Having caught sight of a couple of video clips on social medial this week of happy smiling saltire waving Scots parading through two of Scotland’s cities last weekend, demonstrating their commitment to self-determination for their country, being heckled by bystanders and head-shakers off to the side, I would ask the shouty/ angry/ headshaking/ brigade the following.
Are you happy to continue with most of the important decisions which affect you and your family being made mainly by politicians that you and the vast majority of the people of Scotland never vote for, in a parliament, one chamber of which is undemocratically appointed based on patronage, in the south of England?
Are you content to still see, even after the Scottish Government has received additional powers, a significant amount of the revenue produced and collected from Scotland’s people, businesses and resources continuing to be under the control of, and a benefit to, the UK Treasury and London, with a substantial percentage of your money being spent on priorities elsewhere, which have no discernible value to the people of Scotland?
Do you not want a say in the future of Scotland, and a say in how the money generated by the resources of Scotland, and by you, is spent? Do you not want a say in the shaping of the values, aims, social and health agendas of the government of Scotland? Do you not want to choose all future governments of Scotland, governments that will have the same aspirations for your children as you have, and are accountable to you if they fail you? Yes, they really will be accountable to you.
Do you not want the National Health Service to continue to be free at the point of care in Scotland, and in future have enough investment made in it to make it a world class health service that you can be proud of, instead of being hived off to the private sector for them to make huge profits in exchange for poor services, and you to pay for that profit?
Do you not want your children to continue to have the opportunity of a free university and technical education in Scotland? Do you not want to ensure that your children grow up having received the best education, access to skills and opportunities that they possibly can to be able to make positive choices about their futures in Scotland? Are you happy for your children to continue to become disillusioned about their future career prospects at home forcing them to migrate to where the high value jobs are?
Are you happy to continue to live in an insecure, low work value, high dependency on benefits to prop up the low wages that unscrupulous employers are getting away with paying you, economy, working as hard as you can just to stay afloat?
If you live in the Central Belt are you happy to live within a stone’s throw of the place where the United Kingdom’s weapons of mass murder and destruction are stored, well away from the population of the rest of the UK in case of accident or catastrophe? Are you also happy that an obscene amount of public money is spent to retain, and shortly to upgrade, these weapons, whilst some of your fellow citizens struggle to find the cash to feed their families or heat their homes on a daily basis?
When you look past all of the bluster, scaremongering and political spin that has been spouted about Scotland and self-determination these choices for you are what this whole continuing debate boils down to.
Independence for Scotland is not about party politics. It is not about Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon, it’s certainly not about nationalism. It is about building a fair society, championing social justice and maximising opportunities for the people of Scotland and their children, and grandchildren, to have a better life.
You can’t simply base an opinion on the future of your country on a barrage of negative media propaganda with a unionist agenda telling you bad news about one of Scotland’s many resources performing badly in financial terms (for one financial year) due to a trade dispute between two foreign countries, out-with the control of Scotland. That is over-simplification and an attempt, as usual, to manipulate you by fear-mongering. Look at the bigger long-term picture. You live in one of the most resource rich, traditionally skilled and innovation rich countries in the world.
Tell me, please tell me, it isn’t simply a case of being about Rule Britannia? Because if it is there certainly aren’t two million of you, and we are coming for everyone else.