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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