I've been concerned at the way that the debate over the referendum has boiled up over the last few weeks. On driving out of Glasgow, I noticed that a number of No placards had had scum scrawled across them, a word often used as an attack on Fascists. On the way out of Edinburgh, lots of Yes posters had been torn. Politicians and commentators have been shouted down, and the police involved in order to maintain the peace.
I can't help feeling that both sides of the debate must take a share of the blame for this. Yes,there is a lot at stake, but it feels to me like the argument has become polarised around the more extreme views of what the aftermath of a referendum will deliver.
The Nationalists promise to save the NHS from privatisation, to deliver free child care, to maintain a "forever" promise of no tuition fees.The No campaign would have you believe that Scotland will be like Belarus or Argentina within a year of going it alone.
Surely the truth lies in between. I doubt the Nationalists claim that free child care can be delivered. Germany, a much,much larger economy and wealthier country has never been able to deliver this, and they're not a nuclear power.....infact, they still make things in Germany and have a balanced economy. Of all the German states, only Rheinland Pfalz has child care provision.Oh, and by the way, you'll have to pay for health care if you live anywhere in Germany.
The idea that some sort of currency deal cannot be hammered out, as is suggested by the No campaign, is also highly dubious. I can't see why the rest of the UK would wish to create financial and currency barriers for industry which would affect the whole of the UK detrimentally. I'm not even convinced by the No campaign suggesting that unemployment will shoot up north of the border as high paid financial sector jobs flee southwards. I'm more concerned that the big companies (some of which are, by EU Directives,forced to be registered in the country where they have the greatest liabilities and risk [ie England]) will no longer pay corporation tax or VATto the Scottish Exchequer if they are registered in England.
Ignore those who promise you everything or tell you that you'll have nothing.They are irrelevant to this debate. If they get any shriller, only dogs will hear the last week of the campaign, and I suspect the Staffordshire Bull terriers will vote No.