Tuesday, 19 August 2014
I'm referring, of course, to the Referendum as to whether Scotland should become independent.
One of the first things anyone learns who is doing a job which involves advocacy of any sort is that in order to win an argument you must first know and understand the other person's case or point of view. So when a friend who was round for dinner last night asked me why some Scots would wish to vote 'Yes' I embarked upon an explanation. I had little difficulty partly because my head has been here long enough to understand and partly because I spent my early years in the North West of England and people there had a similar view of being dominated by the South who, in our minds, regarded anyone north of Watford as a teuchter.
I should say that unless asked a direct question I always try to avoid the subjects of politics and religion when in company: especially the company of people who may hold strong and differing views from my own.
To cut a long story short one of the party took umbrage at the case I made and left in a towering and apparently uncontrollable rage.
Wind back the clock a few months and I joined Collaborative Scotland whose website started with the paragraph: "Whatever the outcome in September’s referendum about independence, we all need to work hard to ensure that we can live well together after the referendum. That this is so within Scotland seems fairly obvious and, of course, the same can also be said about our relationships with the rest of the UK." I'm not sure that the organisation has really got very far although I like its objectives.
How I will vote remains my business and, in any case, whilst I started off with my head ruling my heart, on the day my heart may well rule my head or perhaps my head will have seen reason (whatever that might be!).
Whatever the result I fear that the recriminations and effects will be far more bitter and far-reaching than anyone can at this moment imagine. I hope that I am wrong. I very much hope that.