A psychologist has pointed out the associations of the words Yes and No, one being positive and uplifiting, the other with negative associations. People like to say yes, to be part of something bigger and to feel they are making a contribution. Saying no is akin to isolating oneself and to go against the crowd, and humans are instinctively herd animals always uneasy about being out of the group. So to allow the referendum to be based on Yes or No was a clever tactic by the SNP. A better balance would have been to have two questions, viz:
- Should Scotland become independent?; or
- Should Scotland stay within the United Kingdom?
Write your answer on one side of the paper only.
Do not use green crayon. Candidates expressing opinions
about the parentage of the English,or
the importance of loch-fulls of whisky
or anyone threatening to play the pipes for non-payment
of a gratuity will be the subject
of tut-tutting and averted eyes.
Anyway, too late to change anything now. This column believes in the union. Small may be beautiful but the UK is in many ways fairly small anyway on the world stage. Let's not diminish it any more.