So, I’m supposed to be doing some serious editing right now, but after today’s result I’m having trouble concentrating.
I would have voted Yes. No one is more surprised at that than me; in fact, in the (many) years leading up to the referendum, I would have said No. Not that anyone would have given a shit: I live in England and didn’t get a vote. But because I live in England, I could see the huge difference in quality of life north of the border. Yes, the Scots pay more tax, but they get a hell of a lot of bang for their buck. Free education and an (actually) free NHS are the best of them, but there’s plenty more. So, No would have been sensible, you know? And then there was all the uncertainty, the Euro boogeyman, and the really shitty campaigns on both sides - that I’m just too busy ironing shirts and wiping drool to have any kind of opinion; that’s my husband’s job woman was undoubtedly the top banana, although she had plenty competition.
Of course it’s easier to stay part of the UK. Just like it’s easier to never move out of the house you grew up in, or to stay in an alright job because you don’t hate it and the money’s good. It’s also easier to pretend that you can live with what that security costs you. And while folk might argue that it would have been pretty bloody easy for me to say Yes, when I wouldn’t have had to immediately live with the consequences, I’m pretty sure that an England without Scotland would have been a pretty shitty place. I mean, for a start, I vote Labour.
The Scots are funny and stubborn and hard and proud and brilliant, but throughout history we’ve also done a bang up job of sabotaging ourselves, most often when we’re so close to getting what we deserve. I’m not saying that that’s what has happened; as it goes, I’m actually even more proud of Scotland, and especially Glasgow, today than I was yesterday, and I was always absolutely prepared to stand by whatever decision the majority of us made.
But in the past couple of years I’ve come to believe absolutely that you should never say no. That you should grab hold of any and every opportunity, the scarier and more uncertain the better. It’s not separatist or divisive or ungrateful to want independence. It’s about finally growing up and going out into the world, and discovering what you’re made of. It would have been a brilliant adventure.