I have long had a penchant for minor rebellion. I think I always have to be honest and it may go back 70 years to my very first day at Fawley Primary School, when I really didn`t want to go and I had had enough by lunchtime so I walked out and went home. Even at that early age I objected to the compulsion of it all and I certainly couldn`t come to terms with the `authority` that it involved. It was the same throughout my unremarkable school life and I couldn`t really wait to leave.
Then I came across National Service or rather it came across me and once again there was the compulsion and the authority. And all my life I, like millions of others, have been `governed` by authority and so I have built up a natural resentment towards it - I am compelled to pay exorbitant taxes, see most of them squandered on flights of fancy, politically motivated `initiatives,` self-serving elected representatives at all levels and black holes such as the European Union and foreign aid.
But I normally hold my counsel. Until now, so here we go. Here we are on referendum day in Scotland and although I have been genuinely appalled by yesterday`s theatrics by the growling Gordon Brown, at least the campaigning is finally over and the outcome is awaited. I make no secret of my preference for the outcome to be that Scotland votes to go independent. Here`s why.
I am seriously fed up with the Scots having something like £1400 more spent per head of population per annum than those of us in England. I`m fed up with the Scots having free university education, free travel, free elderly care and a whole lot more besides, which I suspect I am paying for but which is denied to us in England. I`m fed up with the Scots having their own parliament when we in England have to rely on Westminster and the nonsense whereby Scottish MPs can vote on matters that affect only we in England. I`m fed up with the `vow` that the already discredited Barnett Formula will be allowed to continue in the event of a `No` vote. Gordon Brown`s impassioned rant, appropriately introduced by the alleged comedian Eddie Izzard, urged Scots to vote `No` so as to `Keep the UK pensions, keep the UK pound, Keep the UK passport, keep the UK welfare state.` (His theory seems to be that by voting `No` the Scots will be better off....but what does all of that do for us south of the border?)
So a part of me favours the Scots going it alone just for the hell of it since it will chime with my rebellious nature but also it will finally rid us of this curmudgeonly nation and leave what remains of the United Kingdom in a far more optimistic frame of mind, free from the burdens that lie north of the border. But if the `Yes` vote fails to win the day and the Scots stay as part of the UK after all, then given the extraordinary amount of largesse they already enjoy and the additional powers and resources promised by Westminster`s feckless politicians, the time for minor rebellion will arrive unless the balance between Scotland and the rest of the UK is addressed and soon. It will be a justifiable cause, to which I will very happily subscribe.