Not long now… In just 17 days time, on the 18th of September (2014), Scotland will vote on whether to become an independent country. Although most of the predictions say that Scotland will remain part of the union, I am slightly concerned that the outcome of the referendum could be a surprising ‘Yes to independence’. While I am in favour of devolution, to the maximum extent possible, both at home in Wales and in Scotland, I do not want to see the United Kingdom broken up.
To start with my most trivial concern, removing the Scottish Saltire (Saint Andrew’s white cross on blue) from the Union Flag would ruin the appearance of the flag. Of course it is not clear whether Scottish independence would in fact result in a change to the flag, but I do think it would be rather dull without the blue background.
There are far greater concerns however. The north sea oil and gas reserves have featured quite prominently in the debate over Scotland’s future; economics however is not one of my strong suits. I cannot understand why the economy is regarded as such an important election issue and what effects it, but as far as the Scottish independence referendum is concerned the gist seems to be if Scotland can extract enough oil and gas it will have a strong economy. As George Monbiot once said: there are enough fossil fuels left to fry us all. If Scotland becomes independent, it may well be founded on the basis of the fundamentally unsustainable continued burning of fossil fuels.
We are stronger together, in the face of threats to the natural world and national security alike; perhaps even the economy although, as I’ve already suggested, I really don’t have a clue about that. Thus, I say, the United Kingdom needs to stand united, stand tall and face it all together. They say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, I hope this is true and that we can work together to counter all the threats the world throws at us. Again, as Monboit said we need to leave the fossil fuels in the ground, an independent Scotland reliant on extracting fossil fuels for its prosperity is all we need.
I don’t often agree with members of the Conservative party, but for once the prime minister has said something I agree with wholeheartedly: Scotland, “we want you to stay”.