On Thursday, Scotland decides the future of the United Kingdom and it looks as though the result will be much closer than anyone anticipated.
Throughout the contest the ‘Yes’ campaign have made a number of statements which could be considered misleading, but what has been far more disappointing has been the failure of the ‘Better Together’ campaign to show a brighter future for Scotland in the UK.
Yet, Scotland’s issues aren’t noticeably different from those living in the rest of the UK. Scottish voters have been polled extensively over recent months and the issues which have kept coming up are much the same as those I hear from residents on the doorstep; they’re worried about the NHS, they want an economy with better job opportunities and which addresses the increasing gap between wages and the cost of living, and they’re concerned about what’s happening to the education system.
The recent narrowing of the polls says far more about what is going on in the UK as a whole than it does Scottish nationalism.
If it continues to become harder for people to maintain their quality of life in the UK, if the county continues to become a less fair place and if we struggle to see things getting any better for the next generation, that affects residents in Crawley just as much as it does voters in Cumbernauld.
The SNP took control of the Scottish Government in 2007, yet despite being committed to holding a referendum on independence it wasn’t until their second term—with a Conservative Government securely embedded in Westminster—that they kicked off the campaign. I was in Scotland over the Summer and as one Scot put it to me: if you had the chance to get rid of the Tories forever, what would you do?
Ultimately, the UK Government’s inability to show that a united kingdom can be more than a place where cuts to services are coupled with tax cuts for millionaires may well cost us all. Depending upon what Scotland decides on Thursday, David Cameron may well go down in history as the Prime Minister who broke Britain.