that those who left Scotland didn’t have the pluck and ability to make a go of it at home. After agreeing with him all these years I now find myself siding with my her.
There is a world out there that offers so much more than the UK will in the next few decades. Wealthy European countries with far better social policies are there to be explored (Norway and Switzerland spring to mind). The (not so) New World still offers a standard of living that most of us can only dream of here in the UK, even though no place is a utopia. Scotland needs its best and brightest to remain here and make the country better, come what may, but the danger is that those who remain in Scotland post No will become just as beaten down as the rest and the reality will be another 300 years of second class citizenship (though the reality will be that the best amongst us head south to London, as they have done for generations). I mean, look at us now; nobody in their right mind would vote No but many very smart and well educated people will because they have absorbed the UK’s propaganda all their lives.
Maybe I am just not brave enough, maybe I am a rat deserting a sinking ship, or maybe I am simply smart enough to realise what a losing bet looks like and am cashing out while I still can. None of those options fill me with joy, but I’ve been in unwinnable situations before and I am not staying around to be kicked in the teeth by Westminster for the second forty years of my life.