My dear wife and I used to read The Economist and Private Eye regularly, and we watched the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday mornings. Of course we were often annoyed by the way they handled Scottish news, but by and large the reason for doing so was enjoyment rather than masochism.
However, something has changed over the past couple of years. Of course the London-based media too frequently treat the independence referendum in an offensive and contemptuous manner, but that shouldn’t in itself make the rest of the programmes and publications irrelevant.
Nevertheless, I increasingly react to news from London in the same way as news from Sweden, Germany, Canada or any other foreign country that use a language I know, namely with three parts boredom because the issue at hand doesn’t seem relevant to me, two parts perplexity because they’re approaching an interesting subject from a bizarre angle, and one part anger because they’re ignoring something which would have been very relevant.
The way UKIP is being fêted in England is perhaps the best example of this, but there are countless examples from all policy areas.
The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the independence referendum campaign itself has already turned Scotland and the rUK into separate countries, simply because we have now been having very different national conversations for the past two years.
This is yet another reason why we need a Yes vote in September. I simply cannot see how the UK can feasibly become reunited after a No vote; in all likelihood, the divergence would continue growing until a second referendum became unavoidable, but the years between the two referendums would be such a waste of time.
If independence is a state of mind, Scotland is already there.