Scottish independence: which spin do you believe?

Scottish independence: I want to believeWho can we trust and believe? The battle over Scottish independence has left me wondering this once again, just as I was in November last year over Plebgate, energy price rises, the end of shipbuilding in phone-hacking et al. Which spin do you believe?

Born and bred in Northern Ireland (probably Ulster Scots), I have followed the Scottish independence debate with interest. At the start of the campaign, I confidently placed a wager on a ‘no’ result, but now it’s too close to call. Whether as a result of a complacent Better Together strategy at the beginning now seeming to flap desperately with panic, or as a consequence of a well-orchestrated independence rallying call, the polls are finely balanced. I’m just thankful I don’t have a vote! Which spin would I believe, especially in this last round of business, bank and price-rise debates/scaremongering?

While the Queen remains neutral (really?) and supermarkets challenge each other over probable/unlikely price hikes, Richard Branson has been mulling over the imponderables (independence is bad for business) and Willie Walsh has been rubbing his hands at the prospect of increased profits (independence is good for business). Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, SSE and Weir Group have seen their share prices drop (economy in danger), while the Bank of England has offered reassuring noises about contingency plans (economy is safe). In the middle of all this sit the voters, heads full of information, not knowing which way to turn. My head is in a Scottish independence spin!

How can any voter believe anything they hear or read when one view is undermined by the next, which is then contradicted by another, which is then challenged by someone else – and so it goes on. With an apparent increase in threats and intimidation of journalists covering the referendum on Scottish independence, and with campaigners being jostled in the street, it would seem that desperate times and have produced some desperate measures – and some mighty spinning!

On Thursday, voters in Scotland will decide who they believe most and commit their trust to one side or the other. Here’s hoping that, despite all the manipulation, the political debate has been underpinned by the truth and Scotland gets the future it seeks.

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