That's a particular irony, given the Yessers' focus on the wonders of democraticity and so on, since it was a massive democratic stampede against independence that did them in.
That massive turnout is a back-handed compliment to the Yes campaign, but should also be a bit of a downer. The Better Together campaign was shockingly poor - in two years, I can't remember seeing a single BT leafleter, stall or door-knocker, despite living and working in the nation's capital city - and their messaging skills were diabolical.
Frankly, I suspect that the unionists could've laid off campaigning altogether and still carried the day... And yet, they still won decisively.
- I'm not really a big fan of the OMG the massive turnout shows how wonderfully re-energised our democracy really is analysis. 55% of an 85%+ turnout voting against the proposition tells me that the majority of voters came out to say "This is a very daft idea, please stop it".
It'd presumably be easy to replicate this turnout if we had another referendum next week on Do you agree that Scotland should be a theocracy? or Should we rename the country "Bawbagistan".
On "the debate" itself, well, look - a few million people parrotting the party-approved talking points of the UK's political behemoths, or reciting the contents of the day's papers, got really old very quickly.
- The aftermath of the referendum is now chucking up some fairly revealing stuff, as an old and familiar political refrain sets in for the defeated side - the Party can never fail, and can only ever be failed by the electorate, the bastards.
If you check social media and forums, you can see that the Yes camp's footsoldiers have a thousand theories about why they lost, and almost every one of them is a variation on We Wuz Robbed.
I'm yet to see even one person flirting with the idea that they lost because millions of Scots found their arguments unconvincing. Eck himself came close, but then rowed it back with a lot of grousing about those sneaky Westminsterers.
The message I take from the result is that most of us trust Holyrood to empty the bins, but not to run the entire show; that most of the country doesn't believe we can magic a Scandi-style social democracy out of thin air through a single vote; that most of us don't buy the idea that there's something fundamentally different about a person who lives in North Berwick and another raised in Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
That, to put it mildly, is not how others see it.
- An example. Irvine Welsh is saying obliquely here what others are stating far more bluntly - namely, that the Yes campaign was a grassroots democratic uprising thwarted by the craven timidity of the people...
"The no voters should take a bow: they delivered the UK establishment a reprieve the enervated, confused and weak campaign of their masters certainly didn't deserve. They have bought time for the union, and many of them, people who will habitually support the status quo at almost any cost, will simply be relieved..."
"At the start of the campaign, a narrow win for the political-class-led no would have been a nightmare result for the establishment..."Now, sharp-eyed observers will note that the referendum wasn't hacked out of the clay by the common man through sheer grit, but was itself legislation passed in the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Government; that this campaign was led by the SNP, a political party filled with politicians, that has been in power since 2007. Had the Yes vote won, it wouldn't have been Elaine C. Smith negotiating the split with David Cameron, yo.
It's unclear to me how the Nats have managed to rule the nation for seven years without themselves becoming members of the political class but they appear to have managed it, as far as Irvine is concerned.
Irvine's rattle about "people who habitually support the status quo" on behalf of "their masters" is a much more polite version of what many of the rank-and-file Yessers are now saying themselves, which is basically that they lost because two million of their countrymen are spinelesss, servile, cowardly traitors*.
This is a pretty bizarre message for people who have spent much of the last year up on their high horses about their foes "talking down Scotland", but it's what lurks at the bottom of the pool that nationalists of all stripes swim in.
- Which is pretty much why I had little to say about the IndyRef until it was almost upon us. For all the chat about how wonderfully positive the debate was, it looked rather different to me. This was probably the biggest political decision of my lifetime, and I went out of my way to avoid getting dragged into it for the last two years.
There's a reason for this. Most of the unionist types I've spoken to regarded the Yes voters with more or less open contempt as a bunch of mouth-breathing fools vapidly repeating a lot of Braveheart drivel, while the majority of pro-independence folk plainly saw their foes as a shower of brain-washed, institutionalised pro-Tory cretins.
You'd think it'd be impossible for these people to civilly discuss the matter, and you'd be right - it pretty much was. It didn't bring out the best in people and quickly devolved into a hectoring, flag-waving squabble based on emotion rather than reason.
I watched people I've known for years who have taken little or no interest in politics generally go from indifference to sudden fits of blazing rage about e.g. nuclear weapons in Scotland, with nothing but derision and denunciation for any disagreement.
A debate that energises people towards boiling fucking rage and contempt isn't my idea of a good time, and it hasn't been a very positive experience in my book. Maybe other people had a ball but for me, it was all pretty unpleasant. I found our grand national debate shouty, aggressive and belligerently arsey from start to finish, and I'm glad that it's all over.
- Except, of course, it isn't over. Nationalism generally - British, Scottish, Paraguayan - is largely the collection and stoking of angry grievance, and the manner of this particular defeat is only going to make the Scottish nats even angrier. The thought of a rerun in a decade or two is both depressing and depressingly inevitable, and I expect the next attempt to be even less enjoyable.
*I could show you countless examples, but my favourite one so far is this football forum, featuring die-hard fans saying that they now can't stomach to attend the national team's games, because they've been ruined by the disgusting behaviour of their fellow Scots.