I’ve been avoiding writing anything about Thursday’s result because if you say anything at all people are still raw and disappointed or vitriolic and relieved. How do I feel? I’m glad the vote went the way it did obviously. I made it clear I wanted to maintain the Union we share with the other countries in the UK – but for me it may have been Westminster’s last chance. Next time, and there will be a next time, I may not vote the same way.
Before we go any further I’ve had several things on social media I wanted to comment on and rather than do it a hundred odd times I’ll say them here:
1. The so-called vote fixing and piles of votes in the wrong piles etc. Here, from someone who is involved in such counts are the facts about the conspiracy theories:
- Point 1-the guy who is accused of filling in votes is filling in a slip of how many in that bundle & then elastic bands it!(standard counting procedure)
- Point 2 – the Yes votes on the No table, it was confirmed on live TV (cleverly cuts out before this) that these bundles were yet to be split – therefore they were still mixed bundles & the table was only used for space until it was used for its real purpose!!
- Point 3 – the woman who is accused moving Yes votes to No – looks to me like she realised she’d put them in the wrong pile then corrected them.
- Point 4 – bundles being emptied out of boxes with elastic bands – Postal Votes!! They are closely monitored & counted then re counted along with normal votes (less margin for error don’t you think)!
So all the “Recount” and “Rerun the Referendum” petitions need to grow up accept the decision of the Scottish people. There are so many observers at the counts there is little to no chance of 400,000 votes being hidden, changed, lost etc.
2. Alex Salmond’s stepping down. I did ask the question during the counts if he would step down if he lost by around 10 points, because I believed he’d done all he could. I’m not going to make a big thing about it but I’m not a fan of the man or most of his politics. But you have to respect what he has achieved in his political life. In 1992 he was ridiculed and laughed at by the establishment – today that same establishment has been rocked to the core by his achievements and his legacy could well be the federal UK.
3. The “45” gang. Grow up. Seriously, we are all one Scotland who need to accept the decision. Now this doesn’t mean I expect you to stop wanting or campaigning for Independence but the line is now drawn under Thursday’s vote so can we move on to the more important issues facing us, the UK and the wider world.
4. George Square last night. No I don’t approve, condone or like that group of idiot last night who were setting off flares, shouting abuse and using Nazi salutes. These people are idiots who don’t deserve our attention or the air time they have been given. I’m glad the Police have already rounded up a lot of them and through CCTV and other surveillance they will find a lot more. I would say that both sides need to stop these kinds of “public protests” and move on.
5. All those who have said that they are embarrassed to be Scottish need to get a grip of themselves. I am hugely impressed, proud and amazed by the Scottish people and what we have done with grassroots groups springing up everywhere – bringing people together to discuss the most important issues facing our society. We need that passion and interest to continue through into next year’s General Election and the following year’s Scottish Elections. Both Yes and No should be proud of what we achieved – true democracy.
6. Finally the Future. “They’ve already broken their promises” etc. No they haven’t. Yesterday a paper was published by Gordon Brown and once Parliament returns it will be seen. That’s part of the promised agenda.
So what does the future hold? Well that’s up to us as a nation. We have been offered further powers which Westminster must deliver or else there will be retribution at next year’s elections. We have also heard that England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to get further or new devolved powers. This is the start of a possible federal state – the best outcome in my personal view. Each individual country should make its own decisions and then come together to debate and vote on issues that effect us all. The West Lothian question is simple – vote on your own affairs. I know the Labour Party won’t like it because they need Scottish MPs to help them with English votes but this is too important to play party politics with. It means more co-operation and less of the “Punch & Judy” bollocks we’re all fed up with. Suck it up Ed and do the right thing.
I want all those new powers delivered to the Scottish Parliament as promised because for me and many others we voted on Thursday on Trust – misplaced many in the Yes camp have argued. This is their last chance to get it right, because next time – and it’ll come very soon if they renege on their promises – will be a very different outcome. Yes would romp home. But there is another Referendum that could decide things before that. In 2017, if the Tories get in again next year, we’ll have an In/Out vote on the EU. Scotland needs to be part of the EU, so if that goes against us then you might find there’s another Home Rule vote.
Lots of “ifs” at this stage but it shows that the next three years are hugely important ones in the history of these isles. If we spend all our time distracted by Thursday’s vote we may well miss the other important decisions on the horizon. We need to stand now as one Scotland and ensure the powers are delivered then we need to stand together on the issue of Europe because the Tories and UKIP will do everything they can to get us to vote No.
So let’s put our differences aside, stand and work together for the good of our country. Hold your views freely but don’t let them divide what is a strong and brilliant country.