On September 18, voters in Scotland will decide in a simple “yes/no” referendum whether to become an independent country or to remain within the United Kingdom, which came into existence in 1707. This week, London’s Tory press hit the panic button when two polls showed the unionists’ lead had been cut to five or six points and stalled, while the pro-independence vote was gathering momentum.
Millions of people of Scottish ancestry around the world can’t vote, and that is sensible from a practical and financial point of view. But if they could, diaspora Scots (including me) would vote to become independent. Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott doesn’t have a vote either, but there’s no doubt as to which way he would vote if he could. In London in mid-August, Abbott impudently said the supporters of an independent Scotland were “not the friends of justice, not the friends of freedom”. It was a sweeping condemnation of the Scots whose commitment to freedom, justice, human rights and civil rights is part of their national character.