FRANKLY, my dears, I had no particular plans to be a road block when I grew up. Yet it seems that what I like to call the “chronologically gifted” are the last demographic to need persuading of the value of independence for Scotland.

And I’m not particularly comforted by the stat which says that the number of young Yes voters reaching the electoral register every year roughly equates to the likes of me falling off their perch. Whatever else I don’t see before the clogs are popped, I want to celebrate my nation becoming a proper state.

It seems that while every age group increasingly favours self-determination for this land of ours – some of the youngest overwhelmingly so – the 55s and up still cling to nurse for fear of something worse. Maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s often argued that the older you get the more right-wing and socially conservative you are likely to become. Luckily that’s one regressive gene which seems to have eluded me.

The No campaign of 2014 has a lot to answer for in this regard. I’d dearly love to ask some of the cheerleaders for Better Together if they would dare run that slogan the next time. Better together with Boris? Better together with Govey? Better together with Cummings? Nearer home, do they see Ross or Jack (or Leonard for that matter) as the intellectual giants on whom a successful future Scotland could safely rely? As my wise gran would have had it: “Nut oan yer Nellie!”

So I believe we can safely assume the naysayers are not persuaded by the charisma of the UK Cabinet or its somewhat shoogly grasp of strategic priorities. Which is not to say that older voters’ concerns are not real, or that they should be dismissed by those of us in the same age range who long to escape the ever more malign clutches of Westminster. Because people worry about tangible things. Of course they do. Project Fear made very sure of that when it came to pensions and security and – pause for hollow laughter – being ejected from Europe.

It’s not in any way unreasonable, however, for people to want security for themselves and their families, most especially when the pandemic has rendered that comfort blanket in very short supply. So perhaps it’s time to reflect that what was perceived as the riskier route six years ago has become something of a life raft for our group of nations. Nations about to set sail on the ever choppier waters of Brexit, shorn of our biggest trading partner, shorn of the protections of the Human Rights Act, shorn of anything resembling a clue as to how this imaginary “global Britain” might become more than a fantasy future lauded only by those who prefer Spitfires to space stations.

Staying in bed with Boris is downright dangerous. It’s dangerous because the one crisis the UK Government didn’t fashion by itself has cruelly exposed its intellectual vacuity.

It’s dangerous because it has recently demonstrated its contempt for the law of the land, in addition to blowing up the “fantastic” deal which was the Tories’ election-winning “trump card”. And, not at all incidentally, ensuring that nobody will ever trust the UK’s word again. Not when it signs deals with its fingers crossed behind its back.

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IT’S perfectly understandable to fret about pensions when you’re not the PM worrying aloud about his £150k pay cheque not stretching to a nanny. Or about losing the silly money

The Telegraph paid him to tell occasionally witty porkies.

Yet just consider the thought that the UK pensioner is the worst recompensed in Europe for all the years of work and contributions thrown into the pot. Staying in the UK union is a surefire route to embedding inequalities.

There is, however, another thought which I would offer my Baby Booming peers. We got lucky. We got bloody lucky. We left school or university to enter a plentiful jobs market. We could find money for affordable rents for social or private housing. Or save for a mortgage.

The majority of us could be reasonably certain to avoid redundancy, or to find alternative means of earning a half-decent living. We were the generation who benefited from the advent of package holidays, and could generally count on doing better than our parents.

For the last 40 years we could travel for work or leisure throughout the European Union, sailing through the EU channels at ports and airports. When we were students, Erasmus scholarships let some of us gain invaluable experience in the universities of other countries, experience which greatly enhanced employment prospects on return.

All that, my friends, is what the UK Government has just flushed down the loo. No freedom of movement to work, no international scholarships. Huge spikes in unemployment as companies and services scurry to Europe to avoid the penalties attendant on being just a “third country”.

Huge queues for bringing in or trying to get out essential supplies. (Just last week a Covid testing centre had to be closed down in Kent to facilitate a lorry park!) Not to mention spending unlovely hours in queues for ourselves at ports of entry and exits as newly designated citizens of “all other countries.”

Is that really the future you want for your grandchildren? Because it’s that generation – the one really, really enthusiastic about an independent Scotland – whose future you are mortgaging. Can it really be fair to deprive them of all the advantages you’ve already used and enjoyed?

A final thought. You may have been No because you don’t care for having an SNP government. Fine. Each to their own. Just remember that is another freedom independence confers. Freedom to elect whatever party floats your boat. Democracy in action, as opposed to getting serial administrations who last won a popular vote in Scotland in the 1950s. Your vote isn’t just about you any more. It’s about the kind of future you make possible for the next generations. And the kind you don’t deny them. Think on, my friends. Think on.