We had another chat in the office this morning about the independence referendum. Today we had a pre-mortem, asking ourselves what went wrong in the event that Scotland decides to go it alone.  Here’s what we think:

  1. The ‘no’ campaign has been run like a ‘nah, it’ll never happen’ campaign.
  2. It is difficult to articulate a case for unity if the Prime Minister is tiptoeing around an ‘out of Europe’ position for Britain after the next election.
  3. The psychology of the word ‘yes’ is compelling.  It gives the ‘yes’ side an emotive advantage.
  4. Much of the ‘no’ campaign appears to have been articulated from London – or at least that is the impression.  Take your argument to its home.
  5. The Saltire has been (ineptly) flown in various places around England in the last few days.  That feels like the worst type of tokenism and reeks of insincerity.  Fly the Union Jack, which is the best emblem of union.
  6. Very little has been said about the implications of Britain’s collective diminished authority.  All of the arguments have been about the consequences for the Scots.  No appeal has been made to Scotland’s better, broader nature – making the case for interdependence rather than independence. There was a time when the map of the world was pink, reflecting the extent of the British Empire.  Whilst it’s right that this is no longer the case, there was a sense that Britain itself was an irreducible core.  It doesn’t look like that right now.

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