Thank you! whatever you choose today, know that for many of us it will be just as hard to cross that box
it is a simple majority, if one side has more votes, even by one, its a victory. basically the referendum acts as a statement of the will of the people and therefore, can’t logically be ignored or vetoed. therefore it is approved by it’s own existence
As many of you will know, I live in Scotland. Scotland occupies the northern half of the British Isles and has a population of 5.5 million people. Scotland is a country soaked in myth legend and history and has an international identity that is distinguishable through it’s proud cultural identity, its whisky, its tartan, its poetry and prose.
Scotland has produced some of he greatest inventors and thinkers in world history. Voltaire once wrote “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation”. Our inventors provided the world with the steam engine, the bicycle, the telephone and the television. We have provided the world with penicillin, radar, insulin, ultrasound and many more. Some of the worlds best loved fictional characters were imagined by Scottish authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.M. Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson.
307 years ago, the Scottish Parliament was dissolved and Scotland as an independent nation ceased to exist following the Act of Union in 1707 marking the creation of the country that exists today as the United Kingdom of Great Britain. In the past 307 years the union between Scotland and England has achieved much as has been described as the most successful union in history. As one nation Britain created the largest empire in history on which “the sun never set” and became known as the “father of modern democracy”. Together we have achieved so much that Britain is an international brand. All over the world the Union Jack has adorned pillows, posters, coffee cups and clothing. Britain is one of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and is known to have one of the best special ops squads in the world, the SAS (also a Scottish creation).
Some of you will wonder why I am writing this and many of you will know why. Tomorrow, I along with the rest of Scotland will cast our votes on the most important decision in British history to date and we will answer, with our ticks or crosses, the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”.
For me, this is the most difficult decision i will ever make.
I was born to English parents who grew up in the most English area of Britain, Kent, on the south coast of England. If i were to ask my parents their nationality they would reply “British”. I have grown up and lived in central Scotland, not too far from Glasgow and Edinburgh in an area known as the Central Belt. A very ‘Scottish’ area. With that i find myself struggling to decide which answer i wish to give to the question i answer tomorrow. My passport tells me i am British. My family are spread throughout the country and my parents are British. I have spent my entire life living in Britain and when i go abroad i tell people i am British. Yet i find myself unable to state for absolute certainty that i am a ‘No’ voter. I am British, yet i have grown up in Scotland. I find myself, on being asked my nationality, following the British with “but from Scotland.” I am proud to be British and i am proud to be Scottish.
For me, this vote is not about party politics or an emotional hatred of all things English; it is more than that. For me this vote is about the basic principle of self-determination. Scotland as a country is a very liberal and to an extent, socialist country and through our devolved powers Scotland provides free healthcare, free prescriptions, free university tuition fee’s along with a multitude of other social policies, all paid for through tax. This liberal social outlook has put Scotland at odds with the Westminster, which has an increasing conservative and right-wing outlook. If i had the choice i would not be facing the decision to dissolve this 307 year old union, but rather to change it and to change the way the British Government works. Perhaps in that case we should be voting on the independence of Westminster from the UK. However, I digress.
Tomorrow i will have to decide whether i want to remain a part of the 307 year old Union or whether i want to return to the days of an independent Scotland. Tomorrow i will have to make the most difficult decision of my life. If Scotland becomes a sovereign state once more, who knows what will happen? If we remain in the Union, who knows what will happen? All i know is, that tomorrow, the history of these isles will change and the United Kingdom will be changed forever. Will we see the dawn of a new United Kingdom, or, will the sun finally set on the greatest country the world has ever seen? The days of Pax Britannica are well and truly over and honestly, i’ve never felt so unsure.