I don't quite manage to fully imagine how disturbing it must be for so many britons, with how worried i am myself, even though i'm from far away. As i look in from the outside, i'm praying that the No wins. Literally praying. I can't take the uncertainty anymore, and i'm eager to get this over with and learn the final result.
If it is this disturbing for me, i can imagine it must be real bad for many of you, much more closely touched by the events.
For the armed forces, IndyRef is a big bullet to dodge, with the second being the next spending review and SDSR. Staying united is vital for the future, because a break up will be painful and will lead to more cuts and more fine soldiers, sailors and airmen being forced out despite their loyal service. It goes well beyond the issue of Faslane, and i hope that people understand it... even if it's evident that too many do not get it at all. SNP has moaned the reduction of military footprint in Scotland, yet their fantasy plan, even if it works (and i think it has no chances to), will result in further shrinkage of capability. A "fuck logic" moment, and only one of many others.
What worries me, and surprises me in the worst possible sense of the word, is that the result is so uncertain. It is scary to me that it is such a close race, and that there is such division, and that i hear people saying that the heart tells them to break out of the Union. Sincerely, i never imagined something like this.
Even if the no wins, as i hope, it looks like it will be with a small majority from what i see, and this is still bad news. It is painful to see Scotland in this state, and so divided and eager to get out. Moreover, such a tight margin is a source of enduring uncertainty: will we go through a whole new drama in a few years time? How will this issue evolve? A break up would be a disaster, but the "neverendum" scenario that already some fear would be just as bad and in some ways worse.
From a purely armed forces focused angle, the uncertainty resulting from a narrow victory would make me hesitate a hell of a lot in going ahead with investment in Faslane, in the shipyards, in the spaceport for which Leuchars is in the shortlist of possible locations. How can huge investments be made with the real risk of turning out being money burned soon afterwards? How can the future of the armed forces, already strapped for cash, be further tied to Scotland with the risk of even greater damage if this nightmare lives on?
On the other hand, of course, not making the investments and bring stuff south of the border would only reinforce the divisions. It looks like a Lose - Lose situation. Very scary.
I hope, i pray that the No wins. I hope the young generations will prove the most Unionist, to give hopes for the future. And i hope the No ends up getting a more reassuring majority than the polls suggest so far.
But it is clear that the UK, if it stays united, will need a future policy for reinforcing cohesiveness. A federalist arrangement with greater autonomy might be the only chance to fix the relationship. It will be complex, and i only hope things can be fixed in a lasting way. I don't want the dream to end. I don't want my spiritual homeland to fall apart.
I love Scotland, but i do not think there's "Scotland the Brave" without the British Grenadiers March as well, or Heart of Oak and A Life on the Ocean Wave.
The world is watching and hoping, and the friends of the UK are all, for good reasons, hoping that Unity will eventually win.
The only countries who really like the Yes option are enemies of the UK and of all the britons have stood for in the centuries. This should be a telling sign. They know that the breaking of the Union will only leave behind two smaller, weaker countries, and a western world in even deeper crisis.