The once-unthinkable has suddenly become possible. In the last few days, Scottish Independence polls have lurched towards ‘Yes’, so that there is now only a point or two between the two camps. Whilst the difference between them is still within the margin of error, one poll even showed a slight lead for the pro-Independence campaign. With nine days to go, it seems that for the first time the referendum genuinely could go either way.
Five months ago, back when polls showed a 20-point lead for ‘No’, the Jubilee Centre’s quarterly publication Engage included a rundown of some of the biblical arguments surrounding Independence. You can read the full article here (p. 2) but to summarise:
- Self-rule is the biblical ideal and national identity matters – but this applies to both British and Scottish nationality
- God is sovereign over the ebb and flow of nationhood
- Subsidiarity – the idea that power should be distributed to the lowest appropriate level – is a thoroughly biblical concept
- This also means tasks that can only be handled by a more centralised authority must be passed upwards
- There remain the vexed questions of currency. A currency union without a political one does not share risk, reward or responsibility.
- The Bible is similarly clear about the need to pay your debts, which is relevant in the context of the suggestion that Scotland would default on its share of UK borrowing.
At the moment, it looks like the race is going to go right down to the wire. Polls close at 10pm on Thursday 18th September. By 10.05, the first exit polls will be showing where Scotland considers its future to be – and that of the rest of the UK.