Ian Lakin, former chairman of the pro-UK Better Together campaign in Aberdeenshire.
Alternatively read: A year on from the Referendum: Why ‘Yes’ would have been the right choice
A year has now passed since myself and many others from both sides of the political divide argued the case against separating from the rest of the UK.
For the No campaigners it was always going to be a tough fight when David Cameron handed all the “high ground” as a gift to the nationalists by giving them concession after concession.
For example we were stuck with defending the negative word No in contrast to the other side grabbing the Yes more positive message.
Furthermore the campaign was extended to 18 months, covering the Commonwealth Games, Bannockburn anniversary, Homecoming, build-up to the Ryder Cup and so on, allowing time for national fervour to build.
In addition the word Yes was emblazoned across our Scottish flag and pro-Union supporters became genuinely concerned about expressing their views publicly. And of course a simple majority of one was all what was needed to end the 300-year-old successful partnership.
But what about the real issues which really concerned the thinking public like Scotland’s economic dependence on an oversized financial sector (relative to GDP) which could go bust from time to time, or the volatile oil sector which could experience a collapse in the oil price?
“Scaremongering” was the common accusation by the nationalists and to make their point they successfully convinced their supporters we were “on the cusp of a second oil boom”.
Then of course there were the small matters of currency, EU membership and a need for border controls as we would have to sign up to Schengen (no opt-out like the UK).
No matter, as Alex Salmond told everybody everything would be resolved in our favour within 18 months of a Yes vote – and many believed him.
So 12 months on how have we faired?
The oil price has since collapsed leaving us as the worst performing country out of 31 OECD countries with regard to our fiscal budget.
Our education, NHS, police, once the envy of the UK or indeed many parts of the world, is now an embarrassment.
We have a failed industrial scale windfarm policy which is penalising the poorest with artificially high electricity prices and ruining vast tracks of our once beautiful scenery with steel forests.
The indisputable fact is that the arguments have still not moved on as the same old issues would resurface that caused the decisive No vote last time if the SNP break their “vow” and get another referendum.
For example how would we fund our unsustainable deficit with the creditors (Greek style) circling an isolated Scotland?
What currency would we use before having to adopt the Euro?
Also with the current massive refugee crisis the likelihood that England would put up border posts could no longer be viewed as an idle threat.
Then what about big firms start moving their head offices again South of the border and would the EU be even more hostile than last time as a result of the Greek crisis?
The SNP may be riding high but those of us who voted No last time, regardless how we voted in the general elections or will vote in the forthcoming Scottish elections, would still vote No and I suspect Nicola Sturgeon, unlike Alex Salmond, fully understands the situation and will be in no hurry for another referendum – provided of course she can keep the rank and file under control.