Opinion: the first post-independence referendum St Andrew's Day
'66% of Scots now apparently would vote Yes if another referendum happened tomorrow'
Life is inherently filled with awkward moments full of cringe-inducing regret. No more so than when you have to come face to face with those you have upset. In that vein, Sunday 30 November 2014 marks the first St Andrew’s Day since us Scots decided we couldn’t quite trust ourselves enough to take full charge of the kitty. So, when you’re skipping round a slippy church hall to a Dashing White Sergeant, will you wonder whether the person you’re continually stepping on the toes of or elbowing in their broth-filled gut was a cowardly No quisling or, conversely, a daydreaming Yes hippie.
Already, recent polls are suggesting that the twinge of regret has lurched into a full-on intestinal spasm: barely two months after the polls closed, shutting down the hopes of a generation, 66% of Scots now apparently would vote Yes if another referendum happened tomorrow. This mind-altering 19% must feel a little bit like those who have to face their colleagues after making a total douche of themselves at the Christmas work night out. ‘Soz’ might not quite cover it this time.
Battle lines are being swiftly drawn as the country goes into no-holds barred election footing (you have to wonder if any proper policy business ever gets done these days). There’s the small matter of a general election next spring followed by the Scottish Parliament vote in 2016 and, potentially the daddy of them all, the In or Out of Europe referendum of 2017.
A couple of doomsday scenarios are also the best chances for the SNP to trigger an early IndyRef: The Sequel. The first brings either a Tory victory in May or, and it actually feels queasier to write this, a Tory-UKIP coalition. The thought of Farage spilling beer all over Horatio Nelson’s diary at Chequers is one thing: the image of him and Cameron cosying up to cut off the supplies of anyone earning less than the Greek national debt is totally another.
Not only will bloodsports return, they’ll take place each Saturday afternoon on every high street in the nation with East European foxes being ripped to shreds as the UK branch of Game of Thrones is established (next time you listen to George Osborne make a speech, close your eyes and think of Joffrey).
At least our creative types will keep their heads while all others are losing it over the next five months? Not if the recent statement from comic Andrew Lawrence is anything to go by. Nigel Farage (NF, remember) jumped to Lawrence’s defence after a string of his fellow stand-ups had the temerity to take him to task for suggesting that women and non-white comedians have it all too-easy on both the circuit and on TV. The sight of Frankie Boyle laying in to Farage on Twitter should put paid to anyone who still thinks of St Francis as anything other than a cuddly liberal.
So, before you get too happy about putting the No into your November celebrations, have a think about the right-wing lurch that the bottom portion of your country has taken. And before you unfurl your metaphorical saltire on 30 November, consider just how much you are happy having Scotland in thrall to the all-new Westmonster.
Brian Donaldson is The List’s Comedy editor.