When I started this blog I wrote
I hope No Thanks! will be a short life blog that’s not needed after 18 September. We shall see.
I thought for a long time that my last entry would be a short one that said something like ‘The reason for this blog is over. I will leave it here for any interest people have for as long as WordPress allow but there will be no more entries.’
If there had been a Yes vote no doubt I would have wanted to sound off about the consequences. But that would have been a different blog or even in other places than the web. In the event of a No vote my assumption was that the deed would be done and the need no longer there.
I’m not so sure now.
In my previous post entitled How very dare they? The response of the Yes campaign to defeat I noted that although 45% of votes were cast for independence, given a turnout of 85%, only a minority of 38% of the voting age population voted Yes to the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’
Why 15% of the populaton didn’t vote will no doubt be the subject of academic study but they can scarcely be counted as positively wanting independence.
The surprising thing, for me, is the extent to which an unknown but significant proportion of the 38% seem to be unwilling to accept the result and, as they say, ‘move on.’ I can understand the emotional commitment that many have to independence/separation. What I find difficult to take is the number who
- believe the result was somehow rigged in the way ballot papers were distributed or counted
- believe that even if the result wasn’t directly fraudulent the activities, real or alleged, of the No campaign and/or the media and/or the UK government/political parties invalidate the result
- demand a ‘revote’ as soon as possible, either for the reasons cited above or simply because the referendum didn’t produce the ‘right’ result
- don’t believe the UK government and parties will meet their commitment to further devolution despite the steps they have already taken to do so (Seen at a demonstration in Inverness last weekend: a poster reading ‘Day 9 Still no extra powers’).
But take away all this nonsense and there is still a lot to be done to make further devolution work.
And beyond that there is the question of how a much-enlarged SNP will react once they settle down under new leadership and prepare for the next Scottish parliamentary election in 2015. Alex Salmond said a number of times during the campaign that the referendum was ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity.’ The implication of that statement is no further referendum for a long time. Whether they choose or are able to hold to that position is another matter.
So I’ve made the decision to keep this blog going, at least until the SNP in their next Scottish election manifesto confirm that they will not seek a mandate for a referendum in the life of that parliament from 2015 to 2019. The result is a modest rejigging of its title and the content of the About page.
The next post in the revamped The Nation says No Thanks! blog will be a review of what’s been liked and disliked on it so far.