I can’t help but feel Scotland could learn something from my own experience of being in a similar position to the one they find themselves in now. Albeit at a slightly more micro level.
Nonetheless, it’s about time someone learnt from my mistakes, as I clearly have no intention of doing so…
You see Scotland, I too once dreamt of independence. It was the year 2000 and I’d just left the confines of boarding school to do my A Levels. It was an exciting time, I was on the brink of adulthood, and – much like yourselves – I was surrounded by people who liked to binge drink and dance to The Proclaimers.
In my first tutor group, our teacher (a less odd looking Alex Salmond type) dangled the carrot of freedom in front of me and my fellow independence seekers: “You’re at Sixth Form now. It’s all down to you. We can help you find your way but ultimately what you choose to make of the next 2 years will shape your future. You don’t even need to be here if you don’t want to be, you can work your own way through the syllabus. This is totally your decision, however history states you’ll be better off sticking with us!”
Too late! The teacher had ignited the flame of autonomy and inside I heard a voice whisper to me “This is it – FREEDOM!” I could make my own way in life, I was finally in charge of my own destiny.
I made my decision, cheerily waved goodbye to my friend Claire who remained in the classroom as I promptly walked out of the school gates only to return every now and then to collect reading lists, text books and hand in my essays (my poor parents remained totally unaware). For the first time, in my then 16 years of life, I was free and truly independent of those who claimed to offer me a better future. It felt amazing.
Anyway, long story short (!) although I didn’t screw up my A Levels I did waste an awful lot of time, whilst miss goodie-two-shoes Claire went on to get multiple degrees from both Cambridge and Harvard. She also has a much, much prouder set of parents.
My point is this Scotland, don’t be a fool and get giddy at the mere idea of independence. We love you really and if all of this is because of us laughing at your ridiculous highland dancing, men in skirts and love of a pub brawl then I promise we’ll be better behaved in future and no longer openly ridicule your great nations love of Irn-Bru or deep fried mars bars.