“Frreeeedddoooomm!” Er, actually…

There was Scotland, a country that has suffered from centuries of English tyranny, which is still recovering from the effects of deindustrialisation during the 1980s, finally given the chance of independence and what happened? 55% of the country decided we were Better Together after all – what would William “Braveheart” Wallace say?

Why, then, am I not writing about the newly declared People’s Republic of Caledonia this week? Having seen the campaigns in action I’d say it’s because the yes campaign didn’t have answers to the kinds of “bread and butter” questions our readers need answering. 

Genuine concerns about currency, bank lending and consumer confidence began to dominate the debate and were matched by specific questions over the future of the National Lottery, rising retail costs and possible increases in regulation.  While these are not all exclusively retailer-related issues, few businesses would be as exposed to the risks Yes Scotland was asking Scots to take.

There’s an election next year – maybe those writing their party’s manifestos would benefit from having a quick chat with their local shopkeeper?

So, while the yes campaign had more passion, more visibility on the streets and was the only side that really gave its supporters a narrative of a better, more prosperous future for the country; while it engaged 16 and 17 year olds in an election for the first time and stole the hearts of patriotic Scots in a way the No campaign rarely managed, it didn’t really matter when it lacked a believable economic case for independence.

It’s another example of why politicians should hold more stock by the concerns of small businesses and what happens to their share of the vote when they don’t. There’s an election next year — maybe those writing their party’s manifestos would benefit from having a quick chat with their local shopkeeper first?

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