In three weeks Scotland’s history will be divided into two clear and distinct periods – pre and post #indyref
With a Yes vote the relentless leafletting and canvassing will cease almost overnight and conversations in cafes, pubs, streets will no longer centre on what work we have been doing to convince waverers – but instead will centre on the kind of Scotland we want to live in. Scotland’s out of date system of governance will have been overturned and its people will finally have opened the door of Whitehall, demanding the right to democratically elected governments which we voted for.
A Yes vote is now looking like something not just attainable as a distant pipe dream, as so many who have campaigned for Scottish self-government for generations can attest, but a firm reality.
Alex Salmond’s performance in the second debate against the former UK Chancellor was a clear success and built on the work from the first to convince more undecided voters that Yes is the right answer for Scotland.
The tired scare stories continually pushed by the No campaign are lacking in real substance – not for them a 600 page White Paper but relentless negativity which hasn’t exactly worked for them in recent Scottish elections.
Scotland has had a summer in 2014 in which the feeling of a new found confidence is palpable – topped by the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Still to come is the Ryder Cup, adding yet further.
The Daily Record ran a poll this week in which it asked whether Scots will be glad when the referendum is over. The response was overwhelming – a massive Yes from them.
The only real answer for the constitutional debate to be put to bed is with a Yes vote on September 18. This is what I take from the Record poll. Not that we didn’t want the referendum in the first place, but that with an expected turnout of around 80% the people who live and work in Scotland are more engaged than ever. Scots from the age of 1 to 100 years old are well familiar with arguments around who should govern us, it has always been thus.
What makes such a difference now is the clear feeling across all of public life that we are on the precipice of a great moment in Scotland’s journey.
This week I have received my first invitations to immediate discussions on 19 September on what the referendum means for different areas of Scottish life.
I suspect many will vote on September 18 who rarely if ever do in normal elections, and we now have an electorate in Scotland which knows the answers on either side by heart.
Once we are through to the other side of the referendum, with hindsight I believe we will see the campaign as having been the period which allowed for the adjustment of many to what an independent Scotland actually means and what being Scottish is. It has been long, hard fought but positive visions hold sway in the end.
Ever for a lifelong independence supporter such as I, our journey to this point has been an inspiration and the campaign one we can be proud of.
With civic Scotland standing ready to act in an independent Scotland, and the nation holding its breath, all we have to do now is vote.