Don’t Know 5

cloudmapWe asked people who Don’t Know how to vote next year to share our concerns in 500 words. All this week we’ll be publishing their entries.

Don’t Know 5

I’ll probably vote Yes but why is there still a probably in that sentence? I feel like I’m in a tired old relationship that has gone stale years ago and the only reason I’m not leaving is I’ve sort of forgotten what true romance feels like. But my new suitor ‘Alba’ has some pretty corny chat-up lines. I want to be wowed and wooed, not told that things will stay pretty much the same.
I realise I may be in the minority here. I get that the Yes campaign wants to reassure people and that lots of people are scared of real change, but the longer this goes on (London’s austerity experiment) the more I realise that the change we need is HUGE.

I don’t want some wee tinkering with the system I want a beautiful new Scotland now, I want it all changed … I want my Scotland utterly transformed.

I don’t believe a word of the daily dirge I hear from the No campaigners and the media, I don’t feel scared of change I just demand more of it. So here’s a plea to Yes and to the Greens, to the SNP and the other indy campaigners – paint me a vision, woo me with some sweet nothings – and my probably will melt away.

But play it too safe and I will not bother. Let’s get excited!!! Let’s do this!!!

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  1. Patrick S Hogg says:

    Excellent piece!

  2. I think we all have things we want to change, and this is what energises us to campaign for a Yes. For instance, I get really excited by the Common Weal ideas (trying to make Scotland a Scandinavian-style egalitarian country), and I’d love to get rid of the monarchy.

    However, it’s hard to agree on what to change, so I think the main campaign organisations often go for a rather static vision of independence to avoid getting into internal fights about the details.

    It’s probably best that way. The blue-sky thinking about what an independent Scotland could be like is better done individually, in small groups and in blog postings, and once independence has been achieved, we can then regroup and start fighting for the policies we want.

    All that is certain is that a No will not change anything, except for the fact that there’ll be less and less money.

  3. Cath says:

    Great post. I’m a definite yes but I know exactly what you mean 🙂 I hope YES get a lot of folk like you on board to help paint that vision.

  4. My advice for the Yes campaign would be don’t pay over much attention to this kind of opinion. If it were representative, then people would actually have voted for the much more radical political parties that want ‘utter transformation’.
    Yes needs to strike a careful balance between appealing to a noisy minority who want to Change the World, and the majority who, actually, aren’t that keen on revolution.

  5. polwarthian says:

    That was a good try Catriona, but do you honestly expect people to believe you want radical and uplifting change, but will just “not bother” to take the first and biggest step unless someone paints an idyllic picture for you? What we need to convince people of is that what they imagine is possible for Scotland IS possible, but only if the people in Scotland can make decisions about our country. That only happens with a Yes vote, so keep your vision, tell everyone about it, and encourage everyone you speak to that voting Yes means we’re a step closer to a better Scotland.

  6. I think that the content-free ‘let’s go for it’ will only appeal to a very small number of people. My own path to being convinced of the need for independence was based on the following sober reasoning:

    – jobs, investment and prosperity have been increasingly concentrated in London and the south-east by successive governments. The rest of the UK has been hollowed out, having had their talented, educated, motivated people driven away by the need to find work.

    – this anomalous growth in the south-east is not based on resources, good practice or good education, but instead on ransacking the welfare state and the rest of the country to produce inflated markets and value there.

    – the Westminster system has no power to redress this problem, in fact, the reliance of Westminster governments on marginal constituencies and media saturation ensures this problem will always get worse. A study of UK election results shows that Scotland, Wales and the North of England have almost no traction on the ‘democratic’ process.

    As much as I feel unity with friends and family south of the border, staying in the union cannot solve the UK’s problems. Scotland is lucky in so far as an alternative exists. There is nothing wrong with our economic resources (of which oil is only one of many) or population (5 million people would easily put Scotland in the top half of the world population list). Scotland is an entirely viable independent state, and we can build a country that invests in education, sustainable infrastructure and social care. These are not the mandate of the loony left- most people in the UK want them, and they are a prerequisite of a successful developed economy. I came to realise that only a break with Westminster could reverse the decline imposed on Scotland since the 1970’s.

  7. vronsky says:

    This is a very worthwhile series. Could I suggest another – those of us who are absolutely certain to vote Yes, but have concerns?

  8. felibrilu says:

    Agreed näbD. I actually do want radical change but I think it ‘s highly unlikely to happen in an independent Scotland. About 13 to 15% of the Scottish vote currently goes to the Tories. Under independence the Tories will be free of the shackles of Westminister and will reinvent themselves as the true Scottish Conservative Party, thus increasing their attractiveness. Under independence the SNP will shut down , meaning that those currently voting SNP who are of a rightwing persuasion will be freed up to vote for either revived Conservative party or a new (small c) conservative party. Added to these will be the socially conservative Labour voters ie pro-clause 28, anti-equal marriage, anti-abortion, against ‘benefit ‘scroungers and immigrants, pro-monarchy, etc and the economically conservative Liberals and we’ll easily have a 25% vote share for the ‘conservatives’. And I agree that shouting about radicalism will not persuade people to vote ‘yes’. The ‘Yes’ campaign has obviously done its number-crunching and has been careful to be very moderate – the best chance they have of winning is to persuade people that lots of things won’t change, in much the same way that Alex Salmond got he SNP elected first time round by removing the independence agenda until he had secured the second term and the majority.

  9. DesiMond says:

    re Febrilu : The thought that the SNP will shutdown after a Yes ( or indeed a NO vote) is wrong. After all, they arent called the Scottish Independence Party. The Party have established themselves as the centre-left party in Scotland and will continue to be that regardless of the outcome in the referendum. It will be the other Parties who will need to change, as you note with the Tories ( if they had only listened to Murdo 18 months ago?), a lot more than the SNP. Imagine being in Scottish Labour just now. Nothing but a black empty horizon in front of you regardless of outcomes in 2014.

  10. Macart says:

    Biggest transformation is already happening, the fact that we’ve got some folks in Holyrood who’ve handed us the keys to the kingdom, but wait there’s more. A constitution, a new form of governance, autonomy for the regions, a vibrant arts culture getting the push to the front of the queue its always deserved. Re prioritisation of spend transforming the landscape and the economy, but wait there’s more.

    No more being dragged into proxy wars without the peoples say so, removal of WMDs, but wait there’s yet more. We get to represent ourselves on the world stage, fight our corners in UN and Europe. Above all else choice an undiscovered country for the Scots electorate. Sooooo what do you say? You game? YUPPFURRIT?

  11. pmcrek says:

    I certainly agree, I want massive change also, however, change requries sovereignty first.

  12. Fay Kennedy says:

    Read some history about your country and open your eyes to the reality of the present. Yes Yes Yes

  13. The campaign is in it’s early stages but there are various groupings within or outside Yes Scotland (Greens, SSP, SNP, Business for Independence, National Collective, RiC and lots of others) who will eventually articulate their political positions about what they want from an independent Scotland. It sounds like RiC might sing a song which suits your ears Catriona but independence won’t guarantee that their vision will come to pass. What it will provide however is an opportunity for Scots to decide their own destiny without being blocked because we are locked into an unequal union with a country which is ten times our size.

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