Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My thoughts

The United Kingdom has fought long and hard to preserve the right for self determination, and thus it is only right that Scotland has its referendum to decide where it wants to go in the future. But if i might just share my personal feelings really quickly, this Indyref thing is a disgrace with potentially dramatic consequences for not just the armed forces, which by the way will be hit in a very vicious way, but for the economy and for the global stance of the country. I'm absolutely convinced that Scotland has nothing to gain but much to lose from Indipendence, and i'm horrified by how many people happily follow the path to disaster traced by Alex Salmond, a man that certainly does not impress me in a good way.
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. 

Better together.


  1. I 100% agree with you on this one, the first thought defence wise for me in what will happen to the type 26 program, in the event of an independent Scotland.

  2. I agree. A yes vote will be a disaster for my country. A union of 307 years that has created the best armed services in the world. We don't have the biggest army or the equipment we need , but man for man we have the best quality people anywhere. A year ago 75% of Scots were not contemplating this vote and it's through the incompetence of Westminister who have allowed this to happen. The same people who have tried to disband our forces and shred them to pieces. All polls point to a no vote but it's all down to turnout and if many in the no side will turn out. We will see

  3. I have had the huge displeasure of meeting Mr Salmond, and a more disagreeable little ass it would be difficult to find. He has, in my opinion, all the makings of a petty dictator supported by the heathen crowd of vile thugs that surround him. He's an unmitigated disaster for the UK and Scotland.......and poison to everything the UK Armed Forces stand for!

  4. Well said, Gaby. Got it in one!

    Can't help agreeing too with everything Anonymous says about Salmond and what Russell Vattani says about the incompetence of Westminster allowing it to happen.

    Here's hoping for the right result.

  5. I'm very nervous too, and hope for a solid No vote. I also hope for a more viable Union structure in the future, with federalism not only for the Home Nations, but the English regions too.

    I have to say though, I am very disappointed by the standards of the campaigns. Better Together seemed very reactive, and disorganised. The Yes camp, with their "Everything will be fine!" and "Scotland way-hay!" attitude was juvenile.

  6. It seems that we have a strong no vote leading by double figures. All I can say is what a relief. Most of those who voted yes will carry on as normal now. A hard core of Scottish nationalists will now hopefully be on the back foot . The structure of the Uk will change , maybe for the better in the long run. Like the seperatists in Quebec , the SNP will now dwindle

  7. "If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, this, was their finest hour." So happy and relieved that my country voted to retain this great Union, and with a larger margin than I dared hope for. May this bond which has served us for over three hundred years, and which many thousands of British soldiers, sailors and airmen have died to defend, last for many years to come.

  8. This is a new dawn, I am joyful that we have got through this, but now we must pester our politicians for change. All of us must ensure we unite our Union. We have it in us to prove the Nationalist wrong. As Murray said for independence so I say for democratic change ... "Let`s do this..."
    As for our forces, we need to be prepared to accept the "Peoples" will. We may need to make further sacrifice in our capability. But having stared down the barrel of seeing the Union dissolve I would prefer a couple of points lost on Defence than a Union split apart. Ships can be built in a few years. Training can be done over a decade. But our Union is centuries old, we have all to protect that.

  9. Thanks. And very well said. When shall we be expecting you to move in ?
    Britishness can be a bit incidious, I fear your getting infected.

    Stiff drink and a cold shower youll be fine.

    Still I'm quite touched.


  10. I too was nervous and much relieved by the No vote. All I can say is that Alex Salmond is probably the luckiest person in Scotland. If the "Yes' vote had got up his nonsensical vision of Scotland would have been rapidly exposed as economic fantasy.


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