Indyref genie will keep us all honest

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It couldn’t really have come as much of a surprise to anyone that the Borders returned such a large ‘No’ vote in last week’s referendum on independence.

But the size of the majority against, however – almost twice as many (55,553) votes were cast for ‘No’ as were cast for ‘Yes’ – cannot simply be attributed to a last-gasp offer of increased powers.

To claim the bulk of these voters were either duped by the so-called ‘Vow’ or were scared into voting ‘No’ is, basically, insulting.

More than most, the Borders and neighbours in Dumfries & Galloway know what the realties of creating an international border would have entailed for local communities.

A great many were clearly not prepared to walk away from a union to which they believe the Scots have as much a right of ownership as England or anyone else.

That feeling is bolstered by the shared experience of sacrifices such as the Second World War, still fresh in the living memory of many Borderers.

However, nearly 28,000 Borders voters felt aggrieved enough with the current political set-up to back separation and their concerns and hopes for the future must be addressed.

The genie of independence is well and truly out of the bottle, and there will be no putting it back.

But perhaps its ever-present shadow, hovering over all our political masters, will keep them honest in ensuring Scotland is improved for all of us.