Scotland's referendum a winner - whatever the result

Over the years I have spent many long and tedious hours sitting in the foyer of village halls acting as a polling agent. Some of my best friends are people I met representing opposing parties who I have spent those hours with chatting about what's on TV, books, life in general; even playing cards with to pass the hours as we wait and wait for a voter, any voter, of any hue, to turn up so we can cross them off the list. I've been in a hustings meeting before an election where there were more candidates on the stage than voters in the audience. Seeing pictures of people queuing up to register to vote; seeing pictures of meetings with standing room only, brings a tear to my eye and makes me feel jealous of Scotland.

As a Welsh nationalist I am obviously an avid supporter of the Yes side, but even if every one of the newly registered missing million votes No and every one of those who have had to stand in the back of the crowded meeting room votes No – this referendum will still be a resounding success because of the way in which it has succeeded to re-engage people with the democratic process. For that, alone, Mr Salmond should be heartily congratulated - whatever the outcome on September 18th.


  1. Bill Chapman05/09/2014, 13:22

    I agree. It would be good to have here in Wales something like the growing enthusiasm for the democratic process we are now seeing in Scotland.

  2. Let's not forget the 16 & 17 year olds who will get to vote for the first time in their lives. And their vote will really make a difference. This has meant schools and colleges all over Scotland have held their own debates and mock referenda.

    It's an exciting time to be an onlooker, it must be amazing to be a part of it.

  3. Quite right Alwyn, we can only hope the rest of the UK and in particular the people of Wales understand the importance that politics has on their lives. They need to re-engage with the fact that every important aspect of their lives is affected, one way or another, on the democratic process. We should all take lessons from the way the British state has mobilised itself to protect the privileged elitist position it has built for itself. It is clear for all progressive people that the British state is hopelessly corrupt and badly in need of root and branch change which will not be forthcoming under the present setup. Like Scotland we in Wales as well as the the people of Cornwall and other parts of England need to learn from what we are seeing in this debate, not least that the British state is clearly not fit for purpose. Thank you Scotland for lifting the lid and showing the corruption and inequality of the British elite that rule this Country with a neo-liberal fist!

  4. Bill Chapman19/09/2014, 07:08

    I gather that, as an unexpected side-effect, the campaigning has resulted in scores of new members for the Labour Party. I'm sure that Labour will be sending a larger delegation of Labour MPs to Westminster next May. You will probably know that there were a number of Welsh people in Scotland to support the "No" campaign. They went out talking to people rather than waving flags.

  5. From what i have been told on Twitter, (take it with a pinch of salt), SNP SSP and Scots Greens membership has doubled and all the Unionist parties have seen a rise in membership. Wow! Great! Congratulations to all! I'd love to see that engagement in the political process replicated in Wales.