Alex Massie Alex Massie

Is Scotland confident enough to vote No?

We hold this truth to be self-evident: we are not an oppressed people. We have some liberty to chart our own course. We are, after all, choosing our path this week. We do not crave self-determination because we have always had that power. And many others besides that significant liberty. We are a free people.

This is obvious yet also something worth recalling in these final hours. I have my own reasons for voting No on Thursday and, in truth, they have little to do with very much that has been said by the official Better Together campaign.

But this kind of choice, this kind of referendum, inevitably prods one towards endorsing one team or the other. It is Rangers or Celtic and, in the end, there’s no room for Partick Thistle or Queens Park or anyone else.

I think, like Peter Jones, that the economic prospectus peddled by the Scottish government is a fantastical, deplorable, deception. At least in the short-to-medium term. But that’s, perhaps, only what one might expect from a campaign that has to promise the earth. A necessary reason to vote No, you might think, but not necessarily a sufficient one.

So it comes down to mood and feel and gut and heart and all these other intangible prompts. What kind of country are we? What kind of country should we wish to be?

For many Yes voters this is an easy matter. Scotland is a country; it should be a state too. A simple view, easily-grasped. And not an idiotic one either. Yet it does not, in the end, quite persuade me. Perhaps because I don’t much care for borders (while being fiercely partisan towards the Borders). Perhaps, too, it’s because I see little prospect of my preferred kinds of politics thriving anywhere that I’m unimpressed by appeals to vote this way or ‘tother to advance any specific political end or sentiment.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in