Open Unionism invited leading Scottish blogger Scots Subrosa to reprise a recent post on own her site where she considered the issue of Scottish independence – and she warns that supporters of independence ‘will not be intimidated by unionist scaremongering’… (this post will be counterpointed later with a review of Tony Gallagher’s book ‘The Illusion of Freedom’)
[picapp src=”f/e/5/6/Home_Rule_Posters_484c.jpg?adImageId=6960965&imageId=4333762″ width=”380″ height=”392″ /]
This is part of a post I wrote for my own blog recently and I thought it may be of interest to those who wonder about Scotland and its future.
Often I am asked my opinion about independence for Scotland, be it ‘if it will happen’ or ‘when it will happen’.
My answer is yes it will happen and I live in the hope it will happen in my lifetime, assuming I live another 20 years.
The main reason for my slight scepticism regarding the timing, is the voting habits of the electorate. It is common knowledge that older people are more inclined to vote than younger generations.
Scotland’s Population (2006)
It is also well documented that the younger generations are prepared to embrace independence whereas those of my generation and above (21% of the population), if they don’t support independence now, they are very unlikely to change their minds and they are the age group which considers it a duty and privilege to vote.
The support for independence has risen from around 23% to 35% in recent years and much of this increase can be attributed to the efficient and professional manner with which the SNP has governed in the past two years and more. Will it increase in the very near future? No, not enough to make a difference, because we need 15-20% more to support the case. Younger groups, where there could be a slight increase, appear to be far more flexible and open to change than those of my own age and I certainly see hope for independence coming from them, but until today’s over 60s die off, the percentage voting for independence will not reach the 51% that is needed for a mandate to push ahead.
Of course none of the above should deter us from having a referendum, when the time is right, about Scotland’s future but it must include the independence question. The SNP government need at least another term in Holyrood before a referendum should be considered. Roughly a third of voters support Scotland being an independent nation and they cannot be ignored, no matter how much the unionist parties wish the SNP and independence supporters would just walk off a cliff.
We need more information but it is difficult to state policy because our initial independence policies will be associated with the arrangements made with the Westminster government. Until now Westminster has refused to even acknowledge the possibility that the Scots may want to go it alone, but they are worried. Supporters of independence know every dirty trick in the book will be thrown at them during the referendum campaign, but they shall no longer be intimidated by unionist scaremongering, as it can and does work in their favour these days.