No 'divorce', no 'heartbreak' for UK; Scotland just 'didn't do it' Mr Alex Salmond!
It is definitely a feeling of immense relief when one manages to salvage a special relationship from the brink of breaking away. And, right now, who knows this better than British PM David Cameron, who must have heaved a sigh of relief and have had a happy breakfast on Friday morning when the results from the crucial Scottish referendum were announced.
For, to Mr Alex Salmond's chagrin, the Scots "just didn't do it"; they said “No” to the “Yes” camp and spared their dear PM Cameron a 'heartbreak'.
As I write this, the results from the historic Scottish referendum are pouring in, reflecting clearly what the Scots had in mind as they earnestly marched to the polling booths, earnestly
queuing up to vote in the so-called "once in a lifetime" opportunity.
According to the latest results, the majority has said a loud and clear YES to the “No” camp as out of 32 areas, results are out for 31, and 55.42% voters have voted in favour of the 307-year old union, as against 44.58% who have voted in favour of independence. Thus, so far the “No” camp is leading with an over 10-point lead, a margin higher than any of the pre-referendum surveys predicted.
The Scots have made it clear that they want to remain united, as a part of the United Kingdom.
However, the United Kingdom will not be the same as before, as the head of the 'Better Together' Alistair Darling said how it will take a great deal of effort to heal the divisions that have sprouted up during the campaign.
Not for nothing, has this referendum grabbed a sea of eyeballs across the globe, leaving a deep impact on many.
It will go down as one of the greatest campaigns in the Scottish history, which saw a whopping 97% of Scots registering to vote and all debating hotly what will be good for their future - retaining a centuries-old union or breaking away as a separate identity.
The recent weeks ahead of the crucial vote saw opinions and counter-opinions flying thick across the UK.
The seed of referendum was planted back in 2012 when Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond and British PM David Cameron signed the referendum agreement. However, the first major ebullience in the two-year old campaign came only in recent weeks ahead of the vote,
when a YouGov poll, for the first time, gave a narrow two-point lead to the “Yes” Scotland camp.
It was this survey that injected a copious vial of adrenaline into the “Yes” camp, putting winds in their sails, while at the the same time triggering a storm in the Westminster's tea cup.
The “No” camp sprang into action, bringing PM Cameron together with rival Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, to convince the Scots that they looked 'Better Together'.
The Westminster leaders went to the extent of signing a pledge, just days before the vote, promising more autonomy and tax powers to the Scots, vowing to preserve the Barnette formula (that decides the distribution of spending funds).
The pledge taken at the eleventh-hour was written off by Salmond and his party as a sign of panic.
But despite a formidable amount of nationalist sentiments floating in the Scottish ether, accompanied by a flutter of Saltires, a colourful show of tartans and cadence of bagpipes, the Scots chose to retain the pride of the Union Jack.
And hereby, the UK was saved from suffering the pangs of a "painful divorce" as feared by Cameron.
However, the campaign has managed to invigorate divisive sentiments not just within the United Kingdom, but beyond.
The Scottish campaign has added volume to the chorus of independence elsewhere, like Catalonians in Spain, Bavarians in Germany or Flanders in Belgium, who might have taken notes from the example of Scotland.
But the most inspiring element of the campaign, which others must take note of, is the unique decency and the civilised nature of the campaign, which has been untouched by any violence or even offending rhetoric.
Now that the Scots have declared their verdict, it's time for the UK government to act on its promises. And here is where lies a challenge as many Tory MPs have spoken against the liberal treatment being offered to Scotland.
However, let's hope all remains well and as the Harry Potter author JK Rowling had wished, hope all remain friends by Friday.