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Why is the debate like it is?

What is shaping the debate?

This is the third of a series of postings that relate to a research project I’ve been conducting on using a model of practical theological reflection in relation to the independence question that is being put to voters in Scotland on 18th September this year. You can read about the project in more detail – including an explanation about the model of reflecting here.

I’m going to share, suitably anonymised, some of the observations made by the focus participants. You’re invited to take part too – online – as the series of posts unfolds.

In the first posting I presented some of the stories that participants told when I asked them to start off the group conversation by giving an example of their own independence. In the second posting I reproduced some examples of how the participants described what’s been going on in terms of the debate.  Here, now, are some participants’ analysis of why the debate is like it is.

I think there is a danger if we do look too much to the past, we should be; the Scots we’re particularly good at doing that – at building up all our grievances, but I don’t think that’s a place that this debate is going forward from. It’s certainly isn’t at the level of ordinary people. Sadie

I think there’s an underlying sense of disgruntlement and injustice in Scotland and that goes very deep and that goes back a long way. Moira

It’s not about nationalism at all, at all, it’s not. It’s not about identity. Rob

And I suppose where I’m coming from is a certain cautiousness about various forms of nationalism because I’ve seen it at close quarters in another environment and it’s not always a pretty sight. Matt

I think that the use of thinking that we will be £1400 better off or £500 poorer – or whatever is nothing short of insulting. Ursula

The [UK] Parliamentry model is adversarial – what’s actually happening [in the referendum] is inquisitorial. Edelmira

That’s the, a huge thing for me, the uncertainty. The risks that I’m seeing, reading about, naturally quite a cautious – not a little alarmed by the unanswered questions.  Adrian

Questions for you to consider and perhaps post a comment in response:

  • Why do you think the debate has unfolded as it has? You’re welcome to contribute by posting to this blog.
  • What strikes you from what my focus group participants have said?

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