I reject the premise that No voters’ fears were “perfectly reasonable”. Those fears were, in fact, totally irrational. There has indeed been major material change since 2014. But, just as rationality and readily accessible information would have eliminated those fears, so nothing has happened that wasn’t entirely predictable and comprehensively foretold. The only exception being Brexit. And that is but a particularly egregious example of Scotland suffering because of the Union. Another reason to want to dissolve that Union.
No voters got it wrong in 2014. Brexit only proves that they got it wrong more badly than anyone thought at the time. But regardless of Brexit or EVEL or any of the abuse that Scotland is required to endure on account of the Union, it was clear that voting No was the wrong choice other than for those intent on preserving the Union at any cost. Because voting No was a choice to relinquish the total political power the Scottish people held in their hands that day. Voting No was a choice to hand that political power back to the British political elite along with a licence to do with Scotland whatever they found expedient.
Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against the democratic will of the people using the power over our nation that No voters handed to the British political elite on Thursday18 September 2014. They may reasonably claim they could not have anticipated Brexit. But they could and should have realised what kind of power they were entrusting to a British government there was absolutely no reason to trust.
Other than perhaps Brexit, everything that has happened since 2014 was known or knowable. No voters got it wrong. They allowed themselves to be deceived despite the deceit having been exposed. They should be embarrassed by their error. But no amount of embarrassment constitutes a good reason for refusing to acknowledge that error. Many have done so already. A few of their own volition having made the calculations that they could have made in time to avoid that error. Many more because of the urging of the Yes movement. This urging takes diverse forms, as it should given that No voters are no more homogenous than any other group of human beings.
As part of that urging, we should not be afraid of telling No voters that they got it wrong. Doing so is no more than being honest. We may choose not to be quite so forthright. It would be improper to seek to embarrass them further. What we must not do is tell them they were right to vote that way. They really, really weren’t.
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10 thoughts on “Really, really wrong!”
Yep. No way that the no vote can be sugar-coated to be palatable.
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Yes, they got it wrong. No question. Some of us were fortunate enough to realise sufficiently well in advance to be able to avoid making the fatal error of placing our future back in the hands of others. (Self pat on the back, for what little it’s worth.) It wasn’t a question of “head over heart” though, as is often quoted in mitigation of those who funked the challenge, because if anything a properly-functioning “head” could see well enough where we would inevitably end up if “no” won. (If anything it was maybe the “heart” that let these no-voting waverers down.)
Still, the best we can do now is not to crow or berate, but just say to the increasing number of converts “It took you a little longer, but you got there in the end, so welcome. Let’s get this necessary business sorted now. Together.”
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There is no URL link in the anchor tag
‘the premise that No voters’ fears were “perfectly reasonable” ‘
href=”http://No voters got it wrong in 2014. Brexit only proves that they got it wrong more badly than anyone thought at the time.”
Assuming that this was meant to be a link so some web page to which this blog post is replying, please would you edit it to provide that context for us.
and replying to myself from earlier…
readers may care to cast an eye over this piece from John Robertson
“Dear No voter in 2014, you were right to vote that way then, but do you think things have changed enough now for you to change your mind next time?”
Thanks for letting me know. Careless mistake now rectified.
2014 is water under the bridge. Yes, I think 2014 ‘No’ voters got it wrong, but that is not where I would start with anyone. I might invite them to talk about their aspirations in 2014 and to reflect on what they whether those aspirations have been fulfilled.
But there is no point in telling them they were wrong, you’ll only prompt them to be defensively ‘right’ and to reinforce to themselves all the arguments which led them to make their mistake.
There may be no point in telling them they were wrong. Although you would then be relying on them realising this for themselves. As this realisation is the necessary first step on the journey from No to Yes, by purposefully not telling them they were wrong you are assuming the very thing that you are supposedly trying to persuade them of.
Telling them they weren’t is plain lying.
I read the piece in today’s Nastional from a previous NO voter and my thought was: like Saul (Paul) on the Road to Damascus, what a pity you didn’t manage to think about the consequences of your negative vote for everyone else in Scotland before you voted, and he had not thought to temper his anti Christian message before they crucified Christ. Yes, it is always good to change your mind when the circumstances change, but, let’s face it, the circumstances changed only insofar as Brexit happened and the oppression that Scotland was under was evident to all but the most prejudiced eye or the most selfish/feart of status quo-ers. It may even now be too late to save us because of the lack of judgement of NO voters. I hope not. There is also the matter of their breaching of long-established international legal rules and mores. That has never been pointed out to them either. I am fed up of the killing of the fatted calf for people who were so prodigal in their choice of vote that they never gave a single thought to those they were condemning to more of the same. Och, it was ever thus. The people who stick by you and see you through the worst are always the ones that you take for granted and p**s on.
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I’m not a great fan of scriptural allusions, but this works.
I’m an agnostic, Mr Bell, but like most Scots of my generation, steeped in Scripture, not exactly by force, but by a certain educational, class and social compulsion, I now find that it covers a multitude of allusions, not to mention illusions and delusions. I’m also from a Protestant/Catholic background, so I feel free to use both interpretations of Scripture – or neither. Have a good day and keep up the good work.
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