The final days are here and most of us are feeling a combination of
nervousness, excitement and hope, whichever way we are voting.
I am, obviously, voting YES. I’d like to take this final
opportunity to explain why I am voting YES – what I am voting for.
I am voting YES because I am, at heart, a socialist and I no
longer feel represented by any of the parties at Westminster. The difference between the main
parties now seems so slight, that even if I did feel my vote mattered, I
wouldn’t know who to vote for. My hope is that, in the event of Independence, the
Scottish parties would reinvent themselves – or go back to their roots – and
there would be real choice again.
I am voting YES because I don’t feel my vote matters at Westminster. I am not
claiming that’s unfair – given that there are roughly 5.5 million Scots and
roughly 53 million in England,
it would be odd if the Scottish vote was a game changer. Even if every eligible
Scot voted – and that never happens – and even if every voter voted for one
party – and that never happens, it would still only rarely make a difference.
And while I accept that is fair in the current system given the respective
populations, I feel my vote would count for more in an Independent Scotland.
Would everyone suddenly get the party they voted for? Of course not – that
could only ever happen in a country where people were forced to vote for one
party at gunpoint. But I believe a greater percentage would get the party they
I am voting YES because I like the idea of a constitution –
certain rights enshrined that should be upheld, no matter what the party in
power. A guaranteed NHS? Equal Rights? Free Education? It would be nice to see
those actually guaranteed.
I am voting YES because I would like rid of nuclear weapons.
I have heard the arguments about deterrent and the fears of attack if they are
removed, but if these fears are real, why have none of the currently non-nuclear
European countries been attacked? The majority of European countries do not
have nuclear weapons and they’re doing just fine.
I am voting YES because the current slip to the extreme
right in the UK
terrifies me. I will not, for one second, pretend that Scotland does
not have any right wing voters or any right wing extremists but it is under
control at the moment. I’d like to keep it that way.
I am voting YES because I want a Scottish government to be
in charge of these currently reserved powers:
benefits and social security
trade and industry
nuclear energy, oil, coal, gas and electricity
These things are too important, affect us too greatly, to
leave in the hands of Westminster when Westminster is so
frequently out of tune with our wishes.
I am voting YES because I want a fairer society. This kind
of statement has led to accusations of Scots believing themselves to be morally
superior to those south of the border. I don’t believe that’s true for one
second. But we are, traditionally (if you look at our voting patterns) a
socialist country and socialist policies are generally beneficial to the poorer
sections in society.
I am voting YES because I have read both sides of the
argument with regards to finance and the future of our economy and I believe that
we can manage perfectly well. I accept that, as a YES voter, I am predisposed
to preferring the positive predictions, but I find it very difficult to trust
Westminster ‘experts’ and I have no faith in the media coverage the campaign
has received. No sooner have we been told that oil is running out, that banks
are sacking everyone and moving, that prices are going up, than these things
are proven to be, at best, exaggeration, at worst, downright lies.
I am not naïve – I don’t think either side is being 100%
honest, but I have researched every point as thoroughly as I can, I have taken
advice from friends with far greater knowledge than I could ever hope to have
of international finances, and I believe, as they have assured me, that we are
more than capable of succeeding.
I am voting YES, not because of nationalism or patriotism -
I don’t really care where you were born – if you live and work in Scotland, I
respect your views. I will happily welcome new immigrants to this country. I
want an inclusive, tolerant society. No, that won’t happen overnight – maybe it
won’t happen at all – but I’d like us to give it a try.
I am voting YES, not because I think we will suddenly
achieve utopia – that’s just silly – but because I think we can do better for
everyone in our society if we have control of our own finances, our own
policies, our own destiny.
I am voting YES because I no more believe that Westminster will bestow extra powers than I believe they will give us cartoon style super powers. We have no idea who will be in charge of the UK come 2015 and each party has very, very different plans for Scotland if it remains within the union.
My friends who are voting NO are not wrong to vote NO. My
friends who are voting NO simply see things differently. In some cases we have
read the exact same information, but we have drawn different conclusions, in
others we simply want different things. But that’s okay. It doesn’t make them
wrong and me right. I may not agree with their decision or their reasons, but I
accept and respect their choice.
On the 19th of September, should the vote be YES,
I will not gloat, I will not taunt, I will not revel in another’s misery. I
will be happy, I will be excited, I will be relieved, but I can be all of those
things without being smug or offensive.
If the vote is NO, I will not apportion blame, I will not
taunt, I will not complain. I will be sad, I will be deflated, I will be
worried, but I can be all of those things without being petulant or offensive.
If YES wins it will be against the majority of poll predictions, against the bookies predictions, against the full force of the combined Westminster
parties and the full might of the
British media. The odds are long but I can’t let that stop me hoping for and
dreaming of something I have wanted for so long. I have a little while left yet