Thursday, 23 October 2014

Talking 'bout my generation

 In today's Guardian Martin Kettle has written an article comparing the current political situation in Scotland to that in Ireland between 1916 and 1922.  His thesis is that the Easter Rising and its consequences were the product of a generational shift, given the young age of the Irish people who led the revolution. He then compares this with the referendum, his proposition here being the strength of the pro-Independence campaign on social media, which he clearly thinks of as a young person thing, indicates that Scottish Independence is also the result of a generational shift.  He also points out that those who voted No were most likely to have got their information from the mainstream media rather than online and that these people were more likely to be from the older generation.  This is fine so far as it goes. 

Looking at the breakdown by age group, though, we see that age groups from 25-54 were more likely to have voted Yes, which kind of breaks his thesis and suggests that, while social media was a big factor in the Yes campaign, it wasn't the whole story.

I think that the age groups most likely to have voted Yes are those who have experienced life both before devolution and after it and, having experienced both, have decided that it's but a short step from devolution to independence.  Having seen what can be done with a devolved parliament, they were more likely to see an independent parliament as the next logical step and one that they could take with confidence.

Certainly the increase in membership of political parties seems to bear this out.  At my local SNP branch meeting I would say that the spread of age groups pretty much matches the Yes-voting age groups, and there are a fair proportion of older people attending meetings.  I don't believe my branch is unique in this regard.

On a completely unrelated note, I see the Kelpies have won an engineering award.  They are an awesome sight as you drive down the M9, so I'd say the award is well deserved.  Photographs don't do them justice though, so go and see them!

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