We have been defeated and it is hard to take, but the result was clear and we need to respect the decision of the Scottish people. We should celebrate the high turnout and the extraordinary, vibrant, creative movement that came together in support of independence. There has been a huge investment and engagement in hopes of building a better fairer Scotland and we need to try and sustain that in spite of the result.
We must also acknowledge that for many people, particularly older people, the Union and a sense of British identity was something very precious, that they were not willing to give up. We will need to look carefully at the breakdown of the vote, which will not be helped by the absence of an exit poll, but I suspect that those under 50 have voted Yes and those over 60 have voted heavily for No.
There is a danger that those who have invested their hopes in the Yes campaign will become disillusioned and cynical. The unionist parties have a challenge to deliver on the promises they made. We all have a challenge to try to work positively with the outcome. It will be difficult for many of us to forgive and forget the scorched earth tactics of Better Together, but we must.
Ironically we now face a very uncertain future. Lets engage and make the best of the promises of more powers. We will need all the autonomy we can achieve to protect ourselves from the ever-rightward direction of politics in England. And lets try to unite to use whatever powers we have to more effectively address inequality in Scotland.
PS Lord Ashcroft’s poll shows 73% of over 65s voted No.