The people of Scotland woke up this morning more British than ever, having voted decisively to stay in the Union.
Despite all the hype and hoopla from the separatism campaign, Scotland has rejected the uncertain path of independence for the security of being part of the United Kingdom.
Scotland has managed to shrug off its latest encounter with Brigadoon Fever. Sadly, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon haven’t disappeared into the mists with the mythical Scottish utopia but their spin and bluster has evaporated into the ether.
Over the last few days we have seen the Yes campaign descend into “See you, Jimmy” levels of jakeyness and yobdom. The true face of Scottish independence has been revealed – and it isn’t pretty. The spotlight of the world’s media has been put on the natz and the cracks started to appear.
The brutal reality is not that Scots are afraid of radical change but that Salmond and his devotees were woefully short on the hard facts and arguments necessary to convince people to change. Sneering at skeptics and shouting over opponents might work occasionally in the odd debate but a watching public needs much more than bully-boy bluster and swagger to be convinced.
The referendum results show Scotland is not convinced. Salmond couldn’t find enough mugs to get him over the finish line first.
I suspect there will be a lot of hurting people this morning in the nationalist camp. Many of them will continue their pointless rage at Westminster and wallow in their futile anti-English prejudice. However, I suspect the more discerning will realise after a while that they were sold shares in another Darien venture by Salmond and co. Their embarrassment in falling for it will be tempered by relief that the boat was cancelled.
I have no doubt many Yes voters were people who just wanted change, not necessarily because they are deeply unhappy with the way things are but simply because a Yes vote looked like a route to something different. These folks might be disappointed but will shrug their shoulders and get on with things again. It may very well be that their legacy is that their vote s will become a catalyst for change across the whole political spectrum, something that is not unwelcome even to ardent Unionists.
However, there are a great many in the Yes camp who are not motivated by any sentimental longings for a better Scotland but by an ugly hatred of the British State. The referendum victory for the Union is all the more pleasing in that it consigns these people to living under the Union Jack for longer.
We Unionists are entitled to a bit of crowing, particularly those of us who have been vilified for our pro-Union stand.
I have a simple message for these people who are motivated by spite and hatred of all things British:
The referendum result is clear. The people of Scotland have spoken and declared for the Union.
It is OUR Scotland you are living in and it is OUR Saltire you are flying.
We are taking both back as of now.
And God save and bless Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.