I am a huge fan of politics; if not always of politicians. I couldn’t resist it so I stayed up all night with the thunder rumbling and the lightning flashing over the London skies just as the thunder subsided over Scotland. The time for political rhetoric from the politicians had ended as my countrymen went to cast their votes on the future of the union.
As with other “ex-pats” It has been a very difficult process for me to watch from the sidelines without a vote. I am part of the so-called “disenfranchised diaspora”.
A Scot, an ex-serviceman and a firm believer in that curious duality we all enjoy in the United Kingdom of being both a national of our own home nation as well as being a citizen of the UK. I may no longer live in Scotland and have not done so for decades but I continue to feel a Scot to my core. My family are all there, I have just done a degree from an Edinburgh University, and travel there frequently. Sometimes, maybe, we expat Scots work harder to retain and preserve our national heritage and traditions of home.
So for me the result is the right one but I do respect the fact that huge numbers of Scots and other residents of Scotland voted to end the current political status quo and ask for outright independence from an over-centralising, at times patronising, Westminster elite. I am however incredibly proud of the way the political debate was so energised by both sides and that so many chose to cast their vote for their personal choice going forward. I truly believe British politics will be the better for it going forward.
I have had an entertaining night on social media chatting too by chatting to so many others who were also interested enough to stay up, both Scots and English – Chris Daems, Adam Lewis and many others. I also landed a nice wee bonus by winning a bottle of something 10-year from Mark Polson of the Lang Cat by wagering for fun on the scale of the ‘No’ vote in Edinburgh.
So the scaremongering and war of words will now subside. Scottish banks and investment companies won’t be marching over the border (in blue bonnets or otherwise) to come south in search of stability and certainty, perceived or otherwise. The UK recovery continues apace and hopefully unchecked and as I write this is being reflected in both the currency and the stockmarkets.
Lots of wrangling over devo-max to come, and some introspection on the result from ordinary voters as well as politicians no doubt. But I am incredibly proud this morning of the way so many Scots engaged in democracy, the way they conducted themselves and believed that they too could be a fan of politics and take control over the way they wished to interact with the rest of the union and the world.
Lee Robertson is chief executive of Investment Quorum