Westminster’s Abusive Relationship with Scotland

Originally posted on the RIC Aberdeen blog.

Last week, David Cameron’s speech invoked the pleas of an abusive partner: “I want you to stay! Remember the good times! Forget about the harm. Our future together is bright.”

Today’s announcement by George Osbourne follows the same theme of abuse: “We want you to stay – but we’ll hurt you if you leave.”

While this kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach may frighten some voters, it is equally likely to spark anger and a stronger case for Yes. The narrative of uncertainty is a risky choice. What certainty can the UK government offer Scotland? More austerity? More inequality? More nuclear weapons?

In essence, Scotland is choosing between two futures. While there is the chance of voter apathy due to ‘fear fatigue,’ the Yes campaign offers a positive vision – and Barack Obama has demonstrated the power of hope. Obviously Scotland is a different political landscape than the US, but the high number of grassroots activists on the Yes side indicate a similar pattern. Conversely, the No side relies mainly on high-status spokespeople and media exposure, lacking the ‘common touch’ – which itself is an argument for Independence.

Do the Scottish people really want to continue living under politicians they did not vote for, who treat them with such contempt? It’s time for Scotland to leave this abusive relationship and step into a future where we can make our own choices.

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