By R.F. Morrison The YES campaign can win the emotional vote for Independence. It will never win the economic vote as long as it continues to play to the rules of the British Establishment and the ...
|Scooped by Peter A Bell|
While I agree with everything R.F. Morrison says about the way the banking collapse should have been handled and the need for radical reform of the banking system, I have to stress that this is not what the referendum is about.
We are getting into a situation where everybody is starting to hitch their pet issues to the referendum vote - from Nato membership to an independent currency to the content of a written constitution and more. Combined with the anti-independence campaign's efforts make the vote all about Alex Salmond and the SNP, there is a real danger that the waters will be muddied beyond redemption.
There are two related but quite distinct debates going on, each centred around a different process. There is the debate around the process of BECOMING independent. And there is the debate around the process of BEING independent. When we engage with a topic we should be absolutely clear about the question of where it belongs in terms of these two debates.
Matters of policy beyond that which is required to facilitate BECOMING independent belong in the debate about what happens afterwards - the debate about BEING independent. It is pointless and confusing to talk as if a Yes vote were a vote for reform of the banking system - or a vote for getting rid of the monarchy, for another example - when it is not and cannot be any such thing.
It is equally pointless, and frankly rather foolish to insist, as some do, that the SNP and/or Yes Scotland should be adopting a more radical stance. As has been pointed out repeatedly, Yes Scotland doesn't "do" policy. And the current administration has no mandate beyond securing the referendum and managing the negotiations and transition in the event of a Yes vote. It has no mandate to launch an independent currency. It has no mandate to make Scotland a republic. It has no mandate to take Scotland out of the EU. And it has no mandate to carry out a massive overhaul of the banking system.
The present Scottish Government cannot be more than the agency by which Scotland BECOMES independent, thereby securing for the people of Scotland the power to decide what BEING independent will mean.
By all means, let us have a conversation about what BEING independent might involve in terms of particular areas of policy. But let us always be absolutely clear about the fact that we will NOT be voting for any of these policies on 18 September 2014, any more than we will be voting for a political party or personality. Discussion of the promise and potential of BEING independent is healthy and important. But the process of BECOMING independent is crucial and pre-eminent. Let's be sure to keep the two parallel but separate until we have secured the restoration of our nation's rightful constitutional status.