To all my friends, acquaintances and passing drinking pals in Scotland who are voting today,
It is not an easy choice
I’ve been pretty harsh in pointing out what a huge economic, political and social error full Independence is likely to be. I don’t mean to imply you are not smart enough or hard working enough to make a success of a nation over the next 40 years or so. I know you are smart and hardworking as well as fun loving. There is just overwhelming factual and statistical evidence that the challenges would be very complex, painful, expensive and slow to resolve. Things like EU membership, NATO, borders, currency, pensions, corporate head offices, a banking system, broadcasting, oil refining, natural gas access, internet access points, bank deposit guarantees and so on are all huge and complex problems that can take a generation to sort out, and might be too expensive or complex for a small nation to solve at the right price no matter how smart or hard working they might be.
It is most likely that the nation you would end up with would be a lot poorer, a lot more expensive to run, have worse defence, far less international political influence and a far less benign political class than you have now. In fact, it is overwhelmingly likely that the outcome will be far, far worse than the SNP want you to believe.
I have also made no secret of the fact that it is clear to everyone South of the Border that the SNP are either outright lying, or naive beyond imagining. They, and their political class, have a great deal to gain from independence. They will be able to create dynasties of super highly paid politicians who are going to *appear* to be solving those problems for you… at vast expense. They have no incentive to be honest to you. None. And almost no one I know thinks they are honest. Take a long step back and look at how they have actually behaved. Read a history of what they have said, versus what they delivered.
I care about you. I don’t want you, any of you, to end up ruled by those people and facing those problems. I’d like you to stay part of the United Kingdom.
If you do, I can safely say that I have learned something from the deep engagement with the political process you have shown and the way it has revealed yawning chasms of failure in our Westminster Government. I will commit considerable time and personal energy to influencing and improving the way the UK is governed at national and local level. So will many, many, of my friends and associates in finance, entrepreneurial roles, education, and local political roles. We’ve seen how Westminster (and the internationally owned press) have let us all down, and we would like to help you change it.
So, please, vote ‘NO’ today.