Scottish Independence: Yay, Nae or Nae Bothered?

Does anybody care about wee Scotland’s independence? It’s a good question – but recent polls have shown that the answer is probably no. A survey showed that 46% of Scots “don’t really mind”. Not fantastic ground for Alex Salmond’s passionate campaign for an independent Scotland, which he’s been harping on about for the better part of six months. Of course a lot of us try to have an opinion, try to pick a side – but in reality, will a Scotland free from British rule really have a positive impact? Currently, Scotland do have their own legislature, affecting education, health and the economy, but it’s difficult to say whether they have any effective impact. Perhaps having more power over running their own country would improve the state of the education system (which it’s fair to say, is currently in shambles). Or perhaps it would have the opposite effect, if it is revealed that the government is inept to manage an entire country by itself and everyone will find out that the Emperor has no clothes (Alex Salmond being the emperor, for symbolism’s sake). Economically speaking, will Scotland survive? We all know the state of the Republic of Ireland’s economy. Does Scotland want that simply for the sake of freedom from Britain? Salmond seems hellbent on making an Independent Scotland his legacy. But is it for the good of Scotland – or for the good of his ego?

As a girl from Belfast City, transplanted in Edinburgh (slap bang, it’s fair to say, in the hub of the reaction) I have had to carve out some sort of opinion on it. I know a little bit about a country campaigning for independence- Northern Ireland’s history with its campaign for freedom from British rule is the steaming magma to Scotland’s flickering flame. There are a myriad of differences between them, obviously; Britain was tyrannical with the Irish. Because Scotland has always shared an island with England, there’s never been much unrest.

I can’t say I’m informed enough to write authoritatively about it. If Scotland becomes independent, it would be a shame. Northern Ireland would have to make awkward conversation with Wales while England counted its money in the driver’s seat. But it’s understandable why people would want to be separate from Britain – I wanted to as well, once upon a time. It’s all up to the people now: will they go for change, gambling on an unsure thing in the hope it goes right? Or will they (understandably) stay safe ensconced in the United Kingdom? Only time will tell.

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