Such was the tweet from Mike Smithson at 18:07 yesterday:
I have great respect for Mr Smithson, sage of betting and polling. His tweet received some commentary. But it was the two polls earlier this week that were the outliers, not the Survation poll yesterday, showing No six points ahead, which was with the pack. The pack, that is, of polls over the last six months. Panickers mention some 20 points lead for No poll several months ago, but that was an outlier too. YouGov again, you see.
I’m reminded of two Dad’s Army catchphrases. We get two Yes lead polls and a lot of people are like Private Fraser:
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer all dooooooooooooooooooooooomed
But I reply with Corporal Jones:
Don’t panic! Don’t panic!
As far as I am concerned there is only one short statement any sensible person needs to know about Scottish independence. It came from George Soros, the Oracle, yesterday in the Financial Times, in an article which you can access by registering for several free articles per month:
An independent Scotland would be financially unstable…
(TRANSLATION: Scots, if you go independent, the markets will have your arse for breakfast on a daily basis, including Sundays and Bank Holidays).
So there you have it. Go ahead and have your independence if you want it, oh Scots, but in the process you will fuck the economy of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the next ten years.
A lot is made of the parallel with the Quebec independence referendum in 1995. I see a parallel with the Australian Republic referendum in 1999. Then, there was a reasonable feel that generally Australians would vote for a republic, just not the one on offer. Similarly, unconstrained by reality, I suspect the Scots would vote for independence, but just not the wacky, risky proposition of Salmond.
One more point in this miscellany of nonsense: People say: oh, but if they vote no there’ll be another referendum in 20 years time. Well, firstly I hope I don’t live to see another Scottish referendum. I couldn’t stand it. Secondly, the oil and gas would, by then, be running out, so that would change the dynamics considerably. And those who say that all the (now) over-55 no voters would by then be in that bothy in the sky, replaced by now younger yes voters, I say this: as you get older, you tend to focus, laser-like, on interest rates, tax rules, Aldi best buys and boring stuff like that. So those yes voters now in their forties might change their tune when they become pension-obsessives in 20 years time.
And by the way, can I bore my reader by repeating that this is not some smug soft southern English onanist pontificating on Scottish independence? I am Cornish – a fellow Celt.