On the 18th September, I will be voting both ways.
I’ll be voting:
No to bailing out banks. No to allowing bankers’ bonuses when we’re paying for them. No to 1 in 5 Scottish kids being in poverty. No to homelessness. No to Bedroom Tax, 70% of its victims being disabled. No to a Labour party led by Ed Miliband, a millionaire like the other parties. No to illegal wars: to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqi & Afghani civilians. No to nuclear weapons of mass destruction in the Clyde. No to renewing those weapons for billions while people starve on the street. No to UKIP: because all are welcome in Scotland no matter their gender, sexuality or race. No to being told what to do by Westminster because we’re less than 10% of the UK population. No to being told we’re too little and too poor when we’re richer than France and Italy per head. No to Salmond and the SNP dominating Scottish politics because Labour can’t ignore London. No to a Union that only cares about Scotland’s people when they threaten to leave. No to being told we’ll get “more powers”, even though they won’t tell us what they are or when we’ll get them. No to a government that says MPs should have a 10% rise in pay while the average public worker struggles to get even a 1% rise in their wage. No to being the 4th most unequal country in the world. No to having the wealth of oil but not saving that money like Norway did, who now have over one million kroner per person in their Oil Fund. No to a government that tripled tuition fees for its students when many of those there benefited from free education themselves. No to the North of England, Wales and Northern Ireland being ignored because Westminster is too busy trying to make Scotland stay. No to a monarchy that receives a grant of over £30 million per year when people rely on foodbanks to feed their families.
No more UK just for the rich. Let’s have a Scotland for the people.
Now, you can choose to finally say you’ve had enough. It’s time to do things differently. Labour have had decades to make the UK work; they didn’t. The Liberal Democrats could have said No to tripling tuition fees, to passing the Bedroom Tax; they didn’t. The Tories said “we’re all in this together”; we weren’t.
We’re considered a joke in Westminster. A political irrelevance. Why listen to less than 10% of the MPs of a government? What if you had a democracy that listened to the entirety of its nation? Surely a functioning democracy is priceless?
If you vote No, I understand. It’s a difficult decision, but most of us are tired of being lied to. We’ve waited for change for decades now. We’re now left with a Labour party that says they’ll cut spending just as hard as the current Tory-Lib coalition. So you have all three main parties committed to the same policy. We’re tired of being told we’ll get change but being left with the same parties in the end.
Independence will be risky. Staying in the UK will be risky. Nothing is guaranteed either way, but when you vote Yes, we do it together. We take the risk of going independent together. Over 2 million people will be right there with you:
We’ll have a new country to build – and we’ll do it together.
Let’s show the rest of the UK what’s possible: Vote Yes.
Joseph L. Reid
Image from Robb Mcrae