The Alternative National Survey results – Scotland
The History of Scotland has always been kind of boring to my mind. I was never a big Neil Oliver fan. It is boring because it always involves conflict. Conflict between clans over surname, conflict over the reformation, conflict over the correct monarch, conflict over who is wearing the right kilt. Football is a big favourite for hate generation, and now it is the independence issue. We are really great at killing people, but we aren’t very good at cooperating with each other.
Scotland would have made a lot more progress as a nation if we could give up conflict, and if we could give up hating each other. It is very easy to conquer a nation that is so obsessed with hating their neighbours and ignoring anybody that actually talks any sense.
I had a great deal of difficulty persuading no voters to participate in the survey, despite it being tailored to not attempting to hook anybody into anything, and so it looks from the results as if independence supporters are around nine times more motivated as no voters. I tried the political angle, I tried the sectarian angle, approaching people directly in an attempt to get some answers, but to no avail. If no voters are this demotivated, I am not sure how they managed to win the last referendum. Having said that, the typical suspicion of anybody who actually does anything kicked in with many yes voters, and I have been thoroughly exasperated as a result. If nobody does anything, nobody discusses anything, which means an inevitably unhealthy atmosphere.
Anyway despite this, we have some results:
Q1 – How much do you know about economics?
Yes voters feel they know more about economics – 34% rather than 23%, feel they know a lot, with almost 2 percent more no voters believing they know nothing at all about economics
Q2 – How much do you rely on politicians to do your thinking for you?
No voters are more likely to trust politicians to do their thinking for them – 23% rather than 6%. A whopping 56% of yes voters saying they are just people with careers, more than double the No voters.
Q3- Did you vote remain?
86.5 percent of yes voters thought that remain was the best option for Scotland, whereas only 46% of no voters thought this. 7% of no voters and 4% of yes voters voted for Brexit on behalf of the UK in this sample. 6.35% of yes voters in the sample voted for Brexit because they think it is the best option for Scotland, whereas none of the no voters believed it was the best option for Scotland.
Q4 -Do you believe in Scottish independence?
82% of yes voters believe that independence is the best decision for Scotland. The other 18 percent believe in open, socialist values. 23 percent of no voters vote no for political reasons 15.4 percent fear losing their jobs, and 61.5 percent believe in the union.
Q5 – What vision do you have for an independent Scotland?
65%of yessers imagine that an independent Scotland should focus on the national economy and world status, whereas 45.5% of no voters believe that Scotland should focus on a society which demonstrates the importance of work and social mobility. 25 % of yessers and 18 percent of no voters believe in an open and inclusive society with higher taxation to benefit others. Naturally the no voters are more sceptical, with 18 percent believing that independence is all about punishing the rich.
Q6 – How irritated are you by never getting the government that you vote for?
Unsurprisingly 90 percent of yes voters are irate and want to leave the union right now. The most popular answer for no voters was that they did not care as long as they could pay the bills, at 54 percent, the others admit to faint irritation at not getting the government they vote for, but this could mean within Scotland.
Q7 – Do you think there are enough jobs in Scotland to sustain a larger population?
Frighteningly, nearly 87 percent of yes voters believe that there are enough jobs in Scotland to sustain a larger population, whereas 77 percent of no voters believe that there are not.
Q8 – If it were to lead to more jobs and a larger population, would you be in support of?
37% of yessers and 50% of noes would like to see incentives for business in deprived areas rather than more spending on public services in Scotland. At last we can see some consensus!! 68% of yessers can see the need to develop improved port services for exports. 41 percent of yessers would like more taxation, versus only 8.3 percent of noes.
Q9 – How many months of unemployment have you experienced in the last decade?
53% of yes voters and 69% of no voters have been in constant work for the last decade, so there goes any theory of deprivation as being a factor in voting decisions. The no voters have had less severe time periods of unemployment overall, but they too have had unstable employment over the last ten years
Q10 – How do you really feel about immigration and social class?
65% of yes voters believe that Scotland is a tolerant country who are friendly to everyone, whereas no voters are more likely to believe in a cautious approach to immigration at 69%. A very small number on both sides voted for no migrants at all, or believed that the three areas mentioned were evil whingers. Other answers were evenly split between no and yes, including the honest answer about immigration and its relationship with social class. Good on you if you picked that one, that is the most common private moan and nobody admits to it in public.
As a brief conclusion, debating tactics are woefully lacking and I experienced quite a lot of very tiresome abuse to gather this information. If independence supporters and campaigners want to avoid sounding whiny and repeating the same information, they might try asking questions instead of throwing virtual rocks at people. An additional problem is the rise of sectarianism as an issue within the debate, and the suggestion that class is an issue is also of increasing relevance due to some SNP policies. My advice to those on both sides is to just accept that independence and politics are two separate issues. Our careerist politicians are just that – they will very quickly adapt and form more relevant parties. Or perhaps you could actually do it yourself?
Thank you Ina