I feel the need to clarify my position on Scottish independence after reading a lot of comments online which allude to the fact that all “separatists” are moronic cretins, devoid of brain cells, who are being wilfully and blindly led down a rosy path by Salmond to an independent utopia. It’s a silly argument, and one I have so far avoided wading into on discussion forums, Facebook or Twitter. However, I have often wondered whether the “unionists” who spout this nonsense have stopped to think of the counter-argument of them being wilfully and blindly led down the rosy path by Westminster, buying into the belief that the UK is actually OK, as the Better Together tagline tells us.
Do I believe that on Scotland’s Independence Day, poverty in Scotland will suddenly and instantly disappear? That the children in Scotland, who right now are hungry due to not having had a decent meal this weekend; as their only constant food source is government funded school meals, will automatically never go without another meal? Do I foolishly assume that the masses of unemployed people will suddenly find themselves in work? Will every food bank close its doors? Will the homeless be given homes? Will low mortality rate and heart disease no longer be a concern? Will every problem Scotland currently faces be instantly and satisfactorily solved? – No, none of these things will happen on Day One of Scotland’s independence, but here’s what most certainly will happen:
On Day One of Scotland’s independence, the way to address and solve these issues will be the sole responsibility of Scotland; finally the Scottish Government will be wholly responsible for and answerable to the people of Scotland.
Will they always get it 100% right? I highly doubt it, and expecting them to would be seriously unrealistic. Do I believe they will act in their best endeavours to ensure the policies they implement will be of benefit to the people of Scotland? I completely and utterly do believe that, as no longer will they have the door of Westminster to lay the blame against. Implement policies the masses disagree with, and those very same people who voted you in will vote you out the next chance they get. It really is as simple as that, but it’s only that simple in an independent Scotland.
What’s the alternative to independence? Well, there are two options:
1) Nothing changes, the status quo prevails – I don’t think anyone in Scotland truly believes the current political situation benefits the majority of Scottish people. Between the fact that our entire nation’s vote counts for nothing when it comes to the General Election (except two years out of 67), and our Representatives in Westminster being grossly outnumbered by the hundreds; arguing that the status quo works just does not fly.
2) Scotland receives more devolved power – Ah, devolution, Scotland’s saviour. The word is bandied around the independence debate willy nilly, but no one seems able to pin down its definition. What does devolution mean in real terms to Scotland? We’ve heard Devo, Devo-Max, Devo-Lite, and more recently from Scottish Labour, Devo-Confusion. Scotland having more devolved power is a brilliant idea, in theory; but take in to account that any change to the current format, no matter how small, will require the majority backing and agreement from whomever rules Britannia and suddenly Devo-Whatever doesn’t seem quite so appealing.
In the end, there are two vitally important questions you need to ask yourself:
1) Do you believe that a Westminster government will put the wellbeing of the Scottish people (who DON’T vote them in and CAN’T vote them out) at the top of their agenda?
2) Do you believe that a Scottish government will put the wellbeing of the Scottish people (who DO vote them in and CAN vote them out) at the top of their agenda?