Friday, October 21, 2011

Okay Alex, you win

I have changed my mind on Independence.

For me, there were always two arguments against independence. The first was the matter of my family ties to England. Naturally, this argument remains unchanged.

However, the second argument was economic - I didn't see how an independent Scotland would be at all better off, especially in the current global environment. And given the nature of my job, it seemed likely that I would have to move to England to find work. While I have nothing in principle against living in England again, I didn't want to be forced into doing so.

Unfortunately, I have gradually become disillusioned with the government in Westminster to a point where the economic argument can no longer hold. George Osborne is quite clearly incompetent - although the argument for cuts was extremely strong, he's managed to implemented them in exactly the worst way possible, hurting a lot of people for no benefit, and he now clearly has no Plan B.

Meanwhile, we've had the government launch yet another interventionist war in Libya (that seems to have gone okay... but how long until the civil war?), and we've had yet another betrayal on tuition fees for students.

That in itself wouldn't be a deal-breaker, if I saw any hope on the other side of the house. But Ed Milliband is a lightweight, of no more substance than David Cameron. Worse, he's surrounded by most of the same people who were so disasterous in the last years of the Labour government. Their record on the economy was equally horrible, their record on civil liberties was nothing short of a disgrace... and don't get me started on Harriet Harman.

And, of course, it was the Labour government who took the almost unforgivable steps of first introducing tuition fees, and then adding top-up fees (this latter passed only with support of Scottish MPs, when it was properly an England-only matter). Basically, they opened the door for the current government to devastate our future.

So, given that I would rather not vote than vote for any of the Big Three parties, given that the current government have turned out to be a complete disaster, and given that the current arrangement is still the best available option of a really bad bunch, and given that I see no hope for change... the argument for independence has become overwhelming.

And frankly, England should be joining us.

(I will note, however, that I reserve the right to change my mind again, should circumstances change. In politics, making a U-turn is regarded as a bad thing. In real life, it's called rational thinking.)

#29: "Empire of Silver", by Conn Iggulden

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