What is Scottish independence ?
Independence for me is not simply about getting rid of Westminster and the Tories. And conversely, neither is it about living under eternal SNP rule in a Scandinavian-esque society. There is more to independence than Mr Cameron, Mr Salmond and the Norwegian dream. It’s about every man, woman and child that lives in this great nation and working together to create a fairer, more equal, more just, more prosperous nation.
Hopes and aspirations
In fact, I hope that independence brings us all closer together – because at the minute, we’re about as detached as you can get. That in my eyes is a great shame and encapsulates all that is wrong with modern day UK politics. If someone has differing views, instead of sitting down and talking about them, walls are put up and battle lines are drawn. This goes for all parties at UK level and is now sadly becoming common place within Scottish parties. With a Yes vote, I hope that the political binds of the past can slowly be unraveled to bring two, now very different, nations and their respective parties closer together for the better. For this to happen though, we first need to take the chance to find out who we truly are as a nation and to discover what we can become. That all begins with putting an « X » in the right box.
The current situation
Over the last 3 years, since the SNP won an unprecedented majority in the Scottish Parliament (and let’s not even get into the fact that Labour created the voting system specifically so that this could never happen…), the opposition has taken the opportunity to use the upcoming referendum as a scapegoat for all the country’s ills. Failing schools? It’s the fault of the referendum. Failing NHS standards? It’s the fault of the referendum. Opposition MSPs being caught out spinning lies? It’s the damn referendum to blame again! If the opposition (that being Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats who usually cannot agree on anything) are to be believed, this referendum is the single cause for the democratic deficit facing Scotland and the UK. It’s divisive. It’s separatist. It’s risky. It’s hampering the economic recovery… The one thing that seems to conveniently escape their minds is that all of this was already happening and has been getting worse for decades. And it certainly isn’t the fault of the SNP or the referendum. Blind hatred for all things « nationalist » has taken over the opposition – who should instead be providing a voice for the population who voted for them and providing balance in Parliament.
I fear that if we don’t take the opportunity available to us with a Yes vote, we could end up trapped in a system (because Westminster certainly won’t allow us a 2nd referendum) that never puts anywhere else in the UK first before London/the South East and that creates even deeper and un-fixable divisions in our society. I also fear that in the event of a No vote and UKIP doing well in rUK elections [which as we have seen from the recent European Election is very likely] the SNP vote will surge further (they are already on course to do better in 2016 than they did in 2011) causing the opposition to grow even more defiant in their stance against the Scottish Government, and with that the population resenting the Government more as a consequence (the SNP may be the most popular political party in the UK by a wide margin, but it’s more a case of people hating them less than the others rather than admiring them lots).
This referendum is a chance for a political rebirth in Scotland. Gone would be the stale politics of old and party lines would be broken down. Overnight you’d have a situation where everyone would have to work together – Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Green, SNP, SSP all working towards creating a new independent nation. Old policies would no longer be applicable and party stances on many issues would be void; everyone would have to go back to the drawing board. No longer under the control of their Westminster parent parties, the ex-Unionist parties would be free to explore avenues previously shut off and wouldn’t have to ask permission to do things differently. It’s an exciting prospect and my hope is that parties find a new outlook and position in the political spectrum by aligning themselves to be more in tune with their voters – who themselves will have to completely rethink their voting intentions.
Taking everything above into account, and by taking a small leap into the unknown along with it, I urge each and everyone of you to vote “Yes” on September 18th to once again return the powers needed to create a better Scotland back to the Scottish people and their representative Parliament. We were once a thriving independent nation and we can be again – even Mr. Cameron himself says so!
Tags : Scottish independence