#IndyRef - Vote on Identity Not Politics

17/09/2014 11:33 BST | Updated 16/11/2014 10:59 GMT

The Scottish independence referendum (#IndyRef) is both encouraging and terrifying at the same time. To see voter registration at 97% of the adult population is encouraging. People have never been so active, engaged and motivated in politics in living memory. Turnout in the 1979 referendum was only 33%, too low for the outcome to count.

At the same time, it is also terrifying because of the word mentioned above - politics. The decision whether to be independent from the remainder of the United Kingdom (not just England) should not be a political one, but that's the way it seems to be at the moment.

In my view, on September 18th people should vote on what they can be sure of - their identity.

Studying history at university, one of the first things you learn is that you can find a historian to make the case either way. The question we were always taught to ask was "who's the source?" Historians frame their argument around what they believe to be true. Economics and legal students will tell you exactly the same thing.

In a similar way therefore, you can find a historian, legal expert or economist to make the case for the union or for independence. Further, a CEO is likely to contribute from a perspective that is aligned to their business, because that is what he or she knows.

So ask yourself what if the claims of Yes and No are inaccurate? How reliable are the crystal balls that a lot of their messaging seems to be based on?

What if the No campaign's claim of us being able to spend £1,400 extra on public services is a bit off? What if they got their sums wrong and it is only a £950 net benefit for example? How will you feel next year? What if buying your groceries after independence is only 8% more expensive than it would have been, rather than the 16% that No predicts?

On the Yes side, do we honestly believe that they can guarantee free tuition fees for evermore? That sounds like a political goal, not one that will be shared necessarily by all political parties. What if people vote out the SNP in 2016 and go for a different government? We can't be sure they will honour that promise.

Also, the word "fair" has been used to a mind-boggling extent in this campaign, particularly by Yes. What is fair? Is that a word you'd use at work or if you got dropped from your football team? It is super-subjective. To be honest, even with independence we'll probably still have problems with wealth inequality; and with low and un-skilled employment being under threat from global competition.

One more thing, after a referendum in favour of Yes, don't kid yourself, we'll still dislike and be suspicious of politicians. They'll still be well paid, have great benefits and a lovely pension. That kind of thing won't change.

That's why this referendum should be a vote about identity and not politics. When you wake up in the morning of the 19th how do you want to feel? Do you want to be Scottish and British or just Scottish? If people vote on those terms then I'll respect the outcome either way.