When you are closely involved in something as infectiously positive and joyous as the Yes movement, it can be difficult to maintain objectivity. The sense of purpose is infectious. It is well nigh impossible to remain detached. But I am definitely sensing a new mood in Scotland.
Not that everybody has suddenly come over to the independence cause in some sort of mass epiphany. There are many different perspectives. For some, it is a kind of resigned determination. “This can’t go on,” they’ll say. “Something has to change. And it looks like independence is the only option.”
Tory voters feel cheated. They say, “This isn’t the Conservative Party I used to know. This isn’t the Union I want. This isn’t the UK I was promised.”
Others are concerned about the future. “I don’t like the way things are going. I’m worried about what the UK Government is going to do to our Parliament. I genuinely fear for our public services if they are taken over by Westminster.”
Most notable of all is what isn’t being said. With the exception of a few British Nationalist fanatics, nobody is rejecting the idea of independence out of hand. Even those who aren’t Yes yet accept that independence is an option.
The mood has changed. It continues to change. And the pace of change is accelerating. Scotland isn’t the place it was in 2014. People are not going to be deterred by scaremongering or deceived by lies or duped by false promises.
Those who are determined to cling to the Union at any cost will have to come up with persuasive arguments. As things stand, it’s not possible to imagine what such arguments might be. But maybe that’s because I’m looking at it all from the perspective of an amazing grass roots democratic movement.
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