I feel passionately that Scotland should vote yes to its independence. This comes not from any feeling of nationalism, but from what I see as common sense. I respect the arguments against independence, but for me the possibility of a better Scotland hugely outweighs those arguments.
I am currently living between London and Scotland and I feel very much at home in both places. I have great friends and collaborators in both places who all have differing views on independence, and some of whom feel very emotional about the idea of Scotland “leaving” the UK.
This August, I brought a new musical to the Edinburgh Festival where, as is always the case during the Fringe, I met some wonderful people and had some very stimulating conversations. What I found most interesting were the independence-related discussions I had with people from out with the UK. Some people weren’t aware of the referendum but almost all of them thought it was a good idea – that independence seemed to make sense. If Scotland were to vote No, we would be the first nation ever in history to vote against its own independence. I think many people in the UK are caught up in the emotional relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK but people with no emotional investment in the Union can see that for any country to take its future into its own hands, without being dependant on another country, would be a good thing.
For politicians in Westminster to be making decisions about people in Inverness seems ludicrous – pretty much nowhere else in the world is ruled to that extent by a parliament so far away and disconnected geographically. I am very much aware of the difficulties and challenges the country may come across but what is clear is that the way it works at the moment isn’t serving Scotland well.
This discontent with the current system has sparked a huge surge of creative and artistic output in support of independence, highlighting what a vibrant, positive, prosperous and diverse country Scotland is and could be. The yes campaign has highlighted and alerted the world to the fact that Scotland has an enormous pot of talent and creativity. Scotland deserves to be given the freedom to have its own voice internationally and to forge its own identity. The determination and commitment of those who want to create a better Scotland shows promise for a positive future. This determination and commitment will not stop after September the 18th.
For me, it is not about the endless small details of how an independent Scotland would work. It is a simple, straightforward choice based on common sense. For a Scotland-based government, voted for by the people of Scotland, to be in complete control of where the country’s priorities lie, how it’s run and how it spends its money is, for me, a no brainer.
Image from Simon Baker