Editorial: A Yes Vote Changes Everything

It’s Tuesday 16th September, 2 days before the biggest vote of our lives. This is the biggest democratic event we will ever likely experience, not just for us but for generations to come. The vast enormitude of the referendum vote on Thursday simply cannot be overstated – it’s kind of a big deal.

Here at National Collective, we know you don’t really need to be told how momentous this vote is. We’re not seeing a disengaged, demotivated group of campaigners or voters when we’re in the streets. We’ve seen some of the hardest working, innovative, inspiring and just plain awesome people giving every ounce of their spare time, their sweat, and yes, their tears, to show people that a Yes vote isn’t about nationalism or anti-English sentiment – it’s about fairness; it’s about hope; it’s about imagining a better Scotland.

Imagine no more my friends. This is our chance to make a real, permanent difference to the world. A no vote changes nothing, but a yes vote? It changes everything.

We bear an amazing responsibility, this generation who live in Scotland. We have to live with our choice on Thursday and know that we will be asked by our children, our grandchildren and maybe our great grandchildren, which way we voted and what we did during the campaign. You have to look yourselves in the mirror and be comfortable with your vote. There’s the rub.

Will you vote for a radical reformation of democracy in Scotland and the chance to remove nuclear weapons? We’re being offered the chance to transfer sovereign power from the parliament of Westminster to the people of Scotland; to bring the power closer to us and make it more accountable; to say that we believe the Scottish Parliament isn’t perfect but that it can be better, that it can become a model of parliamentary democracy and representation; to say that we still have hope.

Or will you vote for Westminster? A two-stage legislature considered unrepresentative, undemocratic and unaccountable. There are currently no plans being proposed by Westminster parties to reform this system. None. Sure, there’s a few activists and party campaigners who say they can work on it, just give them a chance – but it’s not going to be in any manifestos in 2015. It will still be the Lords, the Oxbridge graduates and the millionaires who hold power in Westminster.

This has been a hard-fought campaign, where we’ve tried to lead with positive action and messages. I’m sure we’ve made mistakes. We’re not perfect and none of us are professional politicians, we’re just a bunch of writers, artists, workers and campaigners who want to make a difference. Just like you.

We’ve faced one of the most negative campaigns in political history, an endless cycle of abuse that would break any normal country. Scotland has had enough. Everytime the No campaign have brought out a scare story, you’ve been there to show us that it’s not true, or it’s exaggerated or that it had been cynically manipulated. Everytime they’ve attacked us, you’ve rallied and inspired those around you to keep going. This isn’t amateur hour we’ve faced, this is the full apparatus of the British State, the political machine of the establishment that has attacked Scotland at every turn, and you’ve held firm. We are truly in awe.

Lovebombs, Project Fear and now even Shock and Awe (the No campaigns latest pet name for their campaign) – all have been shown as manipulative assaults on the democratic process which hold the people of Scotland in contempt. From the widely discussed failings of our media, to the collusion of the banks, corporations and financial institutions who brought the world to its knees (while still pocketing trillions in profits), this has been a campaign that hurt Scotland, that sought to divide and conquer. But after the 18th, none of this matters. We need to forget it all and work together, to rebuild trust and communities. But not quite yet – channel your frustration, your anger and your hope into these last few days of campaigning. There’s a referendum to win and a nation to build.

We at National Collective believe in every one of you, not the politicians. It is the people of Scotland who drive change, reform and the imagination of our society. It is you who will innovate, build and create in an independent Scotland. We believe in you, we trust you and you hold the future of Scotland in your hands.

National Collective