“So how do you feel about Scottish Independence?” I have internally groaned every single time that I’ve heard this question since starting Cambridge last October, knowing that I would have to explain that I haven’t quite made my mind up yet. I received my postal ballot yesterday and I still haven’t.
To many my indecision is surprising – how can I possibly think that an independent Scotland is in any way a good idea? And to be honest two years ago I would have agreed with them. Ever since they announced that there was going to be an Independence Referendum and set the date for the 18th of September 2014, I had been dead set against an independent Scotland, scoffing at the determined nationalists. But how I do I feel now? Well I’m not too sure anymore.
The debates haven’t helped, other than to make me wish at times there was a third option that wasn’t associated with the Conservatives or SNP. The surge of Scottish pride I felt in the stands at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to cheer on English and Welsh athletes as they closed in on medals. I wouldn’t describe myself as patriotic, at least not in the slightly disturbing ‘hand on heart whilst singing the national anthem’ kind of patriotic. I have always thought of myself as both Scottish and British, with family on either side of the border.
Ultimately I do want a fairer Scotland, regardless of whether I end up living here after finishing university, and I do think that’s most likely to be accomplished when all of the decisions that shape life in Scotland are made in Scotland. But am I 100% certain that Scottish independence will be successful and not end in financial and political turmoil? No, I am not.
I think that’s the crux of the problem for me and many other voters who remain undecided, that there’s no way we can know with 100% certainty what will happen in the next five or fifty years if Scotland gains independence, or if it doesn’t. Only time will tell if the decisions made on the 18th of September are the right ones for Scotland; but we, the undecided voters, will have to make ours either way.