It was kind of scary standing in the polling booth on Thursday morning, faced with that piece of paper that starkly read:
"Should Scotland become an independent country?
It was such a momentous decision! Should I put my cross in the YES box? Would it be better to cross the NO box? Do I really want us to go it alone? I know we could do it! Don't I? Will the politicians stick to their promises and give us more powers if we vote NO? YES.... NO.... YES? …... NO? …... I have to plump for one or the other..... or I could spoil my paper..... Plump! and I did!
Then you come away after putting your paper in the big black box thinking Did I do the right thing? Should I have gone with the other side? Then sense returned as I realised I couldn't do anything more about it! The deed was done, one way or another!
I really thought it could go either way, and although I voted Yes, as you might have worked out, if I am totally honest I was probably quite relieved, though a little disappointed at the distance between the two results, on Friday morning. I think the late promises made by Cameron swayed a lot of voters who were undecided, or who maybe had been going to vote Yes. They were voting for devo-max which should really have been a choice on the voting paper until Cameron vetoed it. It was panic at the last minute that got the promises and vows to devolve more powers to us - and all FOUR nations should hopefully benefit. I think that the idea of being independent within the UK was really what Alex Salmond wanted, like Australia, NZ, etc. within the Commonwealth. All four nations, and that obviously includes England, could have that and work together as a whole.
I don't think the Tories, or any of the other parties, could just forget about the Scots now. Anyway, it's not like England owns the other three nations - it's just that the parliament that governs them all is in England. I wonder what it would be like today if James VI of Scotland had said in 1603, "OK, so now I'm not just King of Scots, I've been handed the English throne, so I'll just rule from here in Edinburgh (when in fact he went down to London to rule from there)." or it had been the English parliament that had been in difficulties in 1707 and had been taken on by the Scottish one? I hope now that the Scots have shown the way towards a better UK, and that Westminster will take that on board.