The majority of Scots voted No in the independence referendum yesterday. Which is the democratic choice of more than 2,000,000 people - just over 1,500,000 voted for independence. So, to those who voted no, I say I respect your choice. Just remember:
Don't criticise the UK government - you want to be governed by them
Don't complain when the austerity cuts still to come hit us
Don't complain when Scotland's block grant is cut and the Barnett forumla is scrapped
Don't complain about the nuclear weapons 25 miles from our largest city
Don't complain that your gas or electricity bill is so high
Don't complain when fracking begins in Scotland
Don't complain about zero hours contracts and the minimum wage
You got what you wanted when you voted No so enjoy the UK election next May and the prospect of a Conservative/UKIP coalition government.
Better together indeed. Remember 18 September 2014.
Tomorrow, history could be made. Scotland's people go to the polls to vote on whether they wish independence for their country. A Yes vote will mean the end of the United Kingdom as we know it.
A few things stand out in my life as being truly memorable, days I will take with me to my grave. The birth of my two daughters in 1986 and 1989; the birth of my four grandchildren in 2005, 2007, 2010 and earlier this year. Getting engaged to the lovely Marion last year. Watching Hearts lift the Scottish Cup in 1998, 2006 and 2012. All days never to be forgotten.
I truly hope that 18 September 2014 will be another day to add to the above. I have waited all of my 52 years for the day Scotland will become an independent nation. Free of Westminster rule, of being governed by politicians we didn't vote for. I want my country to make its own decisions, to create a fairer society, to address poverty and social injustice. I want these decisions to be made from Edinburgh - not London where Scotland is out of sight, out of mind (except at election time when messrs Cameron, Miliband and Clegg click on to Google maps to find where Scotland is)
Tomorrow, Scotland gets its chance. A huge chance. A once in a lifetime opportunity to show the world we are not afraid to govern ourselves, that we are big enough and strong enough. The atmosphere this week in Scotland has been frenetic but wonderfully exciting. Imagine what it will be like on Friday morning if the result is a huge yes for independence.
Not many countries turn down the opportunity to become independent. Don't let us down, Scotland. Let's create history - for our children and our children's children. Let's do this. Vote Yes!
Are you one of the millions of
people who work for someone else? Work your fingers to the bone in order that
someone else benefits from your hard work? Do you feel you never get the praise
you deserve for your dedication and commitment, day in day out, year in, year
out? It can be depressing, knowing there’s no real reward other than the salary
at the end of the month – and even this is pegged to protect the profits of the
company you work for. Sound familiar?
Do you ever dream of
breaking away from the daily grind, the relentless pressure of working all the
hours for someone who doesn’t really appreciate your efforts and for whom
you’re just a small cog in a machine? Do you ever think about setting up your
own business, working for yourself? Yes, it would be hard work and there may be
a degree of uncertainty – but the same could be said for any walk of life.
Imagine the rewards you would get knowing your hard work, dedication and
courage would be benefiting you and your family and not some overlord who
doesn’t really care about you and your welfare.
Now apply that to the
country you live in. Its good, honest, hard-working citizens working hard in a
struggle to make ends meet. But not really getting the benefits they really
deserve. They are ruled by a government hundreds of miles away who don’t really
care about their welfare, merely about the money being made which helps them
remain in power. Imagine the benefits your country would get knowing its
people’s hard work, dedication and courage was helping the country they live in
– and not some other country whose government is so detached from the people
who didn’t vote for them in the first place. A government which tells Scots we’re
simply not good enough.
An opinion poll published
last Sunday put the Yes Campaign marginally ahead in the referendum for
Scottish independence – now less than a week away. This news put the cat among
the pigeons at Westminster. Britain’s
Prime Minister and his propaganda machine swung into action. David Cameron
immediately cancelled Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament to head for
Scotland – as did his political foes Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. Ask yourself
how many times do you see the leaders of the three main UK political parties in
Scotland other than at election time?
The quite frankly ridiculous
offer from Chancellor George Osbourne – or should that be chancer George
Osbourne? – of further tax-raising powers for Scotland should the Scots vote No
is effectively the so-called ‘Devo-Max’ dressed up. This was something the UK
government didn’t want on the referendum ballot paper. Barely a week before the
referendum itself – and after thousands of people have already submitted a
postal vote – it’s being offered by an increasingly desperate UK government who
are now in full-scale panic mode.
The Westminster machine told
major retailers such as John Lewis and Asda- and the Prime Minister was answering journalist’s questions in an Asda
store this week - to announce the cost of their goods would increase in an
independent Scotland while the government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland were
told to announce they would be relocating from Scotland. In truth, costs will
not rise and the RBS have now said there will be no job losses and no effect on
operations in Scotland – they are merely changing their registered company
address as part of a contingency plan. And it’s worth considering banks and
other financial institutions have larger contingency plans in place - should
the UK decide to leave the European Union following the referendum on this by the end of 2017.
Aided by his advisers and knowing that a yes vote would irreparably damage
his political career – eight months away from a UK general election – a Prime
Minister who co-ordinates scaremongering against the people he is responsible
for, and manipulates markets for political gain should be ashamed. However,
history tells us the Conservatives have no shame, particularly when it comes to
This time next week we shall know the answer to the question should
Scotland be an independent country. Last weekend, the opinion polls showed Yes
51%, No 49%. Midweek, following the scare stories pedalled by the Prime
Minister, the former Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chancellor
of the Exchequer, the leader of the Labour Party and former Deputy leader of
the Labour Party – who all came to Scotland this week, panic-stricken – the
polls showed Yes 47%, No 53%. However, if the Westminster elite thought it was
job done then they reckoned without the guile of the Scottish people who have
seen through the mistruths. As I type this, the latest poll, just five days before
polling day, shows Yes 49%, No 51%.
What Scots need to seriously consider next Thursday is what kind of
Scotland they want for their children and their children’s children. I have
four grandchildren. I want them to grow up in a country that is one of the
richest in the world and doesn’t see its wealth wasted on nuclear weapons
(which will never be used), wars in which it should never be involved in and
bailing out banks and financial institutions for their corporate greed.
I want my grandchildren to grow up in a country where its vast natural
resources – not just oil – are used for the benefit of all the people of
Scotland, people of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds and political views.
I want my grandchildren to grow up in a country where our nation’s wealth
can protect our public services and welfare system – and put an end to
foodbanks – and to make huge improvements to childcare and to the state pension
for hard working people and those who have worked hard all their life and now
deserve to retire without having to worry about how they’re going to pay their
I want my grandchildren to grow up in a country where the National Health
Service will not be strangled by financial constraints but allowed to flourish,
guaranteeing the right to free healthcare.
I want my grandchildren to grow up in a country where policies that affect
every Scot are taken in Scotland and reflect Scotland’s priorities and values.
I have yearned for independence for Scotland for all of my 52 years. I
passionately believe my country deserves better, much better than it gets under
Westminster rule. I reached adulthood at the time Margaret Thatcher came to
power and her Tory party policies almost – but not quite – destroyed the
country I love.
Scotland has the opportunity of not only this lifetime but several
lifetimes next week. Imagine this time next week waking up to find out the
dream has become a reality. How invigorating, how exciting, how wonderful does
that prospect feel?
That wonderful singer Labi Siffre had a brilliant song a few years back
called Something Inside So Strong.
The lyrics could have been written with Scotland in mind.
The higher you
build your barriers the taller I become
The farther you take my rights away the faster I will run
You can deny me, you can decide to turn your face away
No matter 'cause there's
I know that I can make it
Though you're doing me wrong so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh, no, something inside so strong
there's something inside so strong
The more you
refuse to hear my voice the louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho, your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time, you squander wealth that's mine
My light will shine so brightly, it will blind you 'cause there's
I know that I can make it
But you're doing me wrong so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh, no, something inside so strong
There’s something inside so strong
When they insist we're just good not enough
When we know better
Just look 'em in the eyes and say
I'm gonna do it
Don’t let this marvellous opportunity pass. There will be scare stories
galore from Westminster in the days ahead. Stay strong, Scotland. Do what’s
best for your country. Our country. Governed by the people of Scotland. I have
always told my two lovely daughters to make the decisions they think is best
for them in their lives – but don’t, whatever happens, have any regrets. If
Scotland votes No then it will be too late not to have any regrets.
Despite the words of self-interest from David Cameron, Gordon Brown et al,
the message Scots can send to Westminster on Thursday is ‘When you insist we’re
just not good enough - I’m gonna do it anyway’
This is our moment, Scotland’s moment – don’t let it pass.
...a new poll by YouGov suggests the 'Yes Scotland' campaign has taken a lead ahead of Scottish independence referendum with 51% of the vote and the 'No' campaign at 49%
This excludes the 'don't knows' so it's important not to get too carried away. However, it's a significant shift in opinion, given the Better Together campaign has always been ahead in the polls, usually by some distance.
I know of two previously staunch 'No' people who have considered all the facts available to them and, in the last two weeks, have decided they will be voting Yes for independence for Scotland.
12 days and counting to what will hopefully be a historic day for Scotland.
Author of Hearts 50 Greatest Games, Hearts - The Diary of an Incredible Season and Follow the Hearts. Reporter for The Edinburgh Reporter. Now a fully qualified Hypnotherapist - bookings being taken now...