Tomorrow, for the first time ever in the history of Scotland, we ourselves have the opportunity to choose our own future. Jim Sillars
said it best I think:
On 18 September 2014, between the hours of 7am and 10pm, absolute sovereign power will lie in the hands of the Scottish people. They have to decide whether to keep it, or give it away to where their minority status makes them permanently powerless and vulnerable.
This is a big and important decision for us, a once in a lifetime chance. Scary too, maybe. Change can be scary but it doesn’t have to be. I wanted to share my thoughts on a few things before tomorrow…
There have been a lot of scare stories thrown at Scotland over the last two years. They basically boil down to the following:
Ye cannae dae it! Yer too wee. Too poor. Too stupid…
Scotland is undoubtedly wee – there are currently less than 5.3 million of us – but there are many successful countries with similar populations, or even smaller. Here are just some of them:
- Denmark – 5.6 million
- Singapore – 5.3 million
- Norway – 5.1 million
- Ireland – 4.6 million
- New Zealand – 4.5 million
- Bhutan – 751 thousand
- Luxembourg – 549 thousand
- Malta – 416 thousand
- Iceland – 320 thousand
Among the vast population of the UK, we are swamped – our voices will never be heard. In a country of just 5 million I think individuals would have a much greater opportunity to affect real change. Successive Westminster governments, who care only for power and wealth, have been steadily eroding everything we care about. The NHS, social welfare, human rights, employment rights – all of these things are at risk. Our only real chance to protect them – to build the country we want to live in – is to vote YES.
The NO campaign has told us that iScotland “won’t be able to punch above its weight in the world”. Well, honestly, that’s fine by me. I have no wish for us to be punching anyone. During my lifetime alone the UK has been involved in far, far too many wars. I want my country to trade with the world, not try to blow it up.
Scotland is not a poor country. We have vast natural resources, intelligent people and shed-loads of potential. These days no-one is saying we can’t pay our own way – that lie was scotched long ago – but somehow the ‘too poor’ myth keeps hanging around.
Scotland is not subsidised – we pay more than our share in tax to the UK – but for an oil producing country we have way too much poverty
. The wealth generated since the discovery of North Sea oil in the 70s has been syphoned down to London and frittered away on gods know what. It should not have to be that way.
After independence the Scottish Government plans to set up an ‘oil fund
‘ – using revenue raised from Scotland’s oil fields to invest in the country and to act as a buffer against harder times. For me, as a greeny, the oil is just icing. Scotland has so much more to offer.
Stupid? Well obviously that’s not true – Scots invented everything! However, I’m aware it’s been tough at times to stay positive in the face of Project Fear
. Why is it so much easier to believe negative things? Scotland, you are fabulous!
You can do whatever you set your mind to! Please, don’t be so scared of even the possibility
of failure that you’re afraid try.
If I’m honest though, most of the big issues talked about in the debates involve things most of us never think about – economy, foreign policy, etc, etc – we just trust others to take care of it all for us, don’t we? If that’s true, do you really think the millionaire parasites of Westminster can take better care of your interests than Scottish people could? I don’t. John Swinney has consistently balanced the Scottish Parliament’s budget since he’s been in control of it. The Scottish Government spends our money on important, socially valuable projects – not bombs. I trust Scottish people to do these important jobs – why wouldn’t I? Like I said, we are fabulous!
Okay, it’s almost Referendum Day and I’m getting tired now (that’s probably obvious). Tomorrow will be the climax of 2 years of YES campaigning. There have been numerous public meetings and events, street stalls, amazing videos and screeds of stuff written online. So much information! (which reminds me – in all that time no questions have really been answered by the NO camp. Their ‘positive case for the union’ was never even hinted at once in a two year campaign, as far as I’m aware).
Anyway, if you’re still undecided – and you’re not stappit fu’ of information already – can I direct you to the Wee Blue Book
or some of the Referendum Links
listed here on my blog. There is still time to get the positive message. We deserve a better country. We have no hope of achieving that within the UK. Our only chance to affect real change is to start fresh – to VOTE YES!
Today I heard a woman say “So, we’ll wake up on Friday to find fivers hingin off the trees!” – sarcastic, yes, but witty too (typically Sottish in fact). The thing is, in the event of a YES it is going to feel like fivers are growing on trees! The future will be bright and open – it will be ours!
Please Scotland, the world is watching. Vote YES tomorrow – so we can build a better country