1) We can share in the successes of Team GB in London 2012 (and again at Rio 2016), as well as remembering the extraordinary sacrifices of men from both sides of the Border who fought shoulder-to-shoulder against tyranny in two world wars and mourned the passing of comrades, whether hailing from Edinburgh or Essex. Many of us cheered and enjoyed the sight of seeing our closest kith and kin, England, top of the Commonwealth medal board, heartened also by Scotland’s outstanding performances.
2) There are enormous benefits in pooling resources: a stronger, richer, more diverse BBC; embassies around the globe drumming-up business from Britain; a powerful Armed Forces able to safeguard our shores and intervene to stop bloodthirsty fanatics slaughtering innocents; a secure, well-supported currency that has weathered the financial crisis much better than the Euro…
3) Then, there are the tens of millions frittered away on campaigning. The cost of white papers, studies, leaflets, billboards, offices, pollsters, airwaves, staff… £13.3 million on running the referendum, £5.2 million for “Better Together” and £4.5 million for “Yes Scotland”. That doesn’t include funds that Labour or the Conservatives have spent contesting the referendum (estimated £2.75m based on pre-agreed limits), or the policing required (i.e. investigations into death threats and online abuse, as well as presence at campaign rallies). In terms of the other campaign groups, Business for Scotland were found to have been given £199,120, Christians for Independence £100,000, No Borders Campaign £75,000 and Mr. Angus MacDonald, £25,000. In total, at the very least, that’s £26.15 million.
4) If the SNP really believed in social justice, they would have spent every penny on alleviating poverty, improving training opportunities and creating work projects for the jobless. If the SNP truly wanted a better, more beautiful Scotland, every volunteered second they wasted manning stalls or shoving junk mail through doors they could have spent picking-up litter, weeding flowerbeds or cleaning-up derelict land. Instead of time, effort and intellect wasted on to trying to out-argue the opposing side, all this could be better spent developing improved public services and a fairer society. How many hours, how much money have been frittered away chasing castles in the sky? We’ve endured seven years of SNP rule and Scotland is still the worst-performing Western European country with regards to health and wealth, the poorest and the sickest. In fact, a leaked report claims that Salmond is planning £450 million of NHS spending cuts following the referendum!
I’m not endorsing the status quo. Bring on a federal United Kingdom where Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish people all have more influence over the issues that affect them. However, let’s keep the family together and work out our differences peacefully, rather than being ripped apart by a once-forever, messy divorce.