My Journey to Yes

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.

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  1. According to the Scottish Government’s A Jobs Plan for an Independent Scotland, a three per cent cut in the headline corporation tax rate, in part to resist the gravitational pull of London, has the potential to increase output by around 1.4% and could boost employment by 27,000 jobs. So perhaps there are 27,000 people presently unemployed who might welcome the expansion of jobs available through a cut in corporation tax.

    However, this referendum is not about the SNP or its policies. Secure independence first, then the country can be set to rights by whatever government is democratically elected by the people living in Scotland.

  2. bringiton says:

    Well done Jenny.
    The No Thanks people are trying to make independence seem very complicated and difficult.
    When you get down to the fundamentals, they are arguing foir a situation where you allow your neighbour to collect all of your income and then decide how much to give back.
    How dumb is that?

  3. gonzalo1 says:

    Reducing corporation tax is a good thing because more companies will be attracted here and they will bring jobs. Who could argue against that. I would tax the rich and especially the landowners, who are tax-avoiding vermin anyway.

  4. cesira128 says:

    A tax on landed estates and a reorganization of the financial conduct of the ‘crown estates’ would mean replacing a tax on working with a tax on owning. A lot land owners just live off their rents whereas a lot of the owners of medium size corporations work hard. We should reward hard work not living off inherited land

  5. jamie macdonald says:

    Well said, commenters, the landed lot receive subsidies hand- over- fist, to plant trees, wind turbines build sheds, run farm machinery, loss of income in bad winters, and crops etc. whilst retaining vast amounts of properties as an EXTRA income, normal working folk use most income on rent, (heating oil and transport costs are a pretty penny in the country ) so it’s no wonder I read a report a while back Prince Charles having some of his rented houses paid for with housing benefit???? WE NEED A MORE EQUAL SOCIETY THAN THIS!!!!! Make the land profitable, and pay tax on it, and give a tax break for each apprentice the land owner starts into a secure job with good quality accommodation for life…. and no more subsidies!

  6. revjimbob says:

    What polls are these?

    1. A clue – not YouGov or IPsos Mori.
      See Scot goes POP…

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