It’s too early in the day for me to say anything heartfelt that’s positive and encouraging, but that will come I’m sure. For now I’m mourning the vision we came a mere 5% away from building. I may be on the losing side, but I’ll never accept I picked the wrong one. And yes, for the record, I’m devastated.
The parts of Scotland that called the loudest to leave the United Kingdom were the parts that have the highest levels of poverty and deprivation. That sticks in my throat as it must for all of us. There is no ringing endorsement of the union in Scotland today. I wish I could shake magnanimously and say “congratulations and well played, the best side won”, but I just can’t lie like that. In the end I believe it was ultimately fear that robbed us, and that we at least gave it one hell of a fight.
It was always clear that whatever the outcome, Scotland would have to accept the vote, regroup and move forward as one, and so we must. Had it been a Yes today, no one would have been saying that louder than I. But moving forward as one doesn’t mean just under half of us either altering what we believe is right and what is wrong, or accepting defeat and quietly shuffling back to our sofas. If anyone today is delighting that everything can finally return to normal: I’m sorry. That was a warm-up. We’re just getting started.