In almost exactly a year's time, everyone aged sixteen and over who lives in Scotland will get the chance to vote in a referendum to decide whether they should go it alone, and be independent of the rest of the United Kingdom, ending over three-hundred years of formal union. I don't live in Scotland, so I have no say or influence. But whatever decision is arrived at affects me and everyone living in the UK, on lots of levels. Just the simple question of what this country will be called if Scotland gets a divorce is a very serious one, though I won’t trouble you with it now. And there are loads more things to think about over and above that one.
There is a huge part of me that is a real fan of the idea. Yes, go Scotland! Shake off the yoke of the English oppressor, stand up as yourself and show the world just how great you are. Scots have invented many of the world's most important things, Scots have created some of our most beguiling and skilful literature, art and music, Scots have adventured and discovered (in the age of adventure and discovery) punching well above their weight, Scots have shown their criminal dark side with at least equal merit to their southern cousins, Scots are to be reckoned with. After all, is it not a Scot (who we in England choose to suddenly call British because it’s convenient to do so) who’s Wimbledon champion right now?
I like to think of an independent Scotland getting rightful credit from its place in the world, getting the benefit of its own resources and skills, and collectively making the right decisions for its own future. Scotland should fly its own flag; something to stand under, proudly eating deep-fried pizza, neaps and tatties, drinking Irn-Bru, Grouse and Tennants Extra, singing 'Flower of Scotland' to the famously screechy pipe-driven backing track. Who cares if they have one of the lowest life expectancies in Europe, it would still be a good one and that’s nothing to be sniffed at.
So, yes, I'm a fan.
But wait, there are other, contrary implications too. We, as a nation, would be the poorer for not having our wonderful neighbours sleeping snuggly in bed with us. How would it be for us to wake up (to doggedly continue with the metaphor) and find that side of the bed cold and unslept-in? They may not like us that much (and let's face it, who can blame them?) but we, down south, need them whatever we may say. In fact, we need each other and we know it, even if we’d never quite admit it.
If we were to lose Scotland's representation at Westminster we would be condemned to perpetual government by the toffs and Slytherin wankers of the Conservative party. Without Scotland in the UK we would just have a red and white flag (nothing wrong with that I know, I mean, one of my favourite countries, and the home countries of some of my favourite people put up with that very well), and while blue is a long way from being a favourite colour of mine, it works in our weird Union Jack. If Scotland were no longer in the UK, we would be devastatingly the poorer culturally, we would lose most of whatever gravitas we actually have in the world, our institutions would have to change for the worse because of a sudden imbalance in how we're put together and what makes us tick.
But we could give that twat Rod Stewart back, so it's not all bad!
If the big vote was tomorrow, as I understand it, the result would be more or less divided equally three ways (not easy in a simple 'yes - no' ballot!) with about a third of Scots still undecided. That means it's still all to play for whichever camp you choose to fall into.
As I said, I don't know what I want most or least. There are valid and sensible arguments on both sides. You can change people's minds with good reasoning, even if you 'cannae change the laws of physics!'
I think, as this coming year rolls on, it could all become quite messy. Beam me up until it's all over.