Scotland will soon be suffering from a monumental hangover. There will be a lot of hurt heads, a lot of tears and, without a doubt, an immense amount of anger that will last who knows how long — weeks, months, maybe even years — if Alex Salmond’s dream of independence comes true.
The Sept. 18 referendum on independence is quite unlike any other United Kingdom election I have witnessed. It is much more visceral, with so many complicated currents swirling beneath one simple question: Is Scotland in Britain or out of it? There are a lot of people going with their gut instinct, and you sense that if the outcome goes against them, the simmering rage will finally bubble over.
Rioting in the streets? Perhaps.
The problem for the Unionists is that nothing they can say will ever match that magic potion being served up by the Scottish Nationalists — that beautiful policy that can be summed up in one sweet word: “change.”
If you’re not happy with things at the moment — with the UK’s current Conservative government; with the state of the National Health Service; with the perceived snootiness of the English — then simply vote for change.
It’s a message that has been promised by Tony Blair, by Barack Obama and by almost every Western leader for more than a century.