When details first emerged that
What was to be gained from separation? More cost, more red tape, more risks and more division. Being part of a greater whole meant sharing our common resources and taking advantage of bigger and better opportunities.
There seemed no end to the reasons why we should all stay together. Yet my sister and her family – who bucked the trend and moved from
London to five
years ago – and many of my Scottish friends remain squarely behind the campaign
for independence. Scotland
Over the past few months, I’ve tried to keep abreast of the debate. Like many others, I have found it difficult given the amount of conflicting information issued by both camps. Will the Scottish economy be stronger or weaker with independence? What about the currency issue, defence, education, and welfare?
When I examine the core facts offered up by each side, there does seem to be greater clarity from the Yes campaign. That is to be expected. They are pushing for this historic change and to achieve it, they have to demonstrate to the majority of Scots that independence can not only work, but will significantly improve their lives. Yet changing the status quo is never an easy task.
Even minor societal changes, such as wearing a seat belt in cars – with proven safety advantages and fatal consequences for those that don’t – is difficult to achieve without legislation, let alone trying to motivate people to opt for something so much more complex and all-encompassing. Simply put, when push comes to shove most humans prefer the ‘better the devil you know’ option, rather than risk entering into the unknown.
It would seem that up until recently, this was the prevailing attitude in
, but in recent weeks a
real momentum has been building behind the movement for independence. According
to various polls, the race is now virtually neck and neck. Leaving aside the
Don’t Knows (some 10% of the electorate), support for ‘No to independence’ is
down to 53%, while the Yes’s are up to 47%. A month ago, the gap was huge: only
39% in favour of independence, with a whopping 61% against. Scotland
An estimated 4.5 million over the age of 16 living in Scotland have the right to vote in the referendum on September 18 and all councils have reported a big surge in voter registrations this past fortnight: people who have never bothered to vote in regular elections are now signing up in their tens of thousands to ensure their vote about independence counts.
Those of us on the outside are witnessing one of the most empowering aspects of this referendum. On a daily basis Scots of all ages and backgrounds are passionately debating their future. It is fantastic for any democracy to see so many ordinary people engaged in active politics – long may it continue!
Of course, there have been some nasty moments with idiots on either side taking their campaign to the gutter by using physical violence and intimidation tactics to silence the other side’s supporters. Thankfully, most have not. Yet as the deadline for the vote looms, things can and will only get more heated.
I do sense some desperation in the Better Together camp, whose main thrust for keeping the
whole is based on fear. 90% of their campaign seems to set out a ‘doom and
gloom’ case if the Scots opt to go it alone. Yet the facts just don’t support this. United Kingdom
From fighting illegal wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, to plundering the pensions schemes of
millions, and undermining the NHS…and all the while, us English are made to
believe we subsidise .
The truth is the Scots would have the highest per capita income in the UK
outside of London if they did not subsidise us! Scotland
Our social connections and common history wouldn’t end with independence, merely that the Scottish people will have the right to determine what’s important for them. The elites in
Whitehall and Westminster
have never prioritised the needs of and the real power brokers
in the wider world of business are not sentimental about nations and patriotism:
where there is money to be made, they will be there. Scotland
So the main question is: who is better at running
As the florist in the Yes campaign video says: “ Scotland ?
It’s what we all want in our lives, so why shouldn’t our country be independent
It seems ironic to deny
Scotland this, when a
growing number of voters in England
support the UKIP line of reigning back control from . So why expect the Scottish to
continue surrendering their sovereignty to Brussels ? London
Throwing his weight behind the Yes campaign, English author George Monbiot argues, “Scots voting no to independence would be an astonishing act of self-harm.” Indeed it would. The most heartbreaking outcome would be for
to fail to take this lifetime opportunity, not because the facts don’t stack up
for independence – they do! – but because they failed to believe in their
ability to run their own lives in the best possible way. Scotland
As a Turkish Cypriot, I can relate to this. We’re also always being told we’re not capable of being masters of our own destiny; that our future wellbeing is best served by remaining locked into a unity with a bigger power, when in reality their interests will always dominate ours. That’s why I’m rooting for
the day and inspire us all with their vote for independence. Scotland