On the night before the referendum on Scottish Independence, I felt that I should contribute my point of view to the debate. It must be admitted that the debate had left much to be desired, until very recently; but the Yes movement has become more than a political campaign, and people feel the courage to wear their Yes badges. It feels good to walk around being part of the positivity, with multi-colored circles of the affirmative. The media have been disgracefully biased in favour of the scaremongering and fear tactics of the Better Together campaign, because, let’s face it, its negative emotions that make the headlines. Which says a lot about the society we live in, and how much we need to do to change the negative thought-programming to a more positive, “we can do it” attitude. Remember the “Yes We Can”, “Is Féidir Linn” of the Obama election campaign? Ironically, he has turned around and spoken out against the idea of an independent Scotland, which defies logic: this man is a democrat, the president of the United States of America, which has flourish since declaring its own independence from the British. Who is he to tell us that “No, We Can’t”?
Since moving to Glasgow over two and a half years ago, I have become acquainted with so many wonderful people who talk about positivity, changing your inner language from negative to positive, and believing in our own capabilities to realise your ambitions. It has surprised me, however, that Scottish people, not unlike the Irish, can be pretty down on themselves and lack self-belief in their abilities. This has come from years of oppression and is the remaining symptom of post-colonialism. The worst of the oppression is in the past, thankfully, but we need one more push to rid ourselves of it forever. This is not an anti-English sentiment at all — but it is anti-Westminster and the decades of neo-Liberalism since Thatcher that has torn communities apart and destroyed the self-determination of Scottish bread-winners (and English and Welsh for that matter!).
Regardless of the result on Friday, things will never be the same again. Already things feel different. And we hope this spreads southwards to our neighbours in England and Wales to stand up against the inquality inflicted by the Westminster government. We hope this has a positive effect on those in the Six Counties in the north of Ireland, though there is fear that Scottish Independence may rock the boat… That remains to be seen. Hopefully those in the south of Ireland become reinspired, and redevelop self-belief, and push for something better.
I’m voting Yes because I believe in the people of Scotland. I believe people should govern their own affairs locally, to be able to make decisions that best suit their people. Scotland has so much going for it, so much talent and innovation, so many resources, and a rich heritage and culture to be proud of. Westminster is just a dead weight, a black hole draining the life out of the people to the north. The Yes campaign is a grassroots movement of real people, from all different walks of life. This movement will spread throughout the rest of these islands. If we are successful, we will be an example of hope, and a sign of change for the better.
Say Yes and smile! Live life in the affirmative! Believe, and you can make it so!