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The longest night

Lavinia Thompson gets up and wishes she hadn't

For reasons which need not concern readers of National Rust – they don’t really concern me either – I was up earlier than normal overnight. At 11.40pm to be precise, having gone to bed just two hours previously.

A by-product is that I have been able to tune in to Radio Five Live’s Scotland Decides, anchored by Rachel Burden and Jim Naughtie. It’s now 1.20am as I type, but I have to say that what I’ve been listening to for these 100 minutes has been some of the ‘flatest’ airtime-filing (television or radio) that I can ever recall.

Yes, the Scottish independence referendum issue – and those espousing both sides of the argument – has produced an extraordinary and historic campaign with limitless implications for the future of the United Kingdom, whatever the outcome.

However, ever since I joined this radio programme, all the omens has been that the Better Together ‘No’ campaign has won the day.

I was never in the camp of those planning to stay up – or get up – in order to monitor the results … it has all happened for me completely by chance … but it is self-evident that this is not the outcome that the media blathering set would have wished.

The bigger story by far would have been if Scotland had voted “Yes”.

Had that happened, we Radio Five listeners would have been listening to speculation about the Queen, Westminster, the currency, the EU, Spain and Catalonia, NATO, Britain’s seat at the top table on the UN security council, English and Welsh devolution, regional devolution, the West Lothian question, would/should David Cameron resign as Prime Minister and ‘Is this the end of human civilisation as we know it?’

Instead we are listening to Burden and Naughtie trawling round their ready-made reporters and pundits almost on automatic pilot … going through the motions … with both they and their contributors giving the involuntary impression that they’ve drawn the short straw in being assigned to the ‘graveyard slot’ and are wondering, even as they speak, how the hell they’re going to keep going for the next six or so hours (i.e. until the result is declared) when they can get off-air and drift off to get some shut-eye.

I guess that from now on – until past the next General Election minimum and probably for decades to come – the one group of people we won’t need to feel sorry for are the Westminster politicians in the three main parties who will have to deal with the considerable fall-out over their last-minute concessions to the Scottish “Yes” campaigners.

Over to you, chaps ….

[I’m going back to bed ...]

About Lavinia Thompson

A university lecturer for many years, both at home and abroad, Lavinia Thompson retired in 2008 and has since taken up freelance journalism. She is currently studying for a distant learning degree in geo-political science and lives in Norwich with her partner. More Posts