I had a friend once, whose husband took her to a really rough council estate, and said, ‘Without me, this is where you would have ended up.’ Shortly afterwards she left him, and last I saw, she was very happy, and earning more than he was.
So, when the campaign for Scottish independence started, did the marvellously savvy English hot foot it over the border to try to woo the Scots with a box of chocs and a bunch of flowers? No. They sent George Osborne, who stamped about the country threatening that if Scotland left, dire things would happen. The entire nation would probably end up in the workhouse. Nobody in Europe would speak to them. They would have no friends and no money.
Well, that worked.
Imagine the surprise in Westminster, when the polls began to show that, hey, the Scots might really want to move out, buy a nice apartment with their oil-fired trust fund, and start going doon the toon on their own. It was as if Samantha Cameron had threatened to leave No 10 in a fur coat with a leopard on a chain.
In the beginning, politicians down South were so complacent, that they rejected the SNP offer of a third alternative on the ballot paper, of Scotland having greater powers, without actually leaving the union.
It’s only now, when it’s almost too late, that David Cameron is standing in the garden and singing Nessun Dorma up at the Scots window. Only now that he’s saying he loves the union more than his party. I don’t know how true that is. There’s plenty of good arguments for both sides of the debate, and to be frank, if I had a vote, I don’t know how I’d use it. I’m Scottish and, like many people in Scotland, my heart would be for independence, while my head would tell me to stay.
But Westminster attitudes haven’t helped. There is a lot of suspicion in Scotland that Cameron is trying to get them drunk on rhetoric now, just so that he can screw them as usual afterwards.