An open letter

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On Saturday at the pub a friend of mine, a Northern Irishman who has lived here for years asked me for my take on the Scottish independence referendum.  He said he was on the fence and was considering not voting because he “isn’t Scottish”.  I disagreed and said that as someone who lived here and is affected by the decision he is as entitled to a say as anyone.  The following is the email I sent him.  Not sure why I am publishing it other than it is the best and most concise summary of my reasons I have written so far.  I could have written pages more, but it’s a start.  Please read and if you think it will convince someone pass it on.

“OK fella,

You wanted more info on the referendum so I thought I would put this together to give you my view on the matter.  It is unashamedly biased, and for that I am not sorry.  I think that the decision in September is the most important in my lifetime and I think the case for Scottish independence is strong on both an emotional and practical level.  This is in no way the most detailed or eloquent case, but it’s the best I can do without boring you with pages and pages of stuff.

First off, why am I voting yes?  You will probably hear some people talk about the movement for Scottish independence as a narrow minded nationalist movement that is all about Braveheart and hating the English.  Whilst I am sure there are some people for whom that is what it is all about, in my experience it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  For me independence is all about letting those who live in Scotland finally make decisions on how to run their affairs, be able to shape their society as they would like, and confront the challenges of the modern world in the way they choose to.  My girlfriend is English, as are many of my best friends, colleagues and people who I respect deeply.   I have family living in London.  Scottish independence is not about where people were born, who they identify with or even about whether you feel more ‘British’ or ‘Scottish’.  I totally disagree with the idea that Scot’s living outside of Scotland should have a vote in the referendum.  The choice is about how those who live here want to be governed, and for that reason I think that a Romanian or Somali immigrant living in Glasgow has more right to have a say in that choice than a Scot who has not lived here for 40 years.  Being from Northern Ireland, you said you thought that you shouldn’t vote because you aren’t Scottish. Well I say that you live here and this decision will affect you as much as it affects me so of course you should vote.

I don’t feel that the UK Governments in Westminster make decisions that affect our lives in our interests.  That is total understandable, Scotland makes up only 5 million of the UK’s 60+ million population, they have to do what is best for the majority, but that will never be Scotland and as a result we will always have to live by their decisions, and in the interests of the more populated areas in the South East. The decisions we would make here could and probably would be much different if we had a full say.  Nuclear weapons on the Clyde, where the money from oil goes, social and welfare policy, NHS privatisation, how we behave to the world including who we go to war with, bank bonuses and regulation, all of these things are imposed on us by Westminster Governments that we often don’t vote for and don’t act in our interests.

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I want a Scotland based on proportional representation of parties, on common interest of the people who live here, where the resources we have in the shape of oil are saved and reinvested in our future instead of being used to fund tax cuts to already rich middle class voters.  I want to live in a country that doesn’t throw its weight around in the world and still thinks it can dictate to others.  A country that hasn’t been involved in an overseas war of one kind or another for the last 100 years.  A country that doesn’t sell arms to dictatorships around the world then pretends it is a beacon of democracy.  A country where the school your parents paid for you to go to isn’t the most important factor in how successful you are in life, where all the major political parties aren’t led by graduates of two exclusive universities.  A country with a well-funded and functioning public health service that isn’t being sold off cheap to rich party donors, much like all of our other public services.  I can’t guarantee that an independent Scotland will not have some of these things, and I know that making things better will be hard work, but I am certain that if we remain part of the UK it will only get worse and no amount of devolution will stop it being imposed on us eventually.

I am voting Yes for positive and negative reasons.  Positive because I believe that given the chance to make our own way in the world Scotland can be a wealthy, fair and strong small country that can be respected and liked around the world.  The debate so far has necessarily felt inward looking, but once we vote Yes we can open up again to the world as a new nation, which in itself is incredibly exciting.  Negative because all I can see in remaining in the UK is more of the same old politics of nasty blaming of the poor and watching the rich establishment cement its place at the top of the heap.  We can’t change the rest of the UK, we have voted Labour for decades and all that has happened is that Labour has just gotten more like the Tories.  Perhaps the shock of Scotland leaving will wake people up and create change, but otherwise it will never change.

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I am more than happy to answer any questions you have on specifics, but to start with here are some websites to have a look at that make the case better than I can and address specific issues:

www.wingsoverscotland.com

www.nationalcollective.com

www.bellacalledonia.org.uk

www.businessforscotland.co.uk

www.newsnetscotland.com

derekbateman1.wordpress.com/

I have put part of my case for Yes (there’s a lot more detail), if you want the case for No you will have to talk to someone else, or probably just open a newspaper or listen to the BBC.  For some reason the national press seem to be totally against the idea of independence.  Some think it is because they are part of the establishment that feels threatened by independence, others that they don’t understand it because they are so London focussed they think we are all running around in kilts hating the English.  Feel free to read the websites above and the mainstream press and make up your own mind.  All I will ask is that you bear in mind a few common criticisms about press coverage whenever you are reading something, these are:

“Could” does not equal “Will”

When you read a headline quoting someone saying what “could” happen in an independent Scotland have a think.  Who is this person and what side of the debate are they on? Do they give any actual evidence? They are taking about the future, so how do they know? Is this just a scare story? Which leads us on to…..

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Project Fear

Early in the campaign it was leaked that the No camp were secretly calling their strategy “Project Fear”.  This relates to the idea that for the No campaign to win all they need to do is to scare people enough about the unknown that they will vote No to keep everything safe and warm and cuddly.  This will be enough for some, but do you really want to live in a country that was too scared to take responsibility for itself and try and better itself?  Not to mention that a lot of these scare stories are nonsense and rely on the fact that in the future nothing is certain.

The Status Quo

You will read a lot about how a No vote will keep things the same, this isn’t true.  First, nothing stays the same, there is a direction of travel in any country and all you need to do is take a look at how the last few governments in Westminster have been behaving to get an idea of what a No direction might be.  Not to mention there have been politicians in all parties suggesting that after a No there should be a review of the formula that decides how much money Scotland gets, basically cutting the amount the Scottish Government gets each year.  Things won’t stay the same.

Its Salmond’s Folly

The papers love to paint Scottish independence as all about one man, because it sells papers and they know lots of people hate Alex Salmond.  The fact is independence is no more about Salmond than Britain is about Cameron.  First thing that happens in an independent Scotland is we have a general election and you can vote for any party you want.  In fact the other parties, Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems will finally be able to make policies that are solely about Scotland rather than being told what to do by their London head offices.

Jam Tomorrow

You will read a lot about the Devo-Max option, and other possible arrangements that would allow Scotland to stay part of the UK but get more powers.  First, this isn’t an option on the ballot paper, it is an idea that might happen, maybe, if we vote No and the right party gets in at the next election.  This sort of thing is known as ‘Jam Tomorrow’ and has always been used to stop Scots trying to be independent by promising things afterwards that never materialise.  Once we have voted No there is no reason for Westminster to give us anything, we have said we don’t want independence so it isn’t a threat to them anymore.  If they seriously wanted to give us more powers they would have given them to us.

The UK subsidises Scotland

This is crap and is a lie we have been told for generations to keep us in our place.  Whilst each person in Scotland gets £1,200 more on average spent on them per year, the per person contribution to the exchequer in Westminster is £1,700 more in Scotland than the rest of the UK.  We get more, but we pay even more.  An independent Scotland would also be able to fit its economic policy in line with Scotland’s needs instead of trying to fit in with the policy set in London in the interests of the City and the financial sector.  Have a read of this and see what you think:

http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/10-key-economic-facts-that-prove-scotland-will-be-a-wealthy-independent-nation/

That is just a few thoughts outlining why I think we should be voting Yes in September.  I am sure you have lots of questions about certain bits and pieces, have a look at the sites and I will answer any I can.  There is lots and lots of information out there, just don’t become blinded by it all.  At the end of the day it is down to whether you think we can do better than we are right now by taking control of our own destiny, or if you think things are as good as they are going to be with the way things are.

Good luck!”

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(The photos are just for added interest and are all copyright Lewis Brown)

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53 thoughts on “An open letter

  1. Totally with you but unfortunately , or fortunately I live in Tasmania and have for 39 years. Reasons being that I was sick of the same old rubbish being fed to Scots and watched my Dad being dragged down by the whole political system down south. Very proud of where I come from but as a 19 year old I knew the future wasn’t in Scotland for me. Best of luck and I hope the vote is Yes.

  2. Gosh it is the first time I have read a blog/comment or open letter with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Excellently and eloquently put and every single thing you touched on are my feelings and thoughts about Independence. Well done sir.

  3. A good and convincing letter,I wasn’t going to even vote as I am sick being told through FB and by others we must vote Yes,,I ‘ll make up my own mind and its no ones business what vote I eventually go for,and if most of the campaigners keep pressing on for the Yes vote it could produce a negative result.Being Scottish I know what my vote will be,but no one else will as stated in the above why..

    • And that is entirely right . There are also plenty of campaigners pressing for a NO vote as well. Its just the YES campaign has to use social media more as they don’t have the same access to the media that the no campaign have.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with your point about this referendum being about people who live in Scotland and not some kind of a ethnic vote. I am Scottish but live in the Republic of Ireland and have no right whatever to vote, even though I would love to mark an enormous X next to the Yes option.

  5. Well said. My husband and child are both English, I was born and now live back home. All I wish is that people don’t vote in fear. Look at facts, ask questions and don’t be scared. We’ll never get another chance.

  6. Pretty much how I feel about the governing of Scotland. I am sick of government coming and going and the same old corrupt behavior once in power. It is a strong statement but I would rather have a possibility over a predictably. It is a sad state of affairs that we as the voting public feel it is time for a change. Politicians are clearly not going to so the system of governance will have to.

  7. I agree with almost all of this, but could say exactly the same about the North West of England, where I live. The UK is far too London-centric, NOT England-centric. Nationalism has been a source of evil throughout history, making enemies of people for no better reason than an artificial line on a map (In the UK we sometimes kid ourselves that the very existence of the UK is somehow a law of nature, but the contradiction of this is within us…it’s called Ireland). Celebrate cultural diversity, continue to work every day for a genuinely socialist government but don;t fall into a Scottish version of the “little Englander” trap.

  8. Your views here are, as you declare at the start, from the “yes” side. From your line of discussion, also from the “yes” campaign. I agree though that people should consider the “facts”. However that is easier said than done and the majority of your views are clearly dogmatic and based on what you believe to be true rather than facts. I believe for instance that oil revenues have been wasted, particularly through Thatcher’s era, but that does not have any bearing on how wisely or not any government, in an independent Scotland or UK with some devolution setup will use this resource in the future. In truth none of us know what will happen, for good or ill, after the referendum. I am sure though whatever the result it will have positive AND negative results. I cannot take seriously however the “Yes” campaign’s perspective of everything being better if we’re independent. That’s what they strongly believe but strong beliefs are not facts or truths. I do not accept this fairy tale fantasy land with Campbelltown Loch filled with whisky (or maybe oil!). I have no fear of an independent Scotland but don’t buy the hype either. I hope though that there is I high turnout because I don’t want the outcome to be decided by a minority. It’s far too important for that.

  9. A great piece of writing. I agree with everything you say. I live in New Zealand now, as I could see what Westminster goverments, (Labour, Tory with the help of the Liberals) were and are doing to Scotland. But I wish all my kith, kin & countrymen back in the old country all the best. I would be so proud to put an X next to the YES. Its been a long time coming.

  10. The change, if it happens, will still have corrupt politicians and well monied self interest groups looking to do what they do best.
    BUT You made your case well, I just do not think it is worth the risk. The idealism that is hoped for is not likely to be delivered. I do not see a place that has all your ideals working. So pragmatically I think that reform should come from within.

  11. Loved reading this.The reasons i’m voting yes are very simple-
    The McCrone report proves our future was stolen from us,The very fact the report was classed a secret proves that.The classification of a secret document is that it’s to keep sensitive information that may harm you country and/or it’s interests out of the hands of a FOREIGN POWER.So for all intents and purposes,Westminster deemed Scotland a foreign power so as to keep this vital info from the people of Scotland.
    The 1979 vote, need i say more
    The revelation about thatcher trying to keep money from Scotland during the miners strike.
    Lastly and i think most importantly-Britain is in dept to the tune of 1.334 TRILLION pound.Now if we the Scots take our share of that as divided by percentage of population it means we have a dept of just over 112 billion,Northern Ireland and Wales combined equal about 102 billion, That leaves England with 1.118 TRILLION to pay.Scotland with it’s oil reserves (not counting possible new fields) could be able to pay this back. Do you think England could say the same? Our children are being born into over 21 thousand pounds of dept and climbing.do you really want that for your kids.An independent Scotland may thrive or it may fail, but it’s the chance i’m willing to take because the alternative is not better together, It’s guaranteed perpetual poverty for the vast majority.

    • I have also read the McCrone report and am in agreement with you. What all Patrons of Scotland need to grasp is, it’s a vote note just for you, it’s for generations to come, whether you vote Yes or No, you have to stand by that decision in years to come, maybe having to explain your vote to grandchildren. History of Scotland teaches us that we, as a nation, have not taken, or been given our fair share that rightfully belongs to us. The days of carving up lands for Kings and Queens are over. People of all walks of life in our society shape the way our country is made up. It’s time to take a rightful share of our future, be it a decision that has many hurdles along the way. At least we can vote on the way ahead as one nation. To pass up this opportunity, may be one of regret, if we are seen to be ” missing an open goal ” .

  12. Very well put agree with it all,just heard on the BBC this morning about Standard Life pulling out of Scotland if theres a Yes vote they are sure ramping up the fear factor …Stand strong this is our time YES X

  13. Scots have for generations added to the wealth of knowledge used to govern the UK by virtue of their inclusion in the cabinet in successive governments. However, their influence has been has also been diminished by the power of the votes of those from the more populated areas such as the south east of the country which continuously leads to policies which are ” London biased” to control financial problems of under supply of housing and or the infrastructure affecting the travelling times of the London commuter.

    Other “northern ” areas of the UK have consistently suffered from cyclical investment with changes of government or total lack of investment, as with Scotland seeing the support of heavy industry here losing out to the extent that it has with few exceptions died altogether.
    Additionally we have watched as our governments and parliament has continuously attempted to police the world as a major player on the world stage with the associated costs falling upon the people of the UK due to ” Empire ” believers in Whitehall . Funds diverted to lost causes, creating misery for the families of lost servicemen/women in useless wars while we deny the widows and families and the other poor the benefits needed to secure reasonable standards of living.

    I believe that the Scottish people and residents in Scotland have more than enough ability in governance and in financial acumen to compete with any nation, we have no reason to fear the future any more than the rest of the UK should fear the loss of the” Scots” .

    By concentration of our own efforts to those challenges within our own borders Scottish Residents will be able to guide the expenditure of our nation to the needs of our fellow residents without the unwieldy effects of a bloated southeast or the empire dreams of politicians desiring a world stage. ( Consider that many of them cannot remember which house they bought as their main residence and they want a world stage?)

    I have no greater understanding of national finances than anyone else but I believe in my country and it’s residents, I recognise the presentation of “disinformation” and the policy of fear used by governments for years when policies badly designed and weighted against the greater populace for the sake of the minority are voiced , supported and repeated until thoughts become accepted fact .

    Those voicing togetherness have shown a heavy dependence on that fear whilst the leader of our government sees no benefit in open debate as he may “fear” facing many of his own truths, I am with the independent “camp” until my prime minister and those in his “camp”” can have the guts to debate live, giving me positive reasons why we are better together and showing that he values the contribution of those who live north of the border.
    Kit Duddy
    27/2/2014

  14. I have never heard so much flag waving clap in all my life. So scots living abroad don’t get the vote. This includes service personnel who don’t have a choice, but are giving there lives, compared to the benefit tourists who will be voting. Oh, and I forgot the schoolies, surprised he hasn’t changed the voting age to 5!
    I begin to wonder which asylum the grinning dumpling and his smiling sidekick escaped from. They haven’t given a thought to any form of financial structure, apart from “they are all scaremongers, but we will be all right on the night”!
    Did he, or his cohorts actually speak to any major industry and ask if they would be happy to continue in the land where everything will be sorted afterwards?
    Salmond and the smiling one are not thinking about Scotland or the Scottish people. They just want to be in the history books. Hopefully for being being the laughing stock of this proud nation!

    • Tourists won’t get a vote. You have to be resident in Scotland for at least 6 months of any 12 month period leading up to the vote.

    • Well, you can always tell a unionist – but you can’t tell them much! Someone writes about his opinion and people respond, not all agree but they make their points. What does the unionist do – name calling and sneering. How very British!

    • You have made the classic Unionist mistake. This vote is not about Alex Salmond, it is about the future of our country and where we want to fit into the world. But then having read your contribution, I don’t expect you to understand that, nor would I try to convince you otherwise. That would be a waste of your time and mine as you need an open mind to see the alternative vision.

    • .Alan, you are so full of hatred for Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon that it appears to have poisoned your mind judging by the childish insults you have made about them. This is not about individuals. This is ALL about the people who live in Scotland to have their say whatever the outcome! Personally I would like to see some positive comments from Better Together rather than all the scaremongering negativity they can only serve up. Whichever way the vote goes, the Scottish people will undoubtably have more problems to overcome but we will deal with them as they arise. Oh! And please, we have plenty of examples of MP’s and PM’s from Westminster who will be going down in history for their dreadful policies and taking us into conflicts that cost millions of lives. In this fight no blood will be spilled and judging by the majority of comments on all the threads from all over the world, they will still be proud of Scotland regardless. Only the ignorant laugh when the opponant is on the ground.

    • Suggest you stop the childish insults and start to educate yourself on the real economic indicators like Scotlands GDP, exports, imports taxation etc..you’ll find that we have nothing to fear. But hey you’ve swallowed Westminsters line and trust that lot more than your Countrymen and kin….some Scots are poodles others are Lions.

  15. According to Johann Lamont, “the people of Scotland are not genetically programmed to make political decisions” – I’m sure that means she thinks we are stupid! I haven’t read one report questioning this statement and I am appalled. Is that really what Scottish Labour thinks of Scottish people? Maybe it is time we show that we can and we will govern Scotland well. My daughter will be 18 on the 18th of September and is voting YES, I hope that’s a good omen.

    • Yes that is what the unionists in Scottish Labour think of Scotland. These are the same people who regularly talk about there being no border between Scotland and England…I am afraid most of SLAB’s elected representatives appear to be only involved in politics as a means to preserve their social and political status in Britain. They will do or say anything to attempt to maintain their status and careers.

    • Totally agree with Sheila. The press have clammec up regarding Lamont’s gaff. Imagine if Salmond had said something as crass. They’d be crawling all over him like vultures on a carcass.

    • None has commented because the quote is taken out of context, all we seem to see from the “Aye” campaign is a 9 second fragment.

    • she also called us a something for nothing nation and if labour got in they would stop free prescriptions,free university tuition,unfreeze poll tax,care for the elderly.So there you have it if you vote no and are lucky?? and they do get in you can look forward to having more money taken out of your already empty pockets.and you already know all about the tories.

  16. A thoughtful piece written from the heart & backed up by hard facts. I have never studied as hard for anything as I have for the Scottich Independence issue. I am utterly convinced. What drives me forward to ‘Yes’ is not just good for Scotland, it’s good for everyone in the UK. And that is the decommissioning of Trident. ICBMs on the Clyde are a legacy I refuse to hand down to my children and grandchildren.

  17. Lewis, I think this letter is just what the don’t knows need to know. I would like to share it, however I note there are several typos, literally typos, rather than grammatical, structural or spelling errors. I will share it anyway, just thought I’d give you the opportunity to correct them first.

  18. A well written and researched “open letter.” The links are especially helpful, and I hope the people I share it with will take advantage of them.

    I, like your friend, have an opinion regarding the choice before the Scottish people but unlike him, I cannot vote in the referendum, being a foreign national. Although I’ve lived and worked here and pay taxes, the vote will not be extended to me. My only hope is to advise people I know to investigate and dig deeper than what is being broadcast to them through the media.

    As a descendent of my Scottish ancestors who left during the time of the Clearances, I am proud to be here as Scotland assesses it’s path and takes stock of its future and what it is capable of. I have loved these past 5+ years amongst you; I have received both the best education in the world (in my opinion) at one of your best universities, and have enjoyed interacting with some of the most forthright and thoughtful people I’ve ever encountered.

    The world, at the moment, seems on the brink of another world war. I am tired of it, and I know others are as well – we are capable of so much more. We can devise ways to end the scarcity that drives aggression. The people of Scotland have done it before, and their ideas and philosophies shaped the best of what my home country (America) aspired to at its birth. It is heartening to hear those ideals spoken again, and to think of what illuminating innovations the Scottish people could give to the world this time around.

    I left my home country because I knew there was a better way to live; something beyond the sham that America has become – a place of privatisation, prejudice, excess, avarice, and xenophobia, all wrapped-up in a star-spangled, neon-lit package, “and may you be damned if you don’t by it!”

    Scotland has a chance to break from the aforementioned, which Britain is fast-becoming, and create a national system of government “by, for, and of the People.” May it be.

    Good luck, Scotland.

  19. Loved your article. The photographs are marvellous too.

    You have attracted some, err…,bile for writing from the heart. That is unfortunate but the people who write that sort of thing are merely expressing their love of nanny.

    Sad, int’it?

  20. Good points but sorely let down by typos and grammar. Please proof read it, it weakens your argument.

    • Why does this weaken the argument. The letter is about his opinions, with some links to check facts. Spelling and grammar have no impact on whether or not an argument is valid, this is a fallacy, an irritating one at that. An excellent letter lewis, one I wish I had written.

  21. Can someone explain to me a Scot born in Scotland ,lived in England for half my life ,now living in Spain for over 10 yrs why I can vote on uk election but not Scotland

    • Presumably when you vote in a UK election you vote in a non-Scottish contituency?
      So, like all the other voters in your consititiency, you don’t get a vote, as you don’t live or vote in Scotland.
      Overseas voters who vote in a Scottish contituencies DO get a vote.

  22. You say the unionists promise ” jam tomorrow” , But isn’t that exactly what the YES camp are promising ?

    • NO Jam Tomorrow – austerity throughout the UK that will eventually lead to recovery (somehow); vague promises of ‘more powers’ for Scotland even though these were ruled out as an option on the ballot paper by the very people now promising them. That is all.
      YES jam tomorrow – all the powers we require to make decisions in Scotland that are for the benefit of all the people of Scotland; full control of all Scotland’s resources for the benefit of all the people of Scotland; a written constitution that will perpetually protect the rights of the people of Scotland; a White Paper that lays out the framework for a socially just Scotland and which is the basis for a written constitution. And that’s just for starters.

      I know which flavour of jam I prefer.

  23. Having lived the first 20 years of my working life in Scotland I had to make a huge decision. Watch my kids grow up among unemployment with no real prospect of an honest start in life once they leave school, being surrounded by crime, drugs and alcohol abuse which go hand in hand with the unemployment factor!
    I had to seriously think……..what did my parents and grandparents do to allow this travesty to happen in Britain. Stuff it, I said. A new life and a better chance for my kids are needed. I moved my family to Australia to get away from all of that and I am so glad that I did. They now have a chance of an excellent start in life that Scotland cannot provide but why should that be? My father, god rest his sole, was SNP through and through. Although I am a very patriotic person, I have never believed that they (SNP) could run our beloved country they way it should be done, but hey! Who else is making the stand?
    I watched Maggie destroy the miners and the communities that went with the pits. I again watched the Conservative government abuse Scotland with the poll tax which England said nothing about until it affected them the following year……….then I still stayed around to watch the naval contracts to be given to the South of England while one of the counties of Britain, which already had the highest percentage of unemployment, lost even more chances of their youth to have a chance of a decent start after leaving school. Why? Are these things my fault, my Fathers fault, Maggie’s fault………….who knows! That is life I suppose……………
    But now…..Scotland has a chance to make their own decision, right or wrong. Forget all that has went before, forget about the so called revenue of the North Sea Oil. Think for once in your life about what you can do for the kids of Scotland. Let them have a chance to say what they want for their children. As a small nation Scotland has brought some fantastic people into this world but Scotland has to be given that opportunity to allow this to happen again. I am by no means a well educated person, I left school at Sixteen but had the chance, and took it, of an engineering apprenticeship at a local mill which I am extremely grateful for. How many kids now have that same chance in Scotland? Yes,,,,,,I get to hit things with a big hammer now and then,,,,,,,how many boys and girls of sixteen will ever see a big hammer? How many new apprentices will Scotland have this year? Waken up guys. We are talking about tradesmen here. The basic skill of producing some kind of art and making a living from it so they can have the same chance of providing a stable family life and possibly owning their own home before they have to retire!
    I cannot vote yes in September being in Australia but I will not become a citizen here until I have my Scottish passport. Everyone of you has a huge decision to make for the future generations of Scotland in September.
    I can only pray, that collectively, you make the correct decision.
    There are so many reasons that a Scotsman can tell you why you should vote yes, the main one is probably their national pride cause we are a very proud nation, no matter where you go in the world, that will never change.
    But in today’s world………….
    Scotland, like most other countries in the world, is now a multi-cultural community from all walks of life that needs a new start. Give her that start. You live there and so will your kids.

    Signing off now
    Neil

    “My heart is aye in Scotland tho’ I am far awa’ “

  24. Very good read. Ignore the snobs that are criticizing your typos. If you had spent time worrying about that rather than writing from the heart, it would have came across as a press release.

  25. Thanks for sharing your opinion. I am undecided how to vote, and I enjoyed reading your open letter.

    I feel no more Scottish than I do British, my nation is my family, neighbours and friends. I believe how good my life is depends more on what I do than any government.

    I gave up my business after 25 years in the onshore fishing industry. Fisheries are regulated from Brussels and devolved to Edinburgh. So when I had to change careers in my forties, as many miners and steelworkers did, I couldn’t blame Thatcher or Westminster. My experience of independence in Europe has been negative.

    I joined the oil and gas industry, it’s providing a better living after a couple of years than the fish did after a couple of decades. So the business regulated from London has been better for me than the home rule one.

    The only thing making me still consider voting Yes is the quality of argument from the better together campaign has been so bad.

    In the event of a Yes vote, There might spawn an Independence for Grampian party. Resources like Oil, Whisky, Farming, Tourism, Renewable energy etc. A small population could stand alone. They could just recycle the Yes campaign, ” Scotland ” replace with ” Grampian “. “Westminster ” replace with “Edinburgh”. Under independence, the north of the country will be getting the government voted for by the south, that’s for sure. Just like in the UK.

    I can’t help feeling it’s not just Westminster who wants to exploit Scotland’s riches to enrich the powerful. I think there are plenty of people in Edinburgh looking to do the same.

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