I remember the first conversation I ever had about independence, when I was a teenager. I had limited knowledge of the history surrounding the union, or any of the arguments for or against independence. All I had was a gut feeling.
I now know most of the main arguments for and against and have learned a little more of the history. This has developed my gut feeling into a strong conviction that one of the most important things I will do in my life will be on September 18th when I vote yes.
I do not feel represented in the UK. During the debate over the last few years it has been pointed out that as far back as 1945 the way Scotland has voted has had no influence on which party is in power in Westminster. If you take Scottish votes out of the equation the results would have been the same. To me it feels like, apart from a small number of areas which are devolved, we do not have a voice. We have no control over many of the decisions which affect our lives and no way of affecting positive change in many vital areas such as welfare, immigration and defence.
I feel like Scotland has been swindled. We have been taught to feel grateful for the existence of the UK and that by being part of their ‘team’ we are better off. Far too many of us have been successfully tricked into believing that despite everything we contribute and all the sacrifices we have made, that we receive more than our fair share, that we are a burden. This could not be further from the truth and many of those involved in the debate over the last few years have highlighted this.
So why then are some of us still scared to take the leap? I believe it is because it is hard to get our heads around the fact that we will be better off on our own when our entire lives we have been told otherwise. We have been conditioned into believing a lie that suits Westminster. I wouldn’t continue a relationship like that on a personal level so why would I want my country to continue one politically?
I want to be part of a country where the way I vote will actually mean something. Where the people who live here will have the power to choose our own government. Where those in power will be answerable to a much more localised group of people and if they do not deliver then they can be held accountable. I want us to finally have our voice again. The only way this will happen is through a yes vote in September.
In an independent Scotland I look forward to being part of a country that is environmentally and socially responsible. A country that looks after its people, regardless of their situation. A country where people are not just given the bare minimum needed to scrape by, but the proper support to ensure a good quality of life for everyone. I want to be proud of my country and its politics. I want Scotland to seize this opportunity to flourish.