|Original Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA|
Should Scotland stay within the U.K.? Or should it go it alone?There has always been a dislike with being part of the British experience up North. The history has been martial, brutal, and bloody. (Ah, England.) But, for the most part, it has seemed the rank and file of Scotland have accepted their position, and had their impact on the U.K. Some have chaffed at being in the union, but most have embraced it.
At this point in the night it seems that, barring a surprise showing in the last 15 declarations, the answer from Scotland should be No. But it looks like it won't be a clear refusal of leaving the United Kingdom. Likely it will be in the 50% range. Close.
That isn't a resounding call for union. More a disgruntled call.
From all I've heard, up to a year or so ago, this wasn't even a concern. But the last years of conservative governance in the United Kingdom have been damaging. Damaging to the Scottish ties, and damaging to the nation's infrastructure.
Austerity. You may heard mention of the term here in the United States, but I first heard this buzzword from the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron. It's meant slashes the National Health Service (NHS). It's meant the privatizing of mail service. It's meant cutting and cutting of service. Cameron has gone with a gusto after social support and government services.
This has ticked off many in England. It's damn well pissed off many in Scotland. Scotland has long since set up it's own parliament for certain matters. But the Westminster set has been of value. Cameron has been dismantling that value. Some have made it clear that when the NHS was slashed, it was a breaking point.
In the last year the support for independence rose.
As a result Cameron, and other politicians, began an offensive. They were like jilted lover. Flowers. Sweet words.
But, as we all love, Scotland wanted presents. So promises of change have been made. More support. More power for the Scottish Parliament. The power to tax. Protection for the NHS in Scotland.
There have also been threats. Like a promise that the British Pound would be withdrawn from Scotland.
Over the last months the polling has been moving to balance out as a split. Perhaps these promises will make the difference. Perhaps it was always going to come down to a close No.
A historic schism of the U.K. is not likely now. But, if promises are kept, a historically more independent and empowered Scotland will continue within the U.K.
And if changes aren't coming for Scotland and national services, there can always be another referendum.