Better Together have absolutely not done this. Alastair Darling has approached the independence referendum as a managerial matter. Questions of social justice, of what the union could be and should be have been crowded out by technical arguments around currency, pensions, oil revenues and economic stability. These are important issues, but you fight politics with politics. You match ideas with ideas. You have to show the people of Scotland how life will get better under continued union with the rest of the UK. Saying "more of the same" is simply not good enough.
Yet just as an independent Scotland would not always be the plaything of the bond markets, so a no vote does not necessarily mean Westminster business-as-usual. The situation is pregnant with positive, tangible possibilities. If it survives the union and the 63 million people of the UK stands on the cusp of irreversible change. So, on the day the RMT in Scotland narrowly voted to endorse the Yes campaign, here are seven political reasons for saying No Thanks, and staying with us.
1. Labour are going to win the general election next year. Yes, really. The SNP have - wisely - tried tying the yes vote to anti-Tory sentiment. As a country, Scotland is the most spontaneously social democratic section of the British Isles. This is nothing to do with the "natural character" of Scottishness. It is rooted in the brutalities of deindustrialisation, the use of Scotland as Thatcher's proving ground for the Poll Tax, and how the people of Scotland had no constitutional comeback at governments the country didn't vote for, both then and now. Yet Conservative rule can be counted out in the months. Tory civil war, UKIP, and general nastiness and incompetence have done for them.
2. Labour have a recognisably social democratic policy agenda. It's not consistent. There are too many residues of the old thinking and concessions to anti-immigrant scaremongering. Yet on the whole, the package is moving in the right direction: left. Scotland's NHS is yet to be blighted by backdoor marketisation. Under Labour, it never will be. But more than that, Labour is looking to develop a national care service alongside the NHS so our elderly and most vulnerable people will not get caught up in or be let down by medical and social care professionals working in silos. Labour is committed to capping energy bills and rents, of making sure the scourge of low pay is checked and reversed by raising the minimum wage and vigorously promoting the living wage, of scrapping the bedroom tax and dumping the Tory proposals to victimise the poor further. More house building, a jobs guarantee, increasing taxes on the rich - if it's a scrap over social democratic policies the SNP want, it's what they will get.
3. If Scotland votes no, it still wins. Devo-max, which all the Westminster parties are signed up for, enables Scotland to keep its tax beyond contributing to the provision of services/institutions managed on an all-UK basis (EU membership, NATO, foreign office, overseas aid, R&D, UK-wide infrastructure investment, etc.). Never again will a Westminster government be able to attack the people of Scotland through the block grant. As is right, Scotland's spending priorities should be up to the Scottish parliament. This has none of the risks so belaboured by Darling, and undermines the centralism of Westminster government in the rest of England.
4. Speaking of centralisation, the Labour party is committed to handing power and money to local authorities. In a few short years a century of Westminster centralisation will be undone. If this is good enough for England and Wales, it's good enough for Scotland too. While the SNP, paradoxically, aren't so keen on devolving power away from Edinburgh if Scotland stays in the union empowering local government this way will be irresistible. Local elections will matter much more because our communities have a greater say of how their money is spent. In Scotland, I hope this would mean a deeper embedding of social democracy which, in turn, will inspire, inform, and change local politics south of the border.
5. The independence referendum has changed the union. It will never be the same again. But that change needs deepening. If Scotland does vote no as per current polling, the margins will be tight. It means afterward Scotland will be in a stronger, emboldened position within the union. Independence won't go away, a comeback and revisit is inevitable in the medium to longer term. To keep Scotland on board all of the above is not enough. There has to be a massive policy shift. As it just so happens, one is bobbing up and down on the horizon. Living in times of uncertain energy prices and growing insecurity, we shall increasingly have to turn to the resources of these islands to provide our needs. Presently the Scottish government have the target of 100% of Scotland's energy to be generated by wind power by 2020. If Scotland remains in the UK, the political minefield and environmental lunacy of fracking makes Scottish wind and wave extremely attractive for speedy investment. This means a real shot in the arm for the green reindustrialisation of Scotland and a windfall under devo-max as electricity is exported to the rest of the UK and elsewhere. That could happen anyway, but how much longer would it take if left to the Scottish government alone? Scotland is in a strengthened position to lobby for and make the case for the rapid development of these resources, but only within the union.
6. If Scotland remains in the union, its anti-Tory majority will have the pleasure of kicking this odious government out of power. Not just that, 2010-15 may well be their last hurrah. Splits and UKIP are bleeding them dry, they cannot seriously claim to be a Britain-wide party like Labour can and, long-term, demographics are against them and the UKIP freak show. Do you really want to leave the fun of delivering the coup de grace to the English and Welsh only?
7. I admit it, one of the reasons I want you in Scotland to stay with us is entirely selfish. I am a socialist. I want to see a better society in which all that is best about our shared culture - solidarity, liberty, acceptance - to be celebrated. All that is ugly, the sexism, racism, xenophobia, bigotry, whether it comes in an orange sash or a yellow and purple leaflet, needs driving out. The obscenity of inequality and dominance of the city is disgusting. The great thing is I'm far from untypical. There are millions here who want to see what I want to see. If you vote no, the act of union goes from a parchment born of aristocratic and dynastic skulduggery to something much better: a voluntary union of peoples. Scottish social democracy now is no finished article, but already strengthens the popular centre left majority where you are strengthens the political balance in favour of working people and their families here too. And when we vote in a Labour government next year, social democracy will be yet further embedded in Scottish politics. If we have each others' backs, we can make life better for all 63m of us. So please, when you cast your ballot on the 18th, vote to stay with us.