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Those residing in Scotland will be voting on independence on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

The SNP’s Yes campaign has been emotional with a paucity of firm answers regarding currency, pensions and other money-related matters. Alex Salmond has promised much.

The No (Better Together) campaign led by former Chancellor, Labour’s Alistair Darling, also Scottish, has presented a more realistic (less optimistic) economic prediction for an independent Scotland.

We have been united since 1707. A number of Scots believe the Union is no longer fit for purpose. The Yes camp remembers Margaret Thatcher, whose premiership ended in November 1990. Their rhetoric includes numerous references to ‘Westminster’, thought by some to really refer to the English.

Yet, the facts are that Scots have been at the head of Westminster for most of the past 20 years. From May 1997 to May 2010, we had Tony Blair, then Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. We also had two Scots as Chancellors of the Exchequer during that time: Gordon Brown followed by Alistair Darling. Our media are also very much Scottish with household names such as Andrew Marr, Eddie Mair, Andrew Neil, Fraser Nelson, the various Kirsties and many more; the list is long.

The SNP/Labour voting Scots might be upset that we now have a Conservative Prime Minister — David Cameron (also part Scottish) — presiding over a Coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. However, we will have a general election in May 2015. This could well change in favour of Labour (again!).

On the other hand, a vote for Scottish independence is for generations to come, not just for another five years.

Who knows what could happen following a Yes vote? For several months, various industry sectors have been warning against independence. The Guardian cites two:

On Saturday, leading telecoms companies, including BT and Vodafone, joined those firms warning that independence would have negative consequences, saying they could face increased costs if Scotland voted yes. In a joint statement, six telecoms company chief executives said they might need to “modify the services offered in Scotland, given its relatively demanding topography and relatively low population density. Any of these factors could lead to increased industry costs.”

On Saturday, Salmond fuelled an acrimonious row over the alleged leaking of Royal Bank of Scotland‘s intention to relocate to England from an independent Scotland by claiming that he had uncovered evidence of foul play by the Treasury.

Each camp — Yes and No — has accused the other of going over the top in campaigning, which has led to physical violence on occasion. The aforementioned Guardian article goes on to say:

In a separate clash, shadow [Labour] business secretary Chuka Umunna, described comments by leading yes campaigner Jim Sillars in which he warned of a “day of reckoning” for anti-independence businesses as “a complete disgrace”. Umunna added: “Seek to win by the strength of your argument, not through ugly rhetoric.”

In the comments following the article, reader NotSoYummyMummy said:

I have always been so proud of my country, so utterly convinced that we were inherently fair and decent.

You have no idea how utterly disillusioned I am.

Reader Nick2611 sees trouble ahead:

OK – the scenario I see if the yes people win is this:

* Huge unnecessary expenditure in the public service area due to the cost of the “divorce” leading to even poorer services at a time when (rightly) public expenditure has had to be reduced.

* Depression of both the UK and the Scottish economies leading to increase in unemployment

* Devaluation of pound leads to increased inflation

* Both the UK remainder and Scotland blame the other side for the economic woes and reduction in quality of life and disposable income

* Severe backlash against Scots in UK remainder — (what are we, Little Britain)?

* Increased bitterness in Scotland against the English

* British “brand” and influence so severely undermined that our ability to influence European Union is further reduced leading to an eventual exit from the EU and an even poorer economic outlook.

* Severe decline for (no longer Great) Britain on both sides of the border

Overall just what we do not want as we are at last beginning to come out of the longest period of economic stagnation in recent history.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pond, journalism professor David R Wheeler thinks the United States should replace Scotland and become part of the Union. He recently wrote the following for CNN:

I realize that Americans fought a bloody war of independence from England in the late 1700s, but our rifts have healed over the past 240 years. In 2013, the Pew Research Center reported that England topped America’s list of favorite nations, in a near-tie with our beloved northern neighbor, Canada.

In the past few years, as America has degenerated into political and economic chaos, it has become increasingly clear that we would be far better off if we apologized for our revolt against the Crown and requested to rejoin the United Kingdom.

There are four main ways America would benefit from unification with the UK: Brits have better health, less inequality, excellent manners and — let’s face it — a superior culture. Let’s improve our quality of life by joining them.

Wheeler’s article might be tongue-in-cheek, but when an American can see the Better Together argument one has to wonder why the Yes camp does not.

Even if No wins, the Coalition and Labour are developing separate plans for DevoMax for Scotland, giving them even more regional powers for their own Parliament in Holyrood (Edinburgh). Either way, it’s a win-win for the Scots — whose Parliamentarians at Westminster can vote on English laws.

It is hoped that on Thursday, the Scots will vote with their heads over their hearts. On Sunday, the Queen echoed the prayer at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral when greeting a well-wisher:

Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.

So does the rest of the UK.


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