In all the comments I’ve made about tomorrow’s referendum I haven’t said why I’m voting yes. The answer is fairly simple; because it is time for Scotland to take responsibility for itself. To no longer blame THAT woman, Blair, Cameron or Johnson for our political situation. To no longer bemoan having our grant-in-aid budget set by Whitehall. To no longer know that the powers our government and parliament have are in the gift of Westminster. To no longer have other people negotiate for us on matters that affect our country more than theirs. To stand proud as a nation with a written constitution that seeks to protect us all while aiming to raise our standards of living. To admit when mistakes are made and seek to address them and have the power to do so.
As things stand, both the Scottish Government and the Parliament have their powers in the gift of Westminster. We don’t even have control of how our parliamentary elections are run, or even when. In 2010, the current UK Goverment wanted to have the Commons run according to a fixed-term. Just as ours have since the Parly was re-adjourned in 1999. However, they wanted us to change our terms so that they coincided with their needs. While they did negotiate on the subject rather than enforce their plans, it was done from a position of strength. I still don’t understand why we had to change our elections to suit the UK but feel it does reflect the relationship.
Westminster still has the power to enforce policies that are deeply unpopular in Scotland and are still tinkering with what they can do to the country without our approval That’s why Scotland faces having fracking pushed on us, even though energy issues are devolved. The majority of Scotland’s politicians, whether MPs or MSPs, are against fracking. Having heard first-hand from people whose lands are already affected by this dangerous and contaminating policy I whole-heartedly agree with them. However, we as a people and as a devolved government will not have a say in it or any future nuclear powerplants. Not unless we take on the challenge of independence and self-responsibility.
At the end of the day it is about freedom. Not freedom from the English or the Tories or the fear of a UKIP coalition government. I’m talking about freedom to make our own decisions and shoulder the responsibility that comes with it. Freedom from Big Brother’s intimidation, freedom to live our own lives. I believe that an independent Scotland will become a better country to raise my children in than the one we currently have. We will know what powers we have and how we can exercise them. Somebody else’s politicians cannot pull that rug from underneath us.
I grew up in London and have lived in different parts of England. Some of my family live there, as well as in other countries. That doesn’t make them foreigners and it still won’t once Scotland (hopefully) separates in March 2016. Who and what they are won’t change. I know that what is best for Scotland is not always what’s best for England, Northern Ireland and/or Wales. Likewise, what’s best for them is not best for us. I no longer want to live in a country that is governed by whichever political party can put forward a spokesperson who appeals most to middle England and swing voters. I want a parliament elected by true proportional representation, not AMS or FPTP, one that reflects not just my views but my neighbours’ too. I want to live in a country where we seek to ensure the common weal.
Whether you like it or not, none of that is achievable while Scotland is part of the UK. We want to make our own future, where we make the decisions. That’s why I’m voting Yes and I hope you will too.