Change is scary: Change Now



As someone who grew up in an SNP family – when this was an unfashionable thing to be – and who was both natured and nurtured to believe in Scottish independence, it’s often hard to articulate to others why they could and should vote yes this September. Especially women.


I understand the trepidation, the caution and even the doubts and the fears. Change is scary. Being bold enough to break through the mould so carefully fashioned to keep us in our place is tough, especially when, in the current climate, it’s enough to get on and make do. There’s little time or energy amongst the minutiae of actions required to get through the day and the week for big thoughts on how to make things better or even, just different.


But International Women’s Day offers a rare moment upon which to dwell on past, present and future. And I urge Scottish women to seize it.
Reflect on the struggles of previous generations to make the case for equality and lament the achingly slow progress. We have had the vote for less than 100 years, the right to be paid the same as men for less than 50 and the right not to be discriminated against in all spheres of life because we are women for just over 10. These rights were hard fought and hard won. And now they are being swept away.


Read today’s Independent and weep. It’s not just poor women this Tory government is hurting – they’re almost too easy a target – but affluent ones. All women in Scotland are paying more than their fair share of the austerity burden through pay freezes, tax credit cuts, tax and benefit changes and child care cost hikes. Even when pension status was equalised, both Labour and Tory governments opted to do it by raising the age for women. Thanks to successive UK government policies, women in Scotland are now worse off. That’s likely to continue for decades to come.


Vote no and this is what we can look forward to: Increasingly second class citizenship and an assumption that we will bear economic and social pain without a whimper.


But we can choose the possibility of a different future in September. There are no guarantees with independence, but voting yes gives us the chance to shape our destiny, for it to be a brighter, better one, with our rights to be treated fairly and equally, for our worth and value to society, our families and communities built into the constitutional foundations of our state. As 52% of a small population, we get more than a say, we get clout. We get to set a course fair for our future and that of generations of women to come.


Vote no and nothing will change for you, your daughters, grand-daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, mothers and grandmothers. Vote yes and potentially, everything will.

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  1. evan says:

    One of the major problem in the history of this planet: one gender gives life and the other gender destroys life!!!

    Now, which of the two is much wiser,intelligent and stronger?

    If any of us males have any senseof what is going on around us, this is one idea that should be at the centre of our thoughts and actions!!!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Evan!

  2. heathermclean19 says:

    To say vote No and nothing will change is not strictly true. Vote No and theres every liklihood that things WILL change , but they will change for the worse! We simply must vote YES for any chance of a better future in Scotland.

  3. Vote YES For the interest of all.

  4. Fay Kennedy says:

    The best choice is Yes of course. It would be great if the poster included the older generation of women.I have been out of the country for decades but my sense of a fair go was born in Scotland and have fought and marched for women for decades as well as every other marginalised group.
    The problem today as that most people have no idea what has gone before their time and as the Roman historian Cicero says ” To know nothing of what’s gone before you were born means to remain like a child”. Unfortnately most people have no idea what has gone before which means the same old tatties and mince. Mary Woolstoncraft should be compulsory reading for every literate female over 15yrs. Maybe then we would see real emancipation for women and men.

  5. Change is scary. Is it? Really?

    I suppose sometimes it is. But then change also brings progress, encourages creativity, new ways of thinking, new ways of doing things for the better. That’s hardly scary. That’s challenging, invigorating, thrilling, satisfying. I can’t think the first women to go to polling stations and insert their crosses on ballot papers were scared. Most must have been overjoyed, broken the pencil in their glee that at last they were able to have a voice in how their country was run. Looking in your pay packet, or at your pay cheque, to find you were being paid the same as your male equivalent can’t have been too scary either. Pretty good, I would have thought.

    My mother certainly wasn’t scared when she swapped her washboard in the sink for an automatic washing machine. My grandmother who struggled throughout her life with a coal-fired boiler in the wash-house looked on in envy. She wasn’t scared by the new labour-saving machine either. My grandfather adored TV, especially watching a man land on the moon — H G Wells stuff that he never ever thought he would see. Wonderful, not scary.

    I could go on. Let’s not patronise by calling change scary. People adapt to change all their lives. Instead let’s sell them the plus points that they can look forward to, the benefits that will improve the lives of them and their families, and the satisfaction they will reap at having made a difference. Scary? Bring-it-on fabulous, surely.

    1. Tina Feedgie says:

      Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that the prospect of change is scary. Once you make the decision to change the process itself is generally far easier than you ever thought it would be and you end up wondering why you were so worried in the first place.

      The following William H Murray quote (Scottish mountaineer) should be on the wall of every school, workplace and home in the country in my humble opinion:-

      “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

  6. yerkitbreeks says:

    I strongly support your thesis, but would take issue on the ” fairly and equally ” one where you allude to bringing the pension age up for women. In fact, being devil’s advocate I could suggest the retirement age should be higher for women since statistically they are likely to live so much longer than the poor mannies, and thus put a far higher demand on pension resources !

  7. Chic McGregor says:

    In terms of the things which have most direct effect on most people, there will be far more change, for the negative, with a No vote. And the smaller number of changes with a Yes vote will be positive.

  8. Clydebuilt says:

    March 8, 2014 • 16:39

    To say vote No and nothing will change is not strictly true. Vote No and theres every liklihood that things WILL change , but they will change for the worse!

    Chic McGregor
    March 9, 2014 • 12:32

    In terms of the things which have most direct effect on most people, there will be far more change, for the negative, with a No vote.


    Plus change isn’t always scary. But it can be percieved to be scary.

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