One of the few plusses of the Neverendum campaign (less than a month to go!) is that it's got me reading a bit more Scottish history. At the moment it's David Allan's Scotland in the Eighteenth Century and he is describing the attempts to have the Treaty of Union repealed:-
In June 1713, for example, the most unlikely temporary alliance coalesced at Westminster to engineer the repeal of the treaty...their utterly contradictory motives, ranging from anti-government pique and covert Stuart dynasticism to a partisan desire to maintain the Presbyterian's clergy grip on the Scottish church, indicates that their opposition to the treaty, and articulation of the conventional patriotic affinities which invariably went along with it, was essentially opportunistic - merely a useful means by which a set of individuals pursued a wide variety of mutually exclusive ends.
Nothing much has changed. Here's from a No campaigner, Catriona Headley :-
In June, I read a newspaper article which had interviews with a number of Yes voters from across the political spectrum. It included a farmer, a billionaire, a woman from the radical independence campaign, a young man from Easterhouse and an Edinburgh financier.
They all had their own bold vision for an independent Scotland, but it was very much their own. When the Edinburgh financier’s vision of a ‘right-leaning country’ was put the woman from the radical independence campaign, she said “that’s just not going to happen”. When the radical independence campaign’s vision was put to the financier, he rolled his eyes and described them as “the mad fringe left”. Even in an independent Scotland there will be arguments about the choices we make and not everyone will be happy. I’m sure that even in Norway there are people who are unhappy about the choices their politicians make.
I think that for many voting Yes, independence is a blank canvas to project all of their hopes and dreams upon. Either they do not consider the down sides or they don’t care because independence is worth any down side.
Also from Scotland in the Eighteenth Century:-
the necessary preconception that nationhoods must by nature be exclusive - that, in other words, a commitment to Britishness is incompatible with the retention of Scottishness - appears to have been unfamiliar to most Scots after the mid-eighteenth century who cared to vent their patriotic feelings.
Which is what someone told me the other night - that they were happy being Scottish, valued the separate culture of Scotland but they wanted to stay British as well.