THE pro-Union vote is often, demonstrably, a visceral reaction. Polls, when they ask deeper questions, continually highlight it.

It is also often quite self-harming and un-thought, founded in rather contradictory psychology, as was shown yet again in the National’s article “Could Yes surveys be the key to turning mibbees?” (August 1).

So many times we’ll encounter opposition to sensible positions by folk who acknowledge the appropriateness of our arguments, such as the benefits of independence, or losing a nicotine addiction, instances when the individual actually supports literally every key principle of what’s being discussed, they simply can’t get past that in-built pre-conditioning, often self conditioning.

In so many ways it is exceptionally sad, for they will actually be convinced to work against their own best interests or those of their community, and they will do it with little to no thought. It is a knee-jerk reactionary approach. Rather like lighting that next cigarette, they know it’s slowly killing them and harming those around them, limiting their future, yet the habit persists in spite of the evidence.

It’s arguable that Unionist voters have the same traits, and although tobacco use has reduced, it’s taken years. Our challenge is to uncover methods to accelerate that change within the Unionist bloc vote. The Union requires a supply of new voters, just like big tobacco requires new users for its product. Fortunately, both seem to be meeting with less success amongst our young.

This was revealed again in the admittedly quite unscientific but rather revealing survey in Morningside, where the picture was clear.

Virtually 60% of respondents opposed independence, while 60% of respondents tacitly acknowledged they needed it. As many as 90% being of the opinion that Westminster essentially isn’t fit for purpose, a little bit like the historical fag-end.

It is quite a conundrum, and the challenge – much as it always has been – is in how to guide those in this position to a place where they’ll actively vote for it, rather than against themselves.

For some, kicking the Union habit seems even more difficult than booting nicotine.

Experience has shown that accelerating this process is an almost impossible task.

Many of these folk can’t be led, and they will actually be quite hostile to any suggestion that they could be being so stupid, even when couched in the most diplomatic of fashions.

What they might be inclined to do is to embark on a journey of self discovery, hopefully we can induce that with the help of support groups (YES for…), subtle mechanisms like surveys, quizzes, or “in your face” efforts like the All Under One Banner marches, where seeing so many actively and peacefully walking their streets for a cause will reach areas of the mind that the mainstream media would prefer be avoided. It really can’t do otherwise for curiosity is a natural human trait.

Yes Morningside have embarked on the first step of opening those doors to self realisation, at least for those they’ve contacted. We all need to follow suit, for Unionist leaning voters, like an addicted or indoctrinated individual, will not change overnight.

They will need help, they’ll require support, so let’s find a way to give it to them, let’s find a way to clear the air of this Westminster miasma that’s hung for too long over our nation.

We must stop gifting London our wealth and resources.
Ashley MacGregor
Via email