Well, the really important question has been answered, thank goodness.

You'll still be able to watch Doctor Who in an independent Scotland.

I'm quite serious. Well, quite. Without disparaging the monumental nature of the referendum, or the importance of the careful analysis you'll read elsewhere, the fact is that for most of us, apparently trivial things matter more than the issues over which politicians and commentators obsess.

Of course, as someone who has spent much of his career as a leader writer and columnist, I should be grateful that there is any interest at all in economic and political ideas, but I'm under no illusions. Far more newspaper readers are interested in the crossword than the editorial.

But that is a good thing. The truth is that the really important things in life, though they may be affected by political issues, are not things that we usually think of as political. Small, ordinary, everyday priorities are, for most of us, the big issues. Our work, our families, dinner, a favourite television programme, chatting with friends and a hundred other things loom larger in most lives than questions about the money supply or the marginal corporate tax rate.

The small things are, in fact, the big things. The fact that every day there are people getting married or having children ought not to obscure the reality that those events are the central pillars of the lives of those concerned. We don't all have the same priorities - the cornerstone of some people's lives may be their faith, or their pets, or sport, or gardening - but remarkably few of us (even amongst those who think of themselves as politically committed) would categorise the voting system or the organisation of council funding as anywhere near as important as those apparently smaller, more lightweight, interests.

One startling indication of the truth of that is the number of people who belong to political parties; fewer than 1% of the British population, the lowest level that it has ever been. And it may in any case be even lower than that figure suggests, since there are union members who may be listed as members of the Labour Party without having chosen to join, or even being aware that they have (the GMB, for example, automatically signs its members up). There are almost twice as many people watching the current series of Borgen, BBC Four's drama about the Danish Parliament, as there are signed-up members of British political parties.

Almost one-quarter of the UK population, for example, say that they follow football's Premier League, while - despite increasing secularisation - 10% attend one of the Christian churches weekly.

Politicians and pundits may moan about the electorate's apathy, but they are really only complaining that the general public doesn't identify with their own preoccupations. The huge range of voluntary organisations and community groups suggests that people are not apathetic; it's just that they don't share the politicians' view of their own central importance.

Personally, I have little interest in many things - The X Factor, say, or Formula One - which millions of my fellow citizens apparently find gripping. Indeed, a disclosure that Strictly Come Dancing would not be available in an independent Scotland might have been enough to win me over to the Yes camp. But I regard it as a mark of great good sense that the voters are more interested in that sort of thing than in the dreary technocratic obsessions of the political parties.

Of course, there is a school of thought which argues that everything is political. You'll remember George Orwell's contention that all art was political, because even the statement that art is not political is itself a political statement.

I suppose at some banal level this is true, like Howard Kirk's contention in The History Man that you need a little Marx, a little Freud, and a little social history to understand anything. But even if everything can be reduced to politics, or viewed in political terms, it ought not to blind us to the truth that the purpose of life is best expressed in terms of human value, rather than party political dogma.

There are plenty of areas where politics encroaches on this, particularly when it comes to caring for others, or in education. But only politicians set out to care for, or to educate, or in some other way interfere with, whole populations. Carers or teachers look after particular individuals. It's when we turn our attention to the particular, to the small details of life, that we're most likely to do some good, or find some purpose, or learn something, or simply find enjoyment or interest.

People have been falling in love and raising families for as long as there have been people, and our very existence is testament to that fact. But to say that does nothing to reduce the shattering significance for each individual of falling in love, or of bringing up their children.

You may wish to contrast the prospects for happiness of those who are interested in the pursuit of power with those who prefer to cultivate their gardens. Even though he was writing about the usefulness of politics, Cicero, in his work on obligations, contrasts the two groups - those who seek freedom through gaining resources, and those who pursue it by being satisfied with their own modest means - and concludes that, though neither attitude is "wholly contemptible", the latter is not only easier and safer for the individual, but that it "bears less oppressively and tiresomely on other people".

Given the mess politicians can tend to make of other people's lives, it's a shame more of them don't follow the example of Cicero's compatriot, Cincinnatus, who took himself off to his farm as soon as he'd finished governing Rome. Part of the trouble is that political motivation is fundamentally well-intentioned - and, despite the low regard in which most politicians are held by the general public and a number of notably badly behaved examples, I'm still inclined to think that most politicians are trying to do some good, according to their own lights.

But people who are trying to do something for your own good are the very worst sort of interference, because they will never be persuaded to leave you alone. As CS Lewis pointed out, there may be some let-up from greed or even cruelty, but those who torment us with the approval of their own consciences will never be satisfied. So we should rejoice that so many of us are far more interested in Doctor Who, or any of a thousand other harmless distractions, than in the nitty-gritty of GDP or the exact point at which the Laffer curve generates maximum revenue.

If you are already feeling a bit of political overload, there is the depressing prospect that we've still got nearly a year of it ahead of us. But the Earth will not stop spinning, nor the sky fall in, if you occasionally give yourself a break and remind yourself that the really important things in life are not to be found in the grand public arenas, but much closer to home, and that doing something which is usually characterised as trivial and unimportant - even if it's just watching television - is at least better than doing something harmful.