A Psychological Post-mortem of the Scottish Independence Debate

My thoughts about IndyRef are caught in the campaign rolled out by the unionists at the latest time – 2 days – when they thought they may lose Scotland.

I could do nothing but scorn their attempts because they did not sway me one iota. What they did do was lift my hypocrisy meter sky high and hyper-sensitive. My abiding disappointment is with the fear that swayed 5% of the Scots to vote against their self-interest. That saddens me more than anything else because no one can overcome fear except the feart.among us. Sigh!!

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4 comments on “A Psychological Post-mortem of the Scottish Independence Debate

  1. I commented: I voted yes and would (will?) do so again, in the hope of escaping from a system weighed down with the trappings of long gone Empire, where there is no alternative to free market foolishness on offer, and where politics has lost sight of its primary function – to promote communal well-being. Having said that, there was a highly rational argument for NO, put forward most clearly by JK Rowling; there would be such a range of issues to be negotiated as part of independence, not least the currency and partition of the existing national debt, and Scotland would be negotiating here as very much the weaker partner. In these circumstances, fear (some would call it caution) is rational, and does not need to be anatomised away. As for the alleged sudden 5% swing to NO, this is based on comparison of the outcome with one single outlier poll, rather than with the steady situation shown by those that preceded it.

    • Veronique says:

      The alleged swing of 5% to NO isn’t so difficult to contemplate when you take the frenetic behaviour of the Unionists just prior to the vote.

      There is actually no way of substantiating that swing even statistically but I cannot help but see, if not 5% then at least, some percentage that swung to NO in the final few days. There had already been a steady NO campaign within the media that could well have contributed to what you call the ‘steady situation shown by those (polls) that preceded the outlier poll.

  2. Rosie says:

    I so admire people who can put complex workings of the mind into paragraphs and headed sections, and find myself agreeing with it all because it makes sense, and because I want to! Excellent article.

    I’m wondering whether there is something called ‘infectious helplessness’ because it fits with a lot of the people I came across voting NO – something like the IN group and the OUT group, what the people close to you are choosing. I fall into it when I can’t make up my mind with a menu, and I encourage others to choose first – sad!
    Actually, when I come to think of that example, I often choose something completely different to everyone else, or what they think I would choose, or what I thought of first. And all of those apply to my YES vote.

    I was surprised that the psychologists didn’t pick up on developmental theories of maturity. So often agism seemed to come into the campaigns – the Scots were being uppity, naughty, wilful, selfish, all terms my Mum chastised me with when I was a child. For each of those there is a favourable perspective – mature/grown up, mischievous, determined and what’s good for me is good for everyone.
    And then I remind myself just how often I wished the NOs would grow up!

    Forgive the ramble, V, I’m recovering from a stomach virus and this is my first day back online. May your hopes for peace, justice and bright times make 2015 a good year.

    • Veronique says:

      What a marvellously descriptive phrase – infectious helplessness. I don’t know many people who voted NO, but from the few I do know, I have not been able to discern a rational, country-wide reason. The only reasons I have heard are very insular and family based. Apart from the attendant dislike of the SNP and its two leaders at the time. That was another media provoked and relentlessly pursued agenda.

      It could well be a matter of the NOs growing up – I think it has more to do with the NOs developing a sense of community and society. Something that has been relentlessly eroded for hundreds of years by the English. I am not English bashing, merely pointing out that it is easy to demoralise an occupied community and set the wealthy against the poor. And I think that division was definitely expressed in the voting numbers and is highlighted by the Bella Caledonia article.

      And Rosie 🙂 – choosing wilfully from a menu sounds just like you! And me! And yes – descriptive phrases can be expressed either negatively or positively. I prefer the positive 🙂 Never stop ranting Rosie, ever!!!

      I hope you recover quickly – I have just started to show symptoms of a sore throat and therefore a head and probably chest virus. Bum!!! 😦

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