Why voting ‘No’ is a huge mistake

This is my first blog post and more than likely my last. I’m not big on public declarations, political or otherwise, and hitherto I’ve always preferred to keep my views private. However, as the most important vote of my lifetime approaches, I’m disturbed by the tone of some of the rhetoric on both sides and I think the way some people are characterising the sides in the debate is unhelpful at best and malicious at worst. The sniping, misinformation and borderline bigotry will no doubt ramp up over the next few weeks and it will be easy to forget that this is not a decision about our history, our patriotism, our military and sporting allegiances, the personalities of political figures or any other topics which naturally inflame passions and obfuscate the real question. It is, pure and simply, a decision about the best way to manage public money for the maximum benefit of all in this corner of the world. That’s not to belittle the question or say it doesn’t matter, because it really, really does, but there seems to be an inclination on both sides to suggest that this single decision will cast in stone our political response to each and every future circumstance, which of course it won’t. That’s what we elect governments for and this isn’t an election. It’s a straightforward question of whether we want to be able to make those decisions for Scotland in the future or not. So I’ve decided to articulate now why I’ll be voting ‘Yes’ to that question and why I believe others should too.

I’ve always considered myself British. Scottish first, but still British. My pride in British achievements past, present and future is undiminished – It’s just that I’ve come to the realisation that these great British islands are just too big and too diverse for a political union ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to work anymore. An independent Scotland able to control its own policy and destiny would, in my opinion, make Britain (the Islands we share, rather than a United Kingdom) greater.

We are entering a new age of politics, post-globalisation; one that requires new approaches. Scotland is a country which has always been starkly different from its neighbours in the union geographically, economically, politically and culturally. It is time therefore, that Scotland was given the opportunity to respond to this new world in the most appropriate way given those unique attributes and the opportunities and challenges they present. No UK government could ever look after Scotland’s best interests without being criminally negligent, as this country and it’s 5.3 million people have quite different needs from the 10 million people in London, the 44 million people in the rest of England, the 3.1 million people in Wales or the 1.8 million people in Northern Ireland. Getting to make some of the decisions locally makes little difference when the overall political agenda is set on a scale on which Scotland is less than 10% of the picture (and a section which rarely makes a difference to the outcome of elections).

What about the promise of new powers in the event of a ‘No’ vote? Well, putting aside the fact that a very similar promise was made before the 1979 referendum and then reneged upon, such powers will likely be unusable. The ability to make small, cursory changes to income tax, is in reality impracticable. Without the accompanying full control over spending, it is a power that only becomes advantageous in terms of public spending should a Scottish government choose to raise taxes above UK levels. That would surely be a politically suicidal move for any elected power in Holyrood. And make no mistake, any new powers for Scotland will come at a price; most likely a guarantee of no future referenda. That we never try this kind of upstart nonsense again, regardless of any future change in circumstances for the union.

Given the recent TV debate, you’d be forgiven for thinking the most important question in all of this was currency. That’s clearly misleading. Sterling without the additional support of Scottish money would naturally and quickly erode in value – no remaining UK government could allow that to happen by refusing to negotiate with a Scottish government. Nevertheless, an independent Scottish pound, if that was the route we were forced down (extremely unlikely as it is) will almost certainly be no more fragile than a newly weakened Sterling and therefore ensure a form of parity regardless. This simply isn’t a factor that should be a genuine cause for concern though – it is, however, a convenient and easily understandable (to us ‘little people’) way of creating some fear around change.

The real central issue of the referendum is whether Scotland would be economically better off managing its own revenues. And the answer when you cut through all of the nonsense to the fundamental facts is very clearly yes. Scotland is contributing more to the UK per head than the rest of the members . I’m no fan of Alex Salmond, nor, as a lifelong Liberal Democrat voter, of the SNP, but they’re NOT lying to you. In every one of the last 30 years, the amount of tax revenues generated per person in Scotland really was greater than for the UK as a whole. The only way in which that interpretation can be skewed is if you take our oil resources (which, by the way, any open minded internet trawl will tell you are likely to be about to increase greatly rather than diminish) and allocate them mainly to the rest of the UK. Whatever your views on independence are, I find it hard to believe anyone could reasonably argue that in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote we would have to redraw the map and hand the waters around our shores to rUK. Undeniably, oil-related taxable activity would take place in Scotland’s sovereign territory and such taxation would therefore be set and collected by Scotland’s Exchequer.

Our spending is also proportionally less than the rest of the UK at 44.2% of GDP over the last 5 years against a UK average of 45.4%. So assuming an austerity era UK level of spending is reasonable, then we could easily afford to spend more public money in Scotland post-independence with no net negative impact in relation to the rest of the UK. We would be richer immediately. But this is just the beginning, by making economic policy based on Scotland’s unique economic opportunities we stand to gain a great deal more and give ourselves the chance to build a truly prosperous country. Why would you vote no to having that chance?

So be proud of Britain, be proud of our shared history, our global achievements our impact in war and in peace. We’re not voting to eradicate these things. We still share these British Islands and will therefore remain British (if not part of the UK). We aren’t voting to become enemies; we’ll remain the closest friends and allies working together globally and domestically. Hate Salmond and Sturgeon if you like, vote them out at the next Scottish election – this isn’t about them even if they have a clear voice in it. Just don’t vote against Scotland and our last, best chance to change our fortunes.

To deliver a ‘No’ vote is to give up on this country. It’s saying

It doesn’t matter what we do, we’ll fail. So let’s let someone else worry about it

We won’t! We’re an incredible and tenacious nation and we have unique resources and opportunities which give us probably the greatest platform to prosperity that any small country has ever had at its outset. We just need to be able to make decisions tailored to maximising them. A ‘No’ vote guarantees forevermore that those same decisions will instead be tailored to a much larger country with an economy very much weighted to different sectors from those most advantageous to Scotland and the Scottish people. Scotland can never truly prosper in those circumstances. We’ll always depend, as we do now, on the success of our neighbours, while hoping they’ll share a slice with us. A ‘Yes’ vote is the only way we’ll have a real chance to succeed ourselves.

Some people worry that we aren’t ready. We’ll never be more ready – there aren’t rehearsals for independence. This is it, the opportunity of many lifetimes. We won’t get another. Conditions will never be better, our resources will never be more in demand our opportunities will never be greater. It’s too easy to just say ‘No’. But think about what you’re really refusing. The right to true self- determination, the chance to make a genuine positive difference for this and future generations and the very tangible prospect of ending poverty in Scotland. The key to our future happiness and prosperity lies in you and I learning to say ‘Yes’. We’ll never know until we try…

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168 thoughts on “Why voting ‘No’ is a huge mistake

  1. I won’t vote yes unless we get a change to the white paper to introduce a Scottish Pound rather than enter a ‘Sterling Zone’.

    Why? Well if we enter a Sterling zone we’ll be tied into a stability pact which will include limits to our public spending, borrowing & taxation policies. This will all be set by the BoE where we will have one or two seats to the rest of the UKs eight or nine.

    Therefore the BoE will be dancing to Westminster’s tune without any Scottish MPs to moderate them. In my view this actually leaves us as the people of Scotland with less control over our country than currently.

    Therefore the insistence on staying in Sterling rather than creating our own currency is an absolute deal breaker, as a Yes vote will not actually represent Independence.

    Before anyone tries to make analogies with the euro, that’s a true international currency with over 20 members, and even there Germany has imposed some very severe austerity measures on the lines of Greece due to its size in that currency union. Having said that J would support an aspiration for an Independent Scotland starting with its own currency to join the euro at the right time.

    To reiterate, ditch this Sterling idea & offer a real independence option for Scotland, otherwise many of us are out!

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    • That would be great but in order to achieve that you need the fiscal power to be able to change and that will never happen under the present Ruling government/system

      Liked by 4 people

    • You really should research the history of the Sterling as a currency. It wasn’t even an independent currency itself until the late 90’s. But we never considered the UK dependent on the other nations to which the Sterling was tied did we? Throughout the Sterling’s history it’s been tied to many other currencies, including the US Dollar and the German Deutsche Mark.

      If you deny the option for independence based on the assumption that using the Sterling will not bring us independence, then all you’re doing is buying what the opposition are selling and giving into their tactics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I take it you are somewhat younger than me and don’t remember the ERM which you are referring to I suspect.

        The ERM which was a failed attempt to lock the exchange rates of major European currencies such as franc, Deutschmark, sterling etc as a precursor to the euro.

        They most certainly were independent currencies and sterling fell out of the ERM in the most spectacular way on black Wednesday in 1992, with interest rates going up significantly in one day (thus screwing up my mortgage) & back down again once sterling exited the ERM.

        To say that sterling was not an independent currency during this time is simply not true, and it was for some time before that, it certainly predates 1158AD as an independent currency, & is the oldest currency still in circulation.

        The only reason I know it to be the oldest currency is that I did as you suggested & went to read up on it. Your assertion is quite simply incorrect, sorry, but try a brief scan of this from Wikipedia Pound sterling
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_sterling

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      • Aye Fergie, just as what happened back in 79, far to many folk wouldn’t vote for Devolution because it wasn’t enough….I even argued this with my Mother! She wanted full Independence, I thought “its a step in the right direction”……so nearly 20 years later, we were walking, now we are learning to run……It’s time all those that want us to be a nation again stopped bickering over the details and got down to priorities!
        If the YES’s cant agree over the details we could lose this opportunity, And the other camp know this, so one step at a time…..details about all the rest can wait till the negotiations start, and then once we have Independence, we can work out what we want changed with the parties in the seat after the next election.
        If we don’t get the votes together for Independence, all the rest will be immaterial because we will have other things to worry about!

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      • Did you read the comment. I judge that this will leave us materially less in control than the status quo, as we will lose influence over our economy.

        Therefore my position is consistent.

        I find it incredibly strange that people who suggest Independence will allow us to run Scotland as we the people want would consider signing away our economic leavers of control.

        For Independence to be credible we must have own currency & Central bank, or we’ll be dancing to Westminster’s tune without any representation & that truly is a bizarre position for any pro Independence person to take!

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      • @ian9000 As I suggested, you should really read up on the Sterling currency. Then you’ll see that the UK survived as an independent state for decades whilst our currency was not actually independent.

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      • Nobody is saying Scotland cannot survive , Fife could survive , whose going to invade Fife ?

        Who but Fifers , the people that live and work in Fife ,. are best suited to govern Fife .?

        “too wee too poor ” is an SNP invention , they constantly want to shift the debate to that , where they feel most comfortable .

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      • But it won’t bring us sovereignty. We’ll be under the economic control of Westminster with no representation there & unable to run our own country as we wish.

        Such is the desperation to get change that it seems bad solutions can be fobbed off on Scotland. Stand firm for the right solution, not one that leaves you worse off than before, because that is madness.

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    • Consider that just as with any past shared currency, it was a phase. Thus sharing Sterling does make sense for as long as it is beneficial to both nations. Thus rUK gets stability as oil still underpins it and iScotland gets market confidence. THEN once these are factored out by markets the next phase can be proposed by future voted governments of both nations. Just as YES doesn’t mean an SNP government, shared doesn’t mean forever or while not beneficial.

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    • Sorry, but that has to be one of the daftest reasons I’ve heard from Better Together – and that’s the only place we hear it – that we won’t be independent enough under the SNP’s current proposals therefore vote no. Apart from the pure oxymoron involved in the statement, the White Paper proposals are just that; proposals. Don’t like then, vote for a party offering what you want once we have independence.
      I don’t doubt that there may be a quite a few people around who disagree with the current proposals and would want to see them change. I don’t believe that there is anyone who is genuinely so unfamiliar with the concept of democracy that they cannot tell the difference between proposals and actual policy.

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      • But, wait a second – there’s a fundamental flaw in your analysis! Using the SNP’s own timetable in their White Paper, it will not be a new government elected in 2016 that would be negotiating with Westminster on Scotland’s behalf. It will be the SNP who will claim to have a mandate to start negotiations based on the positions taken in the White Paper.

        For that reason alone, I consider the constant claim that we’re not voting for Salmond or the SNP extremely disingenuous. Yes, there would be fresh elections in 2016 but after the terms had been negotiated in the unlikely event their timetable is realistic!

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      • Reply to Paul, I would consider that the actions of the other parties, especially their MSP leaders, during this campaign, should actually be a good reason for excluding them from the negotiations. Personally I would rather the SNP, possibly assisted by the Greens, conducted the negotiations as I think they are less likely to be distracted by alternative loyalties!

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    • I am of the opinion that a Scottish currency will come. Most countries that have gained independence from UK have used sterling as a transition towards that. I hope Scotland would follow a similar model. Voting No because you don’t everything immediately is denying the political reality we find ourselves in. The SNP are trying to get us over the line without scaring the horses. It’s a tight rope walk with the entire British state shaking the rope. Walk towards independence pragmatically, with hope and possibility.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donald, you have completely missed the point.

        The idea of the SNP alone negotiating given we already know some of their more absurd proposals will be their starting point, horrifies me.

        That wasn’t the point though – the point is people cannot continually say ‘we are not voting for Salmond and the SNP’ when it’s them who would be conducting these negotiations and their success (or otherwise) would be entirely down to them. They will claim to have a mandate (by virtue of a yes vote on their proposals, and let us not forget the White Paper is entirely an SNP construction) to use the White Paper (or the largest work of fantasy since Harry Potter) as their starting point. Clearly, you’re a nationalist and that appeals to you. I’m not, it does not appeal to me and I find it completely disingenuous and, frankly, dishonest of people to say this has nothing to do with Salmond and the SNP when that will be what happens in the event of a yes result.

        Not only that, it’s more than a little hypocritical to say oh, but this isn’t about the SNP (although I fully understand the motivation behind the strategy) but the merits of independence on the one hand and then unambiguously frame a yes vote it as an anti Cameron/Tory vote on the other. Please do not misunderstand, I am no fan of Cameron or his party but I do recognise that position to be shameless opportunism and I see right through it.

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      • I am not a nationalist, nor have I ever voted for the SNP. Yet I see this as a singular opportunity, which we will not have again for generations. From 19 September, everything is up for negotiation. The SNP cannot and will not be able to negotiate unilaterally for Scotland, especially in the event that the vote is as tight as is likely. They will have to accommodate the views of others through consultation and open forum discussions. No constitution has ever been written by a single party. As for the rest, very little in the way of policy is irreversible come the election in 2016.

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      • I have heard this ‘don’t scare the horses’ quote so many times now, if I hear it again I will scream.

        The Scottish people are not horses or any other kind of animal to bearded and persuaded to move in a direction someone else thinks is good for them! They deserve to be given all the information both for & against, & if the answer to the question is we don’t know then have the guts to say it, don’t resort to ‘don’t scare the horses’.

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      • No, we’ll be tied into a stability pact, the average duration of a currency arrangement is 12 years so Scotland will be stuck with it for a long time.

        Expect pretty much nothing to change over the pre Independence position during that time, except probably public spending cuts if the economics go wrong.

        What should happen if we were talking a true ‘sharing’ of the pound is that the BoE becomes the rUK central bank, Scotland establishes a ‘Central Bank of Scotland’ & ‘Sterling’ is then subject to the control of the Sterling Central Bank a joint rUK & Scottish institution (think in the euro zone all countries have a central bank & the ECB deals with the euro for all of the nations involved) in the White Paper we’re not going to even have a Scottish central bank, the BoE will be our central bank along with rUK. Which a. means we can’t just leave, b. we’ve not actually achieved proper seperation from the rUK & actually , despite what better together tells you, this currency arrangement makes Scotland re-entering the UK quite possible.

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    • Do you think the Australian dollar and Irish Punt came about on day 1 of independence for them ? These things take time. The UK pound has been tied to the dollar through the 70s and the Euro pre black Monday. Did the UK pound being tied to other currencies mean the UK was not independent ?

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      • Membership of the BoE & submitting to its economic controls means Scotland will not have left the UK economy. It will mean that the BoE will set Scotland’s economic policy, & all the items on the list of ‘benefits’ of being Independent will not be acheived. We will have less say in our lives not more.

        Just wait & see!

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      • Unless you vote YES you will never get the Scottish Pound. Vote YES then in the next election vote for the party that has a Scottish Pound in its manifesto,, Simples!!

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      • We’ll already be locked in to GBP & the BoE will be setting our tax, borrowing & spending limits, so it won’t matter who you or I vote for.

        I expect a yes vote, rUK will trade Trident staying in Scotland for entry to the GBP & we will be locked in. Life will be pretty much the same none of the benefits delivered.

        The EU will sign TTIP (something that will have a much bigger impact on our lives than Independence google it or go to 38 Degrees website, but no one is paying attention to it!) then our NHS gets privatised.

        I will come back on here in 2016 & say I told you so!

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    • You have it the wrong way round – Westminster will be dancing to BoE’s tune, as opposed to vice versa.

      But i appreciate your point. We won’t be the strongest nation economically, but we’ll be our own…

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      • Westminster set the criteria, ie inflation rate target etc the BoE attempt to acheive it via the controls they have. Plus stability of the financial system.

        So if Westminster set 2.5% inflation rate as the target that’s what the BoE will do. That may not be the correct target for Scotland at the same time, and in setting the economic levers to acheive that we’re stopped from doing the other things we want & our economy suffers.

        Own currency is the right solution, don’t understand all these other ‘plans’ which make non sense.

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  2. Great Britain is too big? Maybe you should suggest that USA splits all its states into independent countries? Or France maybe? A badly thought out start to the argument.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The USA has a totally different electoral system and different management of affairs per state. Each state in the USA has far more control over their own affairs than the countries or regions in the UK do and their electoral system is adjusted to allow states representative power during elections, as opposed to ours where the population of London alone can outvote Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland combined.

      You can’t directly compare the two.

      Liked by 3 people

      • No London can’t directly outvote Scotland, Wales & NI as it returns less MPs. Perhaps it should given it has a bigger population but Scotland, Wales & NI get more MPs per head than London.

        Please keep it accurate!

        Liked by 1 person

      • My apologies. I miscalculated the number of London MPs. Though it’s still pretty tight with 73 compared to 98 which make up the grand total of the other three countries comprising the union.

        The point remains however, that the USA uses a very different voting system to the UK and can’t be used as a direct comparison.

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      • I don’t understand the “London can outvote Scotland , so our votes don’t count ”

        Glasgow out votes Dundee , so is there no democracy in Dundee ?

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      • I don’t think it’s as simple as that. At least it isn’t for me personally, I can’t really answer for all five million other people in the country. My view of it is just that really the electoral system doesn’t work well for any area in the UK.

        When you look at the figures, the Scottish vote hasn’t actually tipped the election results one way or the other over the last 50 years. Not to mention that in the last 44 years Scotland has not once voted a majority of Tory MPs in, yet we’ve had Tory led governments for 26 out of those 44 years. So you reach a point where you have to ask, what’s the point in us voting?

        As a country, a majority of Scottish MPs voted against things such as the ‘bedroom tax’, trident renewal, further austerity cuts, increased VAT. Yet these things still all got brought in and Scotland was lumped with them even though our population and government did not want them.

        Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me just hating on Westminster but as this article stated quite eloquently; “No UK government could ever look after Scotland’s best interests without being criminally negligent, as this country and it’s 5.3 million people have quite different needs from the 10 million people in London, the 44 million people in the rest of England, the 3.1 million people in Wales or the 1.8 million people in Northern Ireland.”

        I truly believe that independence is the only option for not only Scotland, but for the rest of the UK too. If we continue blindly down the path we’re on, we’ll all end up ‘better together’ drowning at the bottom of the sea.

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      • Why Should the Scottish vote tip the scales in a Uk election ?

        Should Scotland have the casting vote ?
        Should they have a veto ?

        Do all Scotland vote as one ?

        Its roughly 40% of the 65% who vote , that vote LAbour

        thats not a majoirty , though they get 2/3rds of all Scots MPS

        approx 1 miilion Scots voted LAb in 2010 and got 43 MPS

        And with 416k Scots voting Tory , they got one MP!

        Its the vagaries of the first past the post sytem , LAbour are concentrate in certain constituences where they are the largets party .

        Tories , Liberals , SNP are spread all over .

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Scotland

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      • That’s not what I was saying, and you’re missing my point completely. I don’t really care though, I’ve made up my mind and everybody I know has made up their mind (one way or the other). At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me what anybody else thinks or what they think of my reasoning for voting yes. The only thing that matters, is what the result is and where we go from there.

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    • I didn’t say you were a nationalist!

      I agree that it could be a tight vote, potentially with a few percent making the difference. However, I consider it naive in the extreme to believe that Alex Salmond will suddenly concede key issues in the White Paper were wrong (CU for example) and change his position. He’s received plenty of criticism from within the Yes campaign about his currency plans but has refused to budge or compromise. I can’t see that position changing.

      In the event of a yes result, the rest of the UK may or may not agree to a CU, we will not know until it happens. However, he’s made clear that GBP will be used even without such an arrangement in place. That would leave Scotland in an extremely messy situation in terms of EU entry, not to mention incredibly vulnerable to actions of the financial markets. We couldn’t join the euro even if we wanted to with no currency of our own and the EU would almost certainly demand a non Euro-zone member state has a currency backed by a lender of last resort which we would not have. Again, further reason to think the notion of speedy EU membership on favourable terms is fantasy!

      I certainly do not consider it outside the realms of possibility that such a hash will be made of the negotiations, we’re so far up shit creek by the time of the 2016 elections, it won’t matter who we elect. If you honestly think the current Scottish government will say okay, we’ll give up on all that and make concessions when they can legitimately claim to have a democratic mandate to negotiate with Westminster based on the White Paper, I’m afraid you’re kidding yourself.

      Let’s look at what the introduction to the White Paper actually says on the issue:

      ‘What an independent Scotland will look like.
      The shape of Scotland in the future will be determined by how the people of Scotland vote in elections in 2016 and thereafter. ***The current Scottish Government will lead Scotland from a Yes vote in September 2014 to independence in March 2016.*** This guide sets out what Scotland will look like at the point of independence – on issues such as the currency, the monarchy and membership of the EU.’

      http://scotreferendum.com/reports/scotlands-future-your-guide-to-an-independent-scotland/

      Note the words ‘ the current Scottish government will lead Scotland from a yes vote in 2014 to independence in 2016’ not a collation of interested parties with democratic representation in Scotland, the CURRENT Scottish government. Kind of makes a mockery of your belief I’m afraid to say.

      The proposal for a codified constitution is something different and for the avoidance of doubt – I’m not referring to that, I refer only to the negotiations.

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      • In the spirit of reconciliation post a yes vote there will be concessions made. Perhaps not on all that is laid out in the white paper, but there will certainly be room for discussion and negotiation. The key word for me in your quote is not “current” but “lead”. The government of the day will rightly lead us through negotiations but that is far from saying they will impose their will unilaterally. There will be others involved in those discussions. And I maintain my belief that anything not included in a codified constitution is open to reversal and change if it is unwelcome or undesirable to the majority come the 2016 election.

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  3. Great post. I am still on the fence and articles and feed back like that accumulating in this thread will ultimately help me decide on my vote.

    I have a few questions that I was hoping someone could help answer.

    I was concerned that an independent Scotland would not be financially viable but comments in this thread have laid that concern to rest. I consider myself Scottish first but also very British. What effect financially would an independent Scotland have on the rest of the UK would they be able to cope. The author claims we will stroll be friends although that may not be the case if we impact the lives of others by looking after ourselves..

    As an employee of staff who are members of the EU what happens to them under a yes vote. I understand that Scotland would need to apply to become part of the EU and be accepted… Would my staff have to leave Scotland till the EU accepted the application. If the application was rejected then what?

    By voting yes are we not just choosing a Labour government and a welfare state? Btw I’m not that political just looking for help making my mind up.

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    • Financially rUK will be fine without us. Scotland is a net contributor to UK GDP, but we constitute only about 10% of the British economy. Certainly it would have an impact on cash flow (& their credit rating may be adversely affected at first) but it wouldn’t be catastrophic for them, by any means.

      On the EU issue, the new President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker caused something of a stir a couple of months back when he said there would be no new entries to the EU for the next five years. This was seized upon by some as evidence that Scotland would be outwith the EU.

      When asked directly however, his office made it plain that he wasn’t talking about Scotland, as it is not a ‘new’ entrant to the EU. Put another way: we’re in, we’re staying in. No one on the continent has an interest in disenfranchising 5 million EU citizens, and financially the 20-25% of EU power generated in Scotland over future years isn’t something they want on the ‘outside’ either.

      Considering the politics post indyref, a no vote will almost certainly see an SNP government returned in 2016 because in part they remain a ‘protest vote’ against London politics. Labour’s position in the polls is dreadful, and of course Scotland doesn’t vote Tory. If it’s a Yes vote however, everything gets shaken up. The Lib/Lab/Cons currently run from London will become independent themselves, and so better form themselves for the needs of Scottish voters rather than London parties. The SNP will dissipate (though not entirely) as some supporters only there for indyref move onto other parties. It will likely again be an SNP government in 2016, but beyond that everything’s up for grabs.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi Donald. I simply don’t recognise the Scotland you describe. It isn’t the Scotland I live in. Good luck in September, but I think you’ll be disappointed. I’ll be voting “no” but I shall live with whatever the democratic vote produces.

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  5. Oh dear. The Danny Alexander story that’s circulating in social media just now is actually taken from the Daily Record in October 2010, and rehashed just now as “news” because it suits someone’s political agenda. People really should question the validity of what they read.before commenting.

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  6. I’m really sad to hear this form of pessimism. I’d read a lot about the “we’re too poor, too weak, too stupid” argument for ‘No,’ but I only encountered it first-hand this past week. It breaks my heart to hear people say of their country that it could never run its own affairs. It strikes me as pure fear, abdication of responsibility– ‘I’m so scared of failure, I’d rather others make decisions for me, even though their track record is always of putting my interests second.’

    I’m not Scottish, I’m not even British, though I’ve lived here for a decade and hope to remain much longer. And everyone I’ve met who’s spent any real time abroad is voting Yes. It’s a no-brainer.

    Before it joined the Euro, Austria had an independent currency that was pegged to the DeutscheMark. It shared media, culture, trade, and very amicable relations with Germany, and is extremely prosperous today.

    Denmark and Finland have similar populations to Scotland. Denmark has its own currency, Finland does not. Neither have significant natural resources to speak of. Both have incredible standards of living, health and education in comparison to Scotland. Together with Norway, Sweden and Iceland, they share diplomatic resources, and have a solid international position.

    All the scare stories given out by the ‘No’ camp have their living disproof in other countries. Of all the reasons to vote ‘No,’ the pessimism that Scotland alone of developed, European countries is incapable of standing on its own feet is the saddest.

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    • I am Scottish , and British , I spent 17 years working in various European countires

      i am voting NO

      I dont want to leave Britian in the lurch , Scotland puts in more than it gets out , its only right an proper that them that can afford it pay the most tax , and it helps them not so fortunate to have natural resources , in other parts of the UK .

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  7. They only way we can ensure that our children have a better chance is to vote Yes. We are not voting for the SNP we are voting for independence. And afterwards we can vote for whoever we like.
    It is not this generation which will bear the brunt and backlash of a No vote, though we will surely suffer, but the next and the next and the next who will live to see Scotland further degraded and depleted, our resources syphoned to finance and support a failing UK.
    This is where we make a stand. Everyone who is able should help. Contact your local Yes groups and volunteer.
    The last month is upon us, make it count, make it happen.
    Vote Yes on September 18th.
    Or future generations will curse your memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can make life better for future generations , by turning the heating down ,and putting on a jersey .

      You dont have to wait for a generation or two , you can do that now

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  8. Adam, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you’re voting ‘Yes’. But the referendum is not ‘…about the best way to manage public money…’ It’s about far more than that. It’s about where we stand in the world, with whom, and how we hold our heads up. It’s about war and peace and when and for what causes we chose to fight. It’s about human rights and whether we choose to defend them; it’s about torture and whether we choose to oppose it. It’s about how we live together and how we share the commonwealth. It’s about how we care for the old and the sick and the troubled and the destitute.

    Managing public money is the least part of it.

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    • I completely agree that all of that is inspirational and can be your reason to vote ‘Yes’ (and in many ways those things are part of my reasons to do so). But I stand by my point, a ‘Yes’ vote buys us a chance to set our own agenda for all of those things, but they are what comes afterwards based on who we elect and how we shape our country. My point is, an undecided voter must strip away the passionate rhetoric from both sides and ask themselves the basic question of whether Scotland’s money is better managed by Scotland to maximise the benefit to the Scottish people and to represent their values or not. That’s the simple yes or no on the ballot paper. Deciding to vote ‘yes’ then opens up a world of possibilities…

      Like

    • There’s a whole chunk of the items on your list that you need to have full control of the Public Finances to achieve.

      In that respect Adam is spot on, if an Independent Scotland is finically sound then we can go forward & work on all these things. If finances go wrong actually the poor will suffer more (look at Greece for example).

      So yes agree with your ideas but the finances are important in realising them, not just for their own sake.

      It’s why I have suggested we must abandon the plan to remain in a Steing zone, because that will have our finances to the Bank of England & that will restrict the money available to do the things we wish to acheive, such as better social care.

      Like

      • Ian9000:

        The way I see it, the currency issue of which you speak is similar to the Civil Partnership v Equal Marriage thing from the last 10 years. (please park any preconceptions)

        My wife didn’t want to get CPed, because it wasn’t equality. I insisted, and now we’re going to get the chance of an upgrade.

        I can only imagine that this equal marriage act wouldn’t exist if no-one had shown the desire for it by settling for the lesser option.

        Please be clear: there is no “holding out” option here – if we do not choose it now, we will not be given a “greater option” choice later on. If, however we do choose independence, and have a tied/pegged currency, we can subsequently choose to un-tie/un-peg later. It smacks to me of cutting your nose off, which I suppose is a very typical Scottish position.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ian9000:

        The way I see it, the currency issue of which you speak is similar to the Civil Partnership v Equal Marriage thing from the last 10 years. (please park any preconceptions)

        My wife didn’t want to get CPed, because it wasn’t equality. I insisted, and now we’re going to get the chance of an upgrade.

        I can only imagine that this equal marriage act wouldn’t exist if no-one had shown the desire for it by settling for the lesser option.

        Please be clear: there is no “holding out” option here – if we do not choose it now, we will not be given a “greater option” choice later on. If, however we do choose independence, and have a tied/pegged currency, we can subsequently choose to un-tie/un-peg later. It smacks to me of cutting your nose off, which I suppose is a typically Scottish position.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t agree on two points:

        1. I do not accept that this Scotland’s only shot at Independence. This referendum is going to be tight, wouldn’t surprise me to see a 49/51 split either way. Let’s say that’s a 51% No vote, hypothetically. Will all the people who voted yes just go away? No the genie is out of the bottle I would suggest another shot by 2017, triggered by the EU referendum.

        I think any impartial observer would agree the Yes campaign has been far better than the Better Together which has been appallingly bad, so if it’s not a landslide Yes then it is the proposal which will need to be examined & revised, I would suggest the currency point would be one such item which hasn’t worked so well.

        2. My position is that staying in the pound will result in the people of Scotland being worse off as control of our economy will move to the BoE & effectively beyond our influence. It is not a halfway position which is better than the status quo but not as good as the end result, it is worse than we have now.

        In your analogy it is not CP on the way to equal marriage, the analogy would be if the law had changed so that a third party got to decide if you were allowed to be with your partner or not.

        By staying in the pound the Governor of the Bank of England appointed by the rUK would decide how much of the Scottish Government programme could be afforded, what out interest rates were even if they damaged Scottish Industry, impose financial regulations on Scotland which are not suitable all because it suits the rUK.

        Scottish Pound is the only honest solution which would have saved Salmond all that bother in the debate!

        Like

      • Abandon it later, vote for the party of your choice with a policy to have a Scottish currency post independence. first we need to be independent, simples!!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. A good read and agree with your sentiments Sir. History is going to judge our generation on this vote. In the years to come, I want to be able to look back and say when the first chance in 300 years to govern ourselves came to pass, I made the right choice and voted Yes.

    I fear for the dilution of our Scottish identity and culture with a No vote. It will be seen as a will to become more interwoven within the UK processes with the like of our seperate Legal and Education processes being swallowed up into a one size fits all system.

    Like

  10. Writing from England and as an Englishman I wish you good luck. Not sure independence is good but at least it will rock the apple cart and god knows we need that to happen. The vote should have been for independence from London for the rest of the UK. Scotland is by no means the only region being shafted. I fear it will increase hostility between the two nations, particularly from the English who have been quite sedate since the war, but are becoming increasingly angsty about a lot of things. In truth England’s history is characterised by violence and power. The perception in England is that the Scots dislike us mostly but we have not shared the contempt. It may well change with the reinstatement of Adrian’s wall. I hope not. So vote YES, torpedo the status quo, bring about positive change for everyone and then in a couple of decade’s, have another vote to join us all back up.

    Like

  11. has anyone considered the fact that Scotland has the 2nd highest murder rate in Europe, with the fastest rising of anywhere in western Europe, a UN survey on crime covering 36 different countries found that Scotland comes to four assault leading to serious injury and Glasgow is ranked as the uks most violent areas… now considering this is now really a good time for Scotland to go independent ? countries that have succeeded with independence or massive constitutional change have in the past been those with the least amount of violence ….just a thought, any thoughts?

    Like

    • I visit Europe a fair bit & don’t feel any less safe on the Streets of Glasgow than I do Milan, Madrid, Paris etc.

      Crime is falling in Scotland, which is positive, and also remember Scotland already has it’s own seperate judicial system & police force. Therefore I would suggest the solution to reducing crime rates is in Scotland’s own hands & Independence would have no detrimental impact on crime rates.

      Like

  12. until we run out of money with no one to back us up how do we get funds?? do you want to pay £10 a prescription…30% vat and %30 off your wages??..i know i dont!

    Like

  13. I think the author is spot on with his comments regarding the constant bickering between both sides which casts a shadow over the real issue.

    However I don’t agree with his economic assessment. Adam has correctly stated that the yes or no vote should be based primarily on the economic consequences, but skimmed over the issue of currency which is by far the issue which will have the biggest impact on the economy in the event of a yes vote. Alex Salmond has stated that his first choice will be a currency union and continue using the pound (Westminister has already ruled that out but let’s pretend it is an option), if we carry on using the pound in a currency union then the number of caveats which come with it in terms of spending and taxation policy will mean that we have effectively given up fiscal independence for the sake of the pound, and isn’t fiscal independence the whole point? Another option is the Scottish pound; such a thing will be fraught with risk. There’s inflation, look at what has happened in other countries when new currencies were adopted, the cost of living went through the roof. Then there’s interest rates will be higher by at least 1.5% giving everyone higher mortgage repayments. Then there’s exchange rates to worry about, this will be off putting to businesses who operate on both sides of the border since getting currency exchanged costs money, and exchange rates fluctuate. And what happens if your mortgage provider deals in Sterling, a small fluctuation in the exchange rate could have huge consequences on the size of your mortgage.

    Adam talked about Sterling being weakened by the loss of the Scottish input. While this is true it will also heave a big sigh of relief when it unloads Scotland’s share of the UK national debt, around £150 billion. For a new country with a small economy and a brand new currency to take on this level of debt only just after we are starting to recover from a worldwide recession is frightening to me. It links back in to the exchange rates, if the Scottish pound falls then it will further reduce our ability to service our debt.

    Next there’s the point about Scotland contributing more than it receives. The data for this question is far from clear because it assumes 100% of the oil tax revenue is Scottish, which it is not, it is British Oil. This leads to my next point, the division of North Sea oil. Many assume that Scotland will receive all of it, does anyone believe that Westminister will simply hand it over without question? Of course they won’t, they will say it is British Oil, and as Scotland makes up 8.5% of the UK then that is how much you are getting. Perhaps if Mr Salmond is a skilled negotiator he will get them to divide it by drawing a line extending the England and Scotland border. This line points towards Bergen in Norway and would divide the oil about 50/50. But achieving this no doubt will require concessions elsewhere. So Adam, despite you thinking undoubtedly that this is a Scottish asset, it is not as clear cut as you would hope.

    Adam’s point about spending was covered quite clearly in the debate. We have a population in Scotland which is ageing faster than the rest of the UK, which means as these people retire there will be less income and more money spent on pensions. Also what will happen with the armed forces? How many Billion will we be spending on creating a defense force?

    So before you all go off painting your faces blue screaming freedom as you charge in to the polling booth, just take a moment to consider my questions and answer them if you can, I welcome the debate. Hopefully it will be more grown up than the one we all saw on TV.

    Like

  14. My pennyworth……get the ball back in our park. Then we decide the rules of the game. The old problem of setting us to bickering amongst ourselves over elements of discussion is a well tried divisory tactic. As a Nation we are formidable. Let’s stay that way…come what may.

    Like

  15. This is the best and most articulate case for voting Yes that I have heard so far and it speaks from the head and not the heart. It says everything that I have thought but not been able to say. Thank you very much for sharing this with us and I very much, and very sincerely, hope that those who vote will vote Yes for these very sound reasons.

    Like

  16. A very useful post and a great discussion thread – pity the political representatives on both fronts are unable to debate in the measured and knowledgeable way people here have done.
    Thank you.

    Like

  17. Pingback: Why voting ‘No’ is a huge mistake – Awakened State

  18. Pingback: From Complacency to Campaigning: My journey from No to Yes | adamrpollock

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