Friday, 19 September 2014

3 observations - then normal service resumes

Now the referendum is over this blog will get back to normal service in providing local news for constituents and others - after a few comments below.

I confess I was not expecting the margin of 55% to 45%.  The razzmatazz of what was a spectacular Yes presence on the streets - indeed, largely a spectacular campaign, flattered to deceive.  And I was deceived, expecting it to be much closer.  But that showy presence, along with some less helpful parts of the campaign alarmed enough people to ensure they voted No.  Much has been made of the fear of an unknown, uncertain future, implying we are timid and lack the bold belief in ourselves.  At times, I think there is some truth in that, but there is another thing here.  The prospect of separation has reminded us of the benefits of our union and democracy which it is too easy to take for granted.  A lack of appreciation for the benefits and the stability we have in being a part of a 300 year union eems to me a greater error than excessive timidity.

Secondly, I want to say thank you to those who, from the opposite side of this argument, have engaged and chatted on the streets, outside polling stations and on doorsteps with great good humour and friendship.  I know we agree on many other things.

Changes lie ahead.  Particularly, I look forward to the change (and it is at least in part in the already agreed Scotland Act of 2012) which will enable the Scottish Government to raise the taxes it spends.  That will bring a welcome accountability which has been absent from what has been a spending government, largely free from the difficult decisions of how to raise the money it spends.

Now back to normal service.

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