After having discussions with a number of people about it I thought I would detail what convinced me to vote yes and then list the other reasons which have solidified that position since.
The clincher for me was the White Paper promising a written constitution, and an admittedly non-detailed way for that being created. A written constitution isn’t a panacea but the lack of having one is one of the many democratic failings of the UK state.
A written consitution is one of the basic building blocks of a modern democratic state. Only 6 states in the world don’t have a single written constitutional document: Canada, Israel, New Zealand, San Marino, Saudi Arabia and the UK.
Makes the Better Together sneering about Panama seem a bit weird in context right?
At the start of the referendum I discussed the referendum with people and some of us had reservations, positions taken included
Yes, but and
Not if. All of those people are now strong
Yes. I had said I had an open mind and could be convinced either way. After the appalling AV referendum I said I was likely to either vote Yes or spoil my ballot but realistically couldn’t see a positive campaign by No so didn’t think I’d be swayed in that direction. I’m like a prophet or something.
The No Better Together campaign (see what I did there) has been truly awful. Constant attacks on the SNP, Alex Salmond and
Nationalists ignoring those who support none of those. I remember early in the campaign looking at their Positive Case for the Union and being thoroughly underwhelmed. Although rare, any time in Yes City I’ve met a no voter whilst discussing the referendum I’ve asked for the positive case and been given zero answers.
Top tip: saying things will/might/could be worse under independence is not a positive case for your own position. If the No campaign fails it will be due to it’s inability to form a coherent argument for it’s own position.
The make up of either side
Firstly let’s look at the registered supporters for each side:
- 1001 Campaign – Jim Sillars
- Business for Scotland
- Christians for Independence
- English Democrats – bit dodgy, include some BNP activists, are anti-immigration and want to cut down on asylum
- Farmers 4 Yes
- Generation Yes – a youth campaign for independence
- Labour for Independence
- National Collective – artists and creatives for indepenence
- Radical Independence Campaign – grassroots campaign for radicals. Have organised speakers to go to events in other parts of the UK
- Sarah-Louise Bailey-Kelly – no idea
- Scottish CND
- Scottish Green Party
- Scottish Independence Convention – cross party group initiated by the SSP to campaign for independence. You can see an amusing evaluation of this by the CWI here (who are supporting Yes)
- Spirit of Independence – seems to be set up to fund a campaign bus
- Tommy Sheppard – a former Labour councillor
- Wealthy Nation – seems to be tories for yes
- Wings Over Scotland
- Women for Independence
- Yes Scotland
So a fair spread of people but including the SSP, and Greens. The two parties I would probably agree with most out of all involved in the campaigns (interesting to not see Solidarity or any of their member orgs registered). The National Collective, Generation Yes and Women for Independence are really inspiring groups. Scottish CND realise independence is the best way to boot out trident. The only groups I would consider dodgy are English Democrats, who as far as I can tell haven’t done any campaigning, and the Wealthy Nation, who again I have seen nothing from.
- Alistair McConnachie – someone kicked out of UKIP for denying the holocaust. Let that sink in.
- Angus MacDonald – no idea, but he has the same name as an SNP MSP which is amusing
- Better Together – Tories, Labour and Lib Dems, Labour set up their own group. UKIP, BNP etc weren’t allowed to join.
- Better for Scotland – can’t find info
- Brittanica – people who left the BNP, their organiser was lifted whilst campaigning with Better Together material for kicking a woman in the stomach
- Communication Workers Union – so in bed with Labour they are out campaigning to keep the Tories and Lib Dems in power after they privatised the Post Office.
- Conservative Party
- Cumbria Broadband Rural and Community Projects – no idea what their reasoning is, assume one of the individuals supporting No owns them.
- GMB – affiliated to Labour
- Ghill Donald – funded Galloway the rape apologists talking tours
- Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland – sectarian bigots who organised a march through Edinburgh waving banners for Scottish Protestant Action declaring
No Poperywhilst illegally wearing paramilitary uniforms.
- Labour Party
- Let’s Stay Together – English celebrities for the union. They seem to have organised the second largest No event after the Orange Order
- Liberal Democrats
- No Borders Campaign – started the trend of appalling adverts for No
- Scottish Jacobite Party – a bizarre micro-organisation who are pro-independence but seem to have registered no. I tried reading their blog to see why and it says things like
better together in an independent Scotland. Nope, no idea either.
- Strirlingshire for No Thanks – some
businessmanwith a trail of closed businesses, and this is based in Glasgow
- Scottish Research Society – a biased organisation collecting data for academic research. Bit weird.
- Tony George Stevenson – no idea
- USDAW – Labour affiliate, who from speaking to members, pretty much use their political fund to send out Labour propaganda and nowt else
- WFS2014 (company owned by Ghill Donald)
A group of random individuals, the Unionist Party, Sectarian bigots and fascists. Supported by the Daily Mail and the other reactionary rags.
The CBI registered for No then insisted it was an accident. For some reason the BBC haven’t registered for No, although anyone watching it would be confused by that. Assume Galloway is putting his talks through the guy funding him. Mid way through this list I found this one which goes into detail too.
It’s also worth noting that Radical Independence organised a massive voter registration drive. I am unaware of anything similar by anyone on the No side. Better Together have disgracefully said
if you don’t know, don’t vote. Probably adding on
So it all comes down to the question: Which side are you on?
The first hints
The first hints that I was being pushed more toward yes was statements by George Robertson about how Scotland leaving would weaken the UK, risk it’s position in NATO, as America’s no#1 poodle and permanent seat on the security council.
Of course the man has form for arguing his case, as can be seen from this early debate at Abertay.
The democratic Deficit
It’s been used as a phrase for years but here it is in visual form
In essence, it is extremely rare for Scotland to affect the UK wide results but is extremely common for Scotland to not get a national government reflecting the countries vote.
I would add a small caveat that the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party branding of the UK Tories in Scotland only existed after 1964. Before that Unionist and National Liberal politicians took the Tory whip at Westminster the same way the Ulster Unionists do today.
Reasons for vote No?
Having repeatedly asked for one I have not been given any which convince me. I have heard how the SNP are shit (yep they are), how Alex Salmond is fat (relevant), Nicola Sturgeon looks like Wee Jimmy Krankie (snore) and Plannnnnnn BBBBBbbbbbbbbbb. But no actual positive case. Most people’s reasons for being No have been under a number of categories, none of which have convinced me to their side.
The Tories will lose the election and Labour will run the country
Sorry is that supposed to fill me with hope? The Party who introduced the Bedroom Tax, bombed the shit out of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stopped the Grant and introduced Tuition fees. Need I go on? And even if them coming in was positive so what, in a few years the Tories will be back in again.
But it’s not positive even if they do get in. Labour are going to carry on austerity. They will continue privatising every public service they can.
And they probably won’t get in anyway. We are likely to be foisted with the Tories again, and given Middle Englands obsession with the Little Englander racist, troughing, fraudsters UKIP guess who is likely to be the junior coalition partner.
What about our relationship with the rest of the world?
Well, we might actually have one. I have been active on eBay for years and trade stuff all the time online. The number of parcels I’ve had addressed to
Dundee, Scotland, England is quite high. Some actual acknowledgement of our countries existence might be good. Which also covers passports – the UK doesn’t require you to renounce your existing nationality if you wish to have, and qualify for duel citizenship.
We will also be able to apply for, or be members of many international organisations, from the EU, to the UN.
What about my pension?
Well, as you can currently retire to Spain and collect your UK pension, why would Scotland being a different country from the UK make a difference? Also it’s been confirmed that’s then case. Perhaps the only reason it keeps getting mentioned is because the elderly are more likely to vote. Sounds like FUD.
But I’m proud of being British, I don’t want it to change
As someone who isn’t a nationalist, having this argument made isn’t convincing for me at all. Oh you hate nationalism and want to stay British. Can’t see that makes you a British nationalist huh? What are you proud of exactly? That your mother gave birth to you within these borders or whilst a passport holder? What is it you are proud of then? You didn’t achieve anything. I’m sure there are some this is convincing for, as well as some it is a dog whistle for, but for me, I take pride in things I have done, not things that happened to me at birth which I had no control over.
But we have built so much together!
This is the argument made from the left as their excuse to vote No. This comes from a devotion to the post war consensus. The same camp that says they vote Labour cos their granny did. Their granny voted Labour because they built the NHS and ended means testing. Labour is privatising every public service they can and want to reintroduce means testing. But let’s ignore the present and hark back to the past. Small-c conservatism and totally reactionary using the language of the left as cover to defend the privatisation agenda.
So vote yes
And finally, the cultural work around independence has been amazing. You should look at what National Collective have been doing. The artists, from Lady Alba to Loki have been making great music.
Stanley Odd’s contribution is the best though: