Ever since the debate became serious a few years ago, I've been hoping that Scotland votes 'no'. This is mainly for two reasons:
- I have been hoping to see borders coming down, not new ones going up. Borders divide 'us' from 'them' and are usually as a result of some form of conflict. Borders divide us and are used to control us. I don't like borders.
- The way the debate has been conducted. I don't trust Salmond. Much of the debate has been fuelled (pardon the pun) by the fact that oil and gas off the coast of Scotland boosts the UK economy as a whole and many Scottish people would prefer this to be kept to themselves. But it will run out in time. The campaign has become very much one of 'them' vs 'us' and puts all English people on the wrong side. I like Scotland and want what's best for Scotland and I don't like being one of 'them'. Especially when 'them' are Tories and the contented (yet oddly grouchy) upper middle class and landed gentry.
Despite this, I would love to have the opportunity to vote for something that has the potential to mean real change to the political landscape. The Tories are supported by the wealthy and others who don't want to pay taxes that might benefit anyone other than themselves. Yet repeatedly we have their ideals forced upon all of us, whether by a Tory government, a Tory-led coalition or a Labour party following a general right-ward shift of mainstream British politics since the late 1970s.
I think that if people in the north of England (where I was raised and have now returned to from Scotland) had the opportunity to break off from Westminster, many would vote for it. And it wouldn't just be the north: people all over England feel that the last few governments have served a few rich people in London and the 'home counties' and for the most part, ignored the rest.
So although I still hope Scotland votes 'no', if they vote 'yes', I'll seriously consider moving back up there.