It was good to be reminded that all this depends on your Sitz im Leben. In my street, for example, you could be forgiven for thinking this wasn't happening at all. There's a couple of posters but those who decline to wear their hearts on their windows are in the overwhelming majority. Canvassers there has been none, at least not when I'm in, which to be fair isn't that often. But elsewhere my experience has been this debate has divided our nation quite bitterly with friends and family who normally agree on most things at each other's throats in a plebiscite that reduces complex choices down to a 'you're with me or against me' binary decision.
This, I accept, hasn't been the experience of others but I think the chances of a Scandinavian social democracy at peace with itself emerging from a narrow Yes vote are precisely nil. I have no idea how many years of austerity would face an independent Scotland. Deutsche Bank's Great Depression scenario seems unlikely but no more than the suggestion that hard times would last a year or three, as one nationalist colleague suggested to me. I doubt Scotland would have a functioning independent state in that time-scale and would expect austerity to last at least a decade. I would feel more relaxed about this if I thought I knew people were aware that this is what they were voting for but as I said here, all the evidence I have suggests that they don't.
This getting the opposite of what people think they're voting for forms part of the reason why I'm voting No. You don't want to live in a country that has foodbanks? Well, you better move to one that doesn't have any because you have them now and they are still going to be there if Scotland votes Yes. Those who don't like austerity better brace themselves for what's about to come. As for 'neo-liberalism', wait until you see the stance the government in an independent Scotland will be compelled to adopt to replace the capital that will surely flee. And regarding Europe, people need to understand that a Yes vote is a vote to leave the EU with no prospect of re-entry if Scotland refuses to acknowledge its responsibility for its share of the UK debt.
But while serious, all these are side-issues as far as I'm concerned. I'm voting No because I'm Scottish and British. It's not an abstract concept or something that has been imposed but rather what I actually am. Scotland is my home and so is Britain; it would break my heart to see an international border erected here. Independence would make more acute that feeling I've always had of not really belonging anywhere. I appreciate this is a bit selfish but Britain is as close as I'm ever likely to get and I don't want to lose it. The answer to those who say I can lose this common home and keep it at the same time is, I simply don't believe you. I don't believe the nationalists are okay with with me being British. They claim I can keep this while their activists spew venom at the very idea on the streets and across social media.
I don't want to get into a boring argument about how representative the goons screaming 'quisling' and 'traitor' into people's faces are. Most people aren't political activists and most political activists are not crazy like this but there's enough evidence in for me to stick to my original position*: what we are being asked to believe is that in our case, nationalism will turn out to be something other than what we already know it to be. I'm sorry if this is too negative but I just don't believe them: this is why I'm voting No.
*I hope Chris Deerin will forgive me for re-working his turn of phrase in the piece linked above.