Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Scotland Has Spoken

bbcsref…and it has said ‘No‘ to the offer of independence. In the end it wasn’t that close; well, closer than most would have predicted a month ago, but in the last three weeks there seemed to be a genuine chance of a ‘Yes’ vote. However, as the results were checked and counted an apparent late swing back to ‘No’ left the final outcome as a bit of a letdown. 

First things first – congratulations to the ‘No’ campaign on their victory. While I didn’t enjoy the oppressively negative style of their pitch, that was the choice they felt they needed to make. In fairness selling a negative such as ‘No’ can’t have been easy. Far more fun to promote ‘Yes’ with all the inherent hopes, dreams and aspirations. Yet, the negative outdid the positive on September 18th as perhaps many decided it a leap too far, from the devolved parliament we have at the moment to full blown independence. Interestingly data published in the last few hours shows that the demographic which won it for ‘No’ was the 55+ group, where over 70% backed the Union. With a more even split of this age-range a ‘Yes’ win would in all likelihood have ensued. However, such is democracy and I don’t deny the older generations their right to vote in whichever way they felt best – nobody should.

Scottish-referendumI suppose it’s now time for a confession of a sort. In truth I worried from the start of this process whether independence would be too big a step for many. Perhaps a halfway house like ‘Devo-Max‘ would have been a better road to go down i.e. get people used to more powers before offering them the lot. However, the UK Govt declined the chance to put Devo-Max on the ballot paper. The thinking presumably was that David Cameron wanted a straight Yes/No, with his bets firmly hedged for a convincing ‘No’. This would have meant no concessions and no new powers – just the status quo. That though all changed when it became clear the status quo wasn’t acceptable to many natural ‘No’ voters. So the Better Together campaign came up with ‘More Powers GUARANTEED’. This was underpinned by a joint pledge in the final days promising to honour this guarantee.

So where does it leave us? Well, the Union remains in tact, but in my view seriously wounded. Overall it feels like nobody actually won. The Independence movement didn’t get what they wanted, but they will get more powers in time. The Unionists got what they wanted, but only by compromising on giving more powers to Scotland. The upshot would appear to be a more general review of democracy in the UK is required. More powers for Scotland will undoubtedly raise objections from regions of England, and perhaps rightly so. However, as with us Scots the English regions need to put forward their case as we have done for over a century.

sref2Ah well, after three years the one, and perhaps only referendum on Scottish Independence in my lifetime is over. Disappointed, yes, but not downhearted. A process has now begun which will surely see things improve for both Scots and the UK as a whole in the years to come. In time I believe people will look back on last night not as an end but merely as a beginning.

Thanks for reading.

Why I’m Voting YES

Referendum-calendar_tcm4-814401On Thursday the 18th of September, 2014 the voters of Scotland will be going to the polls. It won’t be to help elect a UK Government, it won’t be to elect a Scottish Government – it will be to decide whether Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom.

Now, I’ve no real feel for where the readers of my blog come from. I appreciate most are probably following because of my formative attempts at creative fiction. Where you are all from is a mystery. However, whether you are from Scotland, other parts of the UK or beyond the shores of the island of Great Britain it doesn’t really matter. However, whoever is out there it’s probably best to start with some facts.

In 1603 Scotland and England shared a monarch (James VI of Scotland, James I of England). At that point we were still two separate countries who simply had the same royal family.

In 1707 Scotland and England (and Wales) signed up to the Treaty of the Union. From this point our parliamentary systems were joined, as what we effectively know as the UK was formed.

The referendum the Scottish electorate – the people of Scotland, irrespective of ethnic background – are about to vote on is in relation to the second point of history i.e. we are looking to remove Scotland from the United Kingdom and let it wholly govern itself once more as an Independent sovereign state. We will therefore still have the same monarchy as the rest of the United Kingdom (rUK) and will remain part of the commonwealth.

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As the title of this blog suggest I shall be voting YES to Scottish Independence. There are a few reasons, but it boils down to this:

  • Cards on the table – I have always favoured independence for Scotland i.e. I am not, and never was, undecided on this issue.
  • We are fundamentally different to the rest of the United Kingdom. As an example, the UK currently has a coalition government, mainly made up of Conservatives. At the 2010 General Election the Conservatives won 307 seats, one of which is in Scotland. This means Scotland is governed by a party who has one, solitary MP within Scotland. For me this undemocratic in that Scotland as a country has its government decided outwith our borders.
  • I want the people who run Scotland to be in Scotland. I want them close by so they can be fully accountable to the Scottish electorate
  • I think our country has untapped potential. For that to be realised it needs to run to its own agenda, not a sub-agenda of the UK.
  • Scotland was an independent country before, we should be again.

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Look, I’m not political expert. Some of you reading this post may think I’m letting my heart get in the way of my head. Facts are being overridden by a naive vision of an independent Scottish utopia. Fine, if that’s the way you read me then that is of course your right to do so. However, at moments like this, defining moments in our countries history, there comes a time when heart needs to have as much say as heads. Yes, there will be uncertainties. Yes, there will be times of introspection. Yes, there will be ups and downs in all aspects of our society. Yet, isn’t that the case in every country in the world?

It’s time for Scotland to stand on its own two feet. It’s my firm belief, and that of well over one million Scottish voters that not only should we, but we can do so successfully. We will remain firm friends and business partners with the UK we leave behind. Perhaps in time they too will look at a need for change, such as regional assemblies around England. That though is a decision for them. It’s something they would need to campaign for, just as we have long campaigned for Scottish Independence.

Sadly, the Scottish main stream media has solidly backed the pro-Union stance, despite large numbers of their readership not doing so. It has led to an undeniable imbalance in the reporting of facts and figures. If you are taking part in the vote and are still ‘undecided’ then please read the following website which represents a small step in redressing the balance:

http://theweebluebook.com/index.php

Thanks for reading, and whatever way you vote, do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it for yourself – do it for future generations; do it because it’s best for Scotland.

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