By Eoin Molloy
When leaving Sunday morning service at Crathie Kirk church in Aberdeenshire, the Queen told onlookers that she hopes Scottish voters ‘think very carefully about the future’ when voting on Thursday.
This enigmatic statement has been construed by the ‘No’ campaign as being similar to a statement made by David Cameron on the subject. He said that ‘this is a once-and-for-all decision. If Scotland votes yes, the UK will split, and we will go our separate ways for ever.’
Aside from deriving rhetoric from Taylor Swift songs, the ‘No’ campaign has been pretty effective thus far in recruiting famous names to their cause. Most recently, David Beckham made headlines by signing an open letter to the Scottish public imploring them to vote against independence in the upcoming referendum.
The Queen, whose mother is Scottish, has observed the proprieties of not getting involved in political debate. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: ‘We never comment on private exchanges or conversations. We just reiterate what the Queen has always said: she maintains her constitutional impartiality. As the Queen has always said, this is a matter for the people of Scotland.’
This didn’t stop right-wing publications like The Daily Mail interpreting her ambiguous exchange with an onlooker as a ‘stark warning’ to the people of Scotland against voting yes. Also, politicians like Nigel Farage have expressed their dismay with the Queen’s impartiality. Farage was quoted as saying that it would ‘be handy’ if the Queen campaigned for the ‘no’ side.
The ‘No’ side have also been quick to invoke the big business argument, saying that big financial companies and banks will abandon ship if Scotland votes in favour of ditching the Union. First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond dismissed this, saying that a ‘Yes’ vote will be a victory for average Scottish citizens at the expense of banks and big oil.
More importantly, however, groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons gave his two cent’s worth on the issue. The red-haired sitcom character voiced by Dan Castellaneta was a little less subtle, saying that voters are free to vote in favour of the ‘wrong side or the obviously right side.’ His call of ‘Aye or Die’ is catchy and hilarious in equal measure, but is unlikely to seriously change the minds of any voters.
Various polls as to which way the vote will go have fluctuated frequently. The most recent Sunday Telegraph poll has the ‘Yes’ side at an 8 point lead. Another poll, conducted by the Sunday Times has the ‘Yes’ side at 46% and the ‘No’ side at 47%, with 7% still undecided. It seems as though the undecided voters will make the difference come Thursday.
It is also probably worth noting that we reached out to the most senior figure in campaigning for Scottish independence, Mel Gibson, for comment. He was unavailable.