Letter from a No future

We can imagine many different futures. Here is a letter from a future where Scotland voted No — not the only such future, but a possible one. Please read it in conjunction with this letter from a Yes future.

Abandoned building
Abandoned building by Paul Macrae, on Flickr.
I’m writing this during the 2034 independence referendum campaign.

After the No vote in 2014, many people thought things would revert to how they had been before the referendum was agreed on, but this didn’t happen.

The popular Yes movement had become an important part of Scottish life, and BBC bias demonstrations in Glasgow and independence marches in Edinburgh became a part of Scottish life. This really scared the stock markets because the future of Scotland and the UK remained uncertain, and lots of money was removed from the entire British economy, but especially from Scotland.

Scotland got a few new devolved powers, but it quickly became clear they didn’t make any real difference, and most Scots started to realise they had been conned into voting No. The Herald for instance published a heartbreaking mea culpa editorial where they lamented their naïve optimism about the prospect of federalism being implemented after a No vote.

An opinion poll five years after the referendum showed that 75% of people claimed to have voted Yes in 2014, and fully 85% now supported independence, helped no doubt by the exit from the EU implemented by the new Conservative-UKIP coalition in Westminster.

However, Westminster had now learnt its lesson and blocked a new referendum.

At the same time, the repeated cuts to the block grant meant the SNP government had to introduce tuition fees and privatise part of the NHS, and they lost the subsequent Scottish Parliament election. The new Labour-Tory coalition imposed legislation to make it even harder to call another referendum.

In the years after that, the independence marches grew and grew, and recently we formed a human chain from the West Coast to the East Coast, consisting of three million people.

The pressure was now incredibly strong, and the Scottish Government is now organising a new referendum, although it’s not approved by Westminster, so it’s anybody’s guess what will happen afterwards.

Also, Scotland has suffered a lot under austerity and repeated recessions since then, and the new Treaty Against Fossil Fuels will enter into force soon, meaning that the remaining Scottish oil will be worthless.

If only we had voted Yes back in 2014!

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