The Scottish Referendum– and Why it’s None of My Business


This will be short and sweet because to be quite honest I don’t have a lot to say on it.  In fact, I wouldn’t even address the question of the Scottish Referendum on September 18th if some normally sane people wouldn’t insist on being surprised at my lack of interest in whether the country gains its independence. Well, I’m not; certainly not at this stage in my life.  If you had asked me in my teens I’m sure that I would have wanted passionately for the land in which I was born to be out on its own.  Yeah, I rather think that countries should be in charge of their own destinies, when you get right down to it.

Yet this latest guff about Queen Elizabeth being concerned over a possible constitutional crisis if the Scots vote ‘Yes’.  Oh please: I just can’t get worked up over the last bits of a fragmented Empire whose day is long past.  Hell, the Royal Parasites should have been put out to pasture a long time ago, if it comes to that.  Certainly that crowd of minor hangers- on around the main (and mainly hard-working) leading players.  That is a different article, though.

There is no reason in the world that I should be upset at not having a vote in this. (In fact, for all I know there may be a loophole that allows me to vote. I haven’t bothered to find out.)

I was hitchhiking around Ireland for two months in 1979, having a great old time until the money ran out.  At which point I got a job, began paying tax and have been here ever since.  In the last 15 years I’ve travelled rather extensively but I always came back to Ireland.  So in essence I’ve been here for all of 35 years.  This is my home. Why on Earth should I have any right to a say in the policies of a place where I no longer live?

I trust that makes sense. Of course I’m going to upset some people here by saying that those Irish who took off for America and other points of the compass have absolutely no right at all to whinge that they should be allowed to vote in what happens here.

They don’t.  I know why they left and I certainly sympathise; but they don’t have any damn right to try to influence the living conditions of those who stayed here throughout two major recessions.  I’m sorry, folks, that’s just the way it is.  When you come back and return to paying tax here, then you can start up about your rights again; but not until that moment.

Our American cousins used to have a saying about their country:  Love it or leave it.   Well, you left Ireland just the same way that I left Scotland; and as far as I’m concerned that gives neither of us the right to tell the stay-at-homes in our respective birth countries how to live.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all that I have to contribute to the Scottish Referendum.