Stewart Bremner

Stewart Bremner


THE YES campaign is on the cusp of a breakthrough according to the latest polls, with independence supporters within touching distance of winning.

These polls are only part of the story: a strength of the Yes movement is its ability to re-engage people who had turned their backs on politics and are not asked their views by pollsters.

Of those who have been polled, the movement towards Yes seems to be coming from voters who previously intended to vote No to independence.

I was sitting on the fence for more than a year of the referendum campaign and leaning towards a No vote four days out of the week.

The most important issue for me was and remains austerity and I needed to weigh up which side could offer the realistic prospect of a better society.

This column has outlined flaws in the independence argument and I remain opposed to SNP plans for a corporation tax cut and no tax hike for the richest in particular.

But the Yes argument is bigger than the SNP and far, far more than Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon.

Equally, I have listened carefully to Scottish Labour’s offer on welfare, taxation, health, education and devolution; I’ve noted its track record in government and opposition and I have found the party wanting.

Solidarity, with my family in the rest of the UK and all those working for social justice, has also been a major concern – but living in an independent country does not mean abandoning those ideals.

In fact, if Scotland does win its independence, and a progressive agenda for equality is enshrined within a new constitution, we will be a beacon of hope and a lever for change for those elsewhere.

Money, for all that it has dominated the news agenda for so long, is only as good as the political will directing the cash flow.

The No side agrees Scotland has what it takes financially to be independent. There was not a murmur of dissent from any opposition leader at Holyrood when Alex Salmond asked the question last week.

Oil forecasters and economists have suggested future profits from the North Sea are being vastly underestimated by the UK Government.

Add salt to your political diet if you want to come close to the truth.