So I was reading some stuff for work today, and it referred me back to a survey that was published over a year ago. And it’s all kind of depressing, in the context of Scotland being in the midst of an unfinished debate about whether we want to be an independent country or not.
Because what frustrates me is the degrees of separation. We are where we are, and by all accounts most Scots aren’t 100% satisfied with where we are, so they would like a bit more power to be located at Holyrood.
But then if you talk to local decision makers, they’ll tell you Holyrood is veering towards centralisation and what we need to reinvigorate democracy and engagement is more local decision making. And to be fair, we are one of the most centralised nations on earth.
But then, only a third of Scots definitely want independence. So basically, 66% of us are waiting to be persuaded.
But persuaded of what? And this is the crux of the current debate. That no-one will quantify what the future holds. And to some extent no-one can. Because it does depend on whom we elect in a future Scotland, regardless of our constitutional status.
And then you look at the opinion polls from England. Man they hate us. They think we leech off the state (much like the immigrants they despise), and they think we should only spend our own money. And for all that I like to think there are regional variations, it turns out, not so much. There’s a slight wavering towards Scotland being nice the further north you get, but only very very slightly.
And then the report that led to all this – which was inspired by the West Lothian Question – and did do a good job of trying to point out that it isn’t really a problem – is the McKay Commission. Which recommends that English only laws should be subject to a majority of English MPs, even though all MPs should get to debate and discuss.
And all I can think is that this just plays into the hands of the nationalists and UKIP. England resents Scotland. And English laws shouldn’t even risk ever being influenced by Scottish MPs (even though this rarely happens). Surely the simplest, neatest, most elegant solution is independence…
Now, I amn’t decided on that, but I’ve always been one to leave a relationship before I’m left. Because if I’m going to move on, I’d like to decide on that. And not risk being hurt by your rejection.