The argument about whether we stay or go must be conducted with vigour, ruthlessly perhaps, given that so much is at stake, but above all with honesty. There are many years after 2016 and we will have to live together.Some people will vote unionist no matter what. They aren't listening to arguments. They won't hear any. Perhaps they perceive themselves to be British. Maybe they see Scotland as a county in the north of England. There is no point talking to them. They have decided. They decided in 1948.
There are those who are nationalists; they already see the two countries as separate, see England or Wales as abroad. If the future for Scotland meant Albania on North Sea, old clothes and porridge, they would still vote that way. They decided in 1949, 30 years before they were born.
There are some who couldn't care less; maybe don't even know that there's a debate going on; won't know on the day, because it wouldn't occur to them to look at the news, or read the front page of a paper. They are more concerned with how hot Harry Styles is, the size of Beyonce's bra, who will win the cup, or if they should buy red or pink nail varnish. No, I'm not being patronising. Some people really don't know it's happening and don't care that they don't know.
And there are some that know it's happening and aren't bothered because it "won't make any difference to me" (which isn't true) or it will make a difference but, all we get is politicians, and they just tell lies (which is). Yawn.
They are people from all walks of life. They are university professors, doctors, shop assistants, bin emptiers, lawyers, scientists, civil servants, singers, actors, teachers, soldiers, bin men, nurses, sick people, old people, young people, immigrants, white people, black people, gay people, deaf people, teenagers, children, fat people, short people, thin people, tall people, people with short tempers and patient people, people with dark hair and people with pink hair... Some are clever, some not so. But they all have their own way of working through their uncertainties. They will be hungry for information; for facts, or what passes for facts in an uncertain world.
These are the people we have to persuade, whatever our own convictions are.
We will not do it with lies. Perception may be a large part of politics, as Niko said on the last post, but it is not all. People lied to once too often may, depending on their nature and intellectual capacity, take a longer or shorter time to conclude that they are being lied to, but from whichever side, they will eventually understand that they are not being told the truth. And if they are not being told the truth on one topic, maybe they are being lied to on others...
This is a long campaign, Mr Cameron is right about that. (Although, in fairness, and without any partisanism, his campaign on Europe is twice as long, which begs the question, why did he bring the length of the campaign up?)
If a week is a long time in politics, 2 years is an eternity,
Opinion polls at present show unionists with an inbuilt lead, but not nearly enough of a lead to suggest that they could have it in the bag. Not even now.
We have slightly under two years to help these undecided make up their minds.
In the end we will make a decision and, although some disappointed nationalists might emigrate to Norway, and some disappointed unionists might emigrate to England, most Scots will have to live with that decision, one way or the other, as will their children.
We need to think seriously of the time 'when the hurly-burly's done; when the battle's lost and won'... A battle won on lies is a battle unfinished, whichever side wins.
We've seen the personal and economic depression that that brings, close at hand in Ireland. Maybe Scots would deal with it differently. Although I note we have had Irish intervention in the form of the First Minister, Mr Robinson, campaigning for the UK, and advice from some of his supporters on partitioning, should there be a geographical divide. Not perhaps the happiest of imagines.
So there's a lesson in that for all of us who are fighting one way or the other. We should take Mr Sarwar in the spirit of his words rather than his actions, and make ensure an honest and open argument. And hope that not too much damage is done to the nation in working through the pros and cons of the two possibilities for its future.