It's fair to say that the vast majority of Yes supporters would cut their own throats before voting UKIP. For Yes supporters don't want to vote for a bunch of racist, tribalistic UKIP fruitcakes who scare people with talk about an oppressing foreign power, prey upon the political disillusionment of voters and draw support from the fears of the working class and the quiet anger of the middle classes.
Oh, sorry, I seem to have got the words "Yes" and "UKIP" the wrong way round there. Welcome, to the first of many ironies about the Yes movement in Scotland. Of course, the big difference between Yes and UKIP is that Yes leans left politically and UKIP leans right. But both use the same tactics to secure voters - the main one being to promise everything to everybody. UKIP gets votes for making promises to everyone from Libertarian - Conservatives to Working Class Labour with a dislike for immigration. The Yes campaign promises to be a socialist utopia fuelled by big business oil and without raising taxes. Both can't offer anything but contradictions.
But here's the thing: I understand the desire to vote UKIP and so I understand the desire to vote Yes. If I had been polled at the EU elections a few months ago I probably would have said I would vote UKIP. This was because I am fairly disillusioned with Westminster and I would love to see a more radically Tory government in charge. UKIP offered the chance to push the government more to the right. It promises change and an opportunity for things to be different.
My observation is that this is the same desire that Yes voters have. They feel, more so than me, disillusioned with Westminster. They want to push the government further left. They want a more radical parliament, they want change and an opportunity for things to be different.
Despite the fact that the Yes camp and I would disagree on almost everything politically speaking I think they can learn something from the UKIP parallel. We may come from different sides of the political sphere, I may be further to the right than Genghis Khan but we still share much in common - a similar desire to break with the old ways of doing things and a desire to see a more radical form of government policy in place.
So what stopped me voting UKIP at the EU elections? I would argue the same principles that should stop you voting Yes on Thursday.
Don't Vote in Anger
I wanted to vote UKIP because I was angry with the Westminster government's uselessness. I was angry that they couldn't seem to do anything correctly and their policy on Europe was hurting the country. UKIP played off that anger as the Yes campaign does too.
But voting in anger is not a healthy vote. There is little good that can be created with such reactionary politics. If you think UKIP would ruin the country then give pause for thought for what a Yes vote could do. Where does the anger end? When the economic utopia inevitably fails to materialise who then gets blamed? What kind of country will be forged in the fires of hatred and racial division? UKIP emphasises the ME and YOU side of nationalism. It encourages division and separation.
And so does the Yes campaign. It fuels ancient grudges and old hates with a veneer of modern progressiveness. It is nationalism of the worst kind, the kind that can see no further than the borders of one country and fails to recognise the kinship that all human beings share. It's a self centred, selfish thing and it is very easy to give way too.
It makes it so simple if the problems of your country are the fault of an outsider. It is easy to shake my fist at Europe and lay on them all the blame. And some of that blame is justified. Similarly, it must be easy to shake your fist at "the English", "the Tories," or "Westminster". In both cases we need to recognise that the world is never so simple. We cause our own problems. Blaming another entity is in keeping with human nature but we need to be mature and claim responsibility ourselves.
This might seem an odd one but Obama used the same campaign tactics that both UKIP and the Yes camp use. A generic promise of change, a playing upon the disillusionment of the voting public and some shallow representation of "newness." In Obama's case it was his skin colour and in Scotland's case it's being an independent country again.
And what has Obama done but disappoint his supporters? Newsflash: he wasn't the Messiah, he couldn't ever match the great weight of expectations placed on him, he could never keep every promise he made or live up to the standard he set.
Before voting in the EU elections I realised that in the same way UKIP could never do all it said. It promised so much precisely because it did not have to deal with the practical reality of power. UKIP could never save Great Britain. If they did get in power it would be like the Liberal Democrats all over again!
Independence can not save Scotland. There is no way the Yes camp can achieve all of its aims. It will not and cannot usher in economic utopia. It will let you down as much as the Westminster government. You have placed so much expectation on independence that there is no other way it can end. Hope and good intentions are not enough to bring about lasting change. The Yes camp is united at the moment but the minute the vote goes ahead it will break apart into a hundred different factions each wanting different things. The unity of the Yes movement is an illusion. At least the Better Together campaign in more honest about the differences between the different parties involved.
Farage is no different
During the EU elections a politician went on record saying that Nigel Farage was no different to any other seasoned politician. Although Farage likes to pretend to "down with the kids" and not like all the other conniving politicians out there then it is all just an act.
And so with Scotland. Are Scottish MPs more morally upright than Westminster ones? Are we really any better? Many yes voters seem to think that if we get rid of Westminster we free ourselves from all the excesses of the evil of government. How naive! The human heart can not be voted out. The desire for power, wealth and influence are not exclusive to Tories or the English!
It is easy enough to imagine a situation where Edinburgh becomes the new London - a reality detached from the rest of Scotland. It already kind of is. What would stop this trend continuing?
The rest of the world is watching
Often we make better decision when we realise people are watching us. We try to hit a higher standard of behaviour when we know there is an audience. In the EU elections I didn't want the embarrassment of UKIP winning a landslide of seats to reflect badly on the UK. Across Europe, anti European parties were voted in, many far more racist and nasty than UKIP. I'm proud that I played no part in such a trend.
In the same way, consider carefully that the eyes of the world are upon Scotland. We live in such a confused world right now. War seems increasingly common, differences are enough to slaughter people over, militant Islam is creating its own state out of the fires of ethnic cleansing.
On Thursday we have an opportunity to send a message of unity across a divided world. We can vote to remain in a Union that has lasted three hundred years and endured much. We can vote to stay together despite feeling an increase in the differences between us. We can vote in love to keep going where others might have given up. A vote for No, a vote to remain in the Union, is just what the rest of the world needs right now. A signal of hope, that some things can last and some bonds of blood and fellowship are too strong to break.
In conclusion, it is a hard thing to allow cold hard logic to triumph over the hope of change. It's easy to be idealistic and paint beautiful futures with no grounding in reality. Voting No means letting reality intrude, with a sullen smile and bad grace, upon dreams of grandeur and revolution. But a vote for Yes, based on fantasy, is a worse thing by far.
Don't be a hypocrite. If you would never vote UKIP then don't vote Yes. Don't let the difference in political leaning deceive you. Both UKIP and the Yes campaign run off the same hatred. They spread discord, divide and separation, they encourage us to be insular and to see no further than one people group. They both promise a world that cannot be delivered. They promise they are difference but are all too human for that to be true.
If you hate the idea of being a UKIP fruitcake; hate the idea of being a Yes fruitcake. Because at heart, although it might be from the left side and not the right, it's the same cake you're eating.