Well, there's a lot of noise surrounding this referendum, and I mean noise in the sense of meaningless pseudo-information drowning out the real facts as well as the noise of people shouting. And the volume will no doubt continue to rise until the 18th. Having spend the past few weeks absorbing facts, speculation and downright nonsense from both sides of the coin, I'm starting to get a feeling that the UK government are a little bit scared of Scottish Independence. Why else are they only now scrambling to put a timetable for devolution in place, when it should have been in the works for the past number of years? And the news today announced that David Cameron will be skipping Prime Minister's Question Time tomorrow in order to make a trip to Scotland to talk to the Scottish people. If that's not the sign of a worried government I don't know what is. But why are they worried? If Scotland is really as big a financial drain to the UK as the No campaign is trying to portray, why not just let Scotland leave and be £12 billion better off in the British exchequer next year? Surely that would be the smart move? But it looks like there's more to it than that. Perhaps it's Scotland's GDP which, per capita outweighs that of the rest of the UK. Maybe it's because they need Scottish energy and a North Sea base for their nuclear submarines? I don't know.
One positive thing I have noticed is that there have been no posters, signs or banners put up on street signs or lamp posts. Whenever there's any sort of referendum or election in Ireland, any vertical roadside object is guaranteed to be smothered in posters put there by various political interests. And they cost a fortune which is, of course, mostly paid for by the taxpayer. I can only presume such activities are illegal here, otherwise I'm sure we'd be seeing the same around now. Well done on that one Scotland!
A couple of thoughts have been brought to mind over the past couple of days. I can't really say where they came from, but maybe I overheard them or read something similar that got lodged in my brain. Anyway, a couple of small things to think about. First off, if Scotland does become independent, of course things will change. Some things might get more expensive and it will take a while for the economy to find its feet. Making a new country is a lot of work and isn't cheap. That might be a fair argument in itself for staying with the Union (and is an argument that has been used by the No camp), but at the end of this hardship, you have your very own country. 100% yours. Like I pointed out when I was talking about Tesco prices previously, in Ireland people do moan about things being a bit more expensive than in the UK. But ask any of them if they'd rather become part of the UK again and I guarantee you they'll not just say no, but would probably be insulted at the mere suggestion!
The other thought is a simple question, and I'm sure many people would answer it both ways. Nevertheless, I think it's a good angle to consider. If Scotland was not part of the UK now, would you vote to join it?
There are many other points which I've come across from both sides, and if I get a chance over the coming week I'll write about them too. But there should be enough to ponder about there for now! :)