One of the best teachers I ever had was a history teacher at Anniesland College. When he was explaining for us the significance of the West Lothian by-election in 1962 to the fortunes of the SNP, he mentioned that he had been a canvasser in that contest, but had only realised many decades later that he'd been a participant in something of a landmark election. He refused to tell us which party he'd campaigned for, from which I guessed that it probably wasn't the Nationalists. But he did add, when we were discussing what I presumed to be highly implausible 'what if?' scenarios, that he would be prepared to take up arms to defend Scottish independence if necessary, regardless of whether he had voted for it himself.
I hope nobody is thinking of taking up arms tonight, but I suspect there will be a great many potential No voters looking at the front cover of The Guardian, and thinking to themselves "I might be against independence in principle, but up with this I will not put". If you haven't seen the story, it's a suggestion from MoD sources that if Scotland votes for independence (which among other things will be a vote for the removal of nuclear weapons from our shores), the UK government will simply confiscate the part of Scotland which currently hosts nuclear weapons and declare it UK sovereign territory - in precisely the same way that 3% of Cypriot territory was stolen upon independence in 1960 for military convenience, and indefensibly remains under British sovereign control to this very day. Does the word 'arrogance' cover that type of mindset? Does 'cynical' cover it? If all else fails, 'imperial' and 'colonial' will certainly fit the bill, so unless this threat is explicitly withdrawn, let's never again see any smirking when the suggestion is made that London governance over Scotland is quasi-colonial in nature.
I'm sorry, but I'm not campaigning for independence for a country called 'Scotland minus Faslane'. I will not be sanguine about a foreign government occupying a part of our territory, just so that it can retain the ability to inflict a holocaust on foreign peoples that would make what Hitler did to the Jews look like a tea party. Are these really the values of our opponents? That the ability to mass murder hundreds of millions of civilians at the press of a button is so important as a national status symbol that even democracy must be subverted to that end? Can the likes of Kezia Dugdale and Duncan Hothersall look at themselves in the mirror and still support the No campaign when this is what it stands for?
Some of you will have seen the nine 'Think Independence' posters that I put together, and that Tris very kindly posted on Munguin's Republic the other day. What you don't know is that there was a tenth that Tris decided not to use. It showed a real image from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, with a human body lying in the rubble, burned beyond all possible recognition and with limbs missing. The text read "NUCLEAR WEAPONS : COMPULSORY IN SCOTLAND AS PART OF THE UK. THINK INDEPENDENCE". I deliberately set out to shock, because I felt that when people euphemistically use terms like 'minimum nuclear deterrent', they lose sight of the indescribable evil that they're actually talking about. However, Tris felt that there was a danger of it backfiring because of the graphic nature of the image, and on reflection I was inclined to agree with him. But I'm so outraged at what I've just read that I'm severely tempted to go ahead and post it right here and now - and without shame or apology.