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It’s the final countdown!!!! Sincere apologies if this song is now in yer heid for the rest of the day!! ;)

YES/NO whatever, OK I am going to try very very hard to not post another single thing about Scotland indyref on de “soshall meeja” before Thursday. I am not saying 100% I won’t as what might come up that simply compels me to comment well who knows and I am prone to spontaneous outbursts with very little thought. It is clear there are many who have always been NO and many who have always been YES, both sides can, have and will find articles and information on either side to back up and confirm their viewpoint and yet until the result is final so much will remain unknown and there can be no guarantees by politicians on both sides. There are educated, intelligent, articulate, experienced people on both sides believing passionately in their side. I have been honest and said it’s been a journey for me from (an uninformed) no, to unsure, to yes and even still I cannot say I am unshakeably 100% positive. I truly admire those who are and can be! I am saddened that people have and do feel intimidated on both sides, that there is ugliness, that there is bias where there shouldn’t be. But it was always going to be thus, we are only human and humans can be ugly, mean and bullying and full of their own self interest. I can only hope that next Friday much of the ugliness on both sides disappears as quickly as it appeared and Scotland picks up and runs with the “winning” ball regardless, to quite simply make it a better place for everyone! I wholeheartedly agree with Billy Bragg and others that England, Wales and Northern Ireland have a great opportunity to now push for more control themselves and drive for self-determination and fairness. I consider that we all need to put a distance between us and the Elite politics, banks and corporations of greedy Metropolitan Westminster. In a nutshell we all need to care more for each other, be kinder, more connected and less selfish and reach out to everyone less well off than us (I don’t just mean financially although clearly that is hugely relevant) It’s the vulnerable among us, it’s the underclass that exists all over the UK all over the western world all over the world, it’s the disgusting imbalance of rich getting richer, middle and lower income struggling so hard to have a decent standard of living for their families and then there are the folk with literally NOTHING, no life, no hope for them or their kids. Communities together, smaller is clearly better, where people really can see that they can make a difference daily in their lives. We know there are complete idiots and arse-holes and nasty people and criminals and on and on and all we see on media day in day out is the ugly often barbaric and truly evil side of humans. However I believe humans are inherently kind and good if they are shown kindness and goodness and treated well and fair from early on and as they grow up they want to share this. Am I wrong and totally naive to believe this? People want to laugh and share and feel they belong, support each other through bad times and enjoy good times. Voting YES is not to SPLIT the union, is not anti-english and selfishly run out on our neighbours and cherry pick what we want etc, voting NO is not to say we don’t want change and want to stay dominated by an elite Westminster Government nor that we don’t love our country and want the very best for it. Good people on both sides want good and better things for us all, don’t they? So afterwards PLEASE let these be the folk that come together and make the good things happen. The UK and the whole world looking on will benefit hugely from what Scotland has awoken to, a timely hopefully not too late reminder of what is truly important in life! To my shame I know Irish history well but I do not know world history very well, but seriously when ever has a country potentially achieved Independence or not without blood shed and terrible hate and bitterness? We must appreciate this fact alone and rise above anyone on either side who want to make it about hate and fear and fighting and winning and losing. Personally I do want and believe in YES as potentially being the best result but much much more than that I want a change and I get the feeling folk on both sides want that too. Of course everyone who votes on a side wants to win although it does sound like there are still some undecideds who may never feel sure of their vote no matter what and they are entitled to be that way too. But how about if we all passionately want the best long-term, kindest and fairest outcome, so win or lose I believe we can still get the best human outcome if we make that the most important issue after the result is announced?

“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars” Oscar Wilde

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How no?

Below is a response to my blog explaining why I am a yes and why I want to persuade others. I am so so pleased to get this from someone that I have huge respect for and to finally read a “no” argument that talks to me, as up until now there hasn’t been a single argument for  keeping the status quo that has appealed to me or convinced me that “no” is the way to go.

I am putting this up here as I consider there is so much that is valid too and the reason I felt compelled yesterday to write at all about this is because this has been for me very much a journey from no to yes but along the journey I came across NOTHING that would sway me that staying within the UK is the best decision, now I think I have! AAAARGH decisions decisions! :/

“Well here is our feedback!

I doubt if we will change your mind but here are some things to think about.

I suppose the first thing to say is that this campaign carries a great deal of ‘historical and emotional baggage’ that is not really very helpful in thinking about the future . Second, the campaign deals with many short term parochial issues without setting them in the long term context of affordability or recognising that with a devolved parliament many of them could be resolved within that context. The devolved parliament already has in its powers an ability to protect and develop a first class educational system from primary school through to tertiary education; similarly it could do the same for the health system and its social services, and in many ways is already ahead of the rest of the UK. Third, there is a degree of uncertainty about an independent Scotland that is untenable at a time when above all there is a need for stability in the economy, a sense of union in political and national relationships, and a recognition that internationally we have rarely, since the second world war required to be united in our endeavour to protect ourselves and others from the ravages of violence, racial and religious hatred and terrorism. While an independent Scotland could contribute to all of that, a much more significant contribution can be mounted by being an integral part of the United Kingdom. While we may disagree with some aspects of Westminster foreign policy these need to judged against the significant advantage of being able to negotiate internationally and within Europe with much greater force. I would like to be rid of our nuclear weapons but I am not prepared to trade the future of Scotland for the sake of a base in Scotland which over time we have the ability to negotiate out of Scotland. There are many in the rest of the UK who would help us do that

Economic stability and the size of the economy are important in thinking about the future. We risk underestimating the ‘underwriting’ capability that exists within the UK economy which would be impossible to deliver in an independent Scotland even with access to the revenue from oil and assuming we can use the £ within a UK dimension (which at present seems unlikely). The UK economy as a whole protects pensions and superannuations, (in which I have some interest), the ability to deliver wide ranging public services, and to mount a defence system appropriate to meet UK needs. A defence system that includes Scots loyal to their own country certainly but see their role in a UK context – rightly in my view. Our research in Scotland is also interdependent upon the resources that we are able to tap into within the UK. We currently get out of it far more than we put into it because we are good at research across many ‘fields’ of endeavour. Would Scotland be able to provide the same resource? Only if it redistributed significant amounts from elsewhere – health, tertiary education, social services!!??

While we may despise London City and the financial gurus, we nevertheless benefit significantly from their activity. Some of this is currently shared with Scotland, in Edinburgh in particular, from which it benefits directly – not at all sure that will be the case post independence without monetary union. Yes London may be a place for the rich who have little regard for the less advantaged, but the same exists and will continue to exist in Scotland – come to Aberdeen and see for yourself! My belief is that we have a much greater opportunity to develop our interests within a UK dimension than otherwise. The market is bigger and the potential for growth greater because of existing joint ventures and interests.

Westminster can be blamed for a great many things: it is a useful butt to kick when one’s own political failures are in question. I voted for devolution believing (probably naively) that Scotland has the capacity and an understandable desire to make decisions for its own particular purposes. In many respects it has been able to do that without using all the powers it was given, for example the ability to raise taxes to meet some of its specific needs. An independent Scotland will raise taxes: it will have to if it wishes to deliver on its post independent promises. That may not be necessary if we remain within the UK.

Yes of course the rest of the UK has an interest in the resources of Scotland and how they might benefit the UK as a whole but is that not reasonable after three hundred years during which Scotland has had the benefit of resources throughout the UK such as industrial investment and preferential investment in social services and welfare and a range of other public services. Now we apparently want to forget all that an harness those kinds of resources and others entirely for ourselves. That is not the kind of sharing society of which I want to be a part.

If Scotland votes YES there will be a prolonged period of negotiation that will go well beyond 2016 I am sure. This will be a period when much will be in limbo; a period of great uncertainty and a period when relationships between nations of the UK and within Scotland will be tested to their limit – for what? A reconstituted mess that will take years to get right if at all!

Overall I would put my greater faith in a UK than a parochial self centred, independent Scotland. Within the UK, Scotland has the opportunity to develop as a great nation of influence if it can raise its game and think beyond its own self interest and contribute to the social, educational, research and innovative requirements of the world, in terms of philosophy, ideas and people – something that it is good at and for which it has international respect!

To ensure a vibrant, and more certain future and wider opportunities for our grandchildren we will be voting NO!

If Scotland votes for independence I will despair and feel a great sense of sadness but live in the hope that we can raise ourselves above the inevitable turmoil and reach for greater things in life no matter the constitution within which we will have to live but it really is all rather unnecessary.”

Caledonia you’re calling me…………

Ok just to say I don’t want to be a big pain about Independence, I have swung from a no to a don’t know to a yes and have I’m sure had very similar thoughts to many bewildered folk about this, of course we’re not ready on one hand but then I don’t imagine any country is ever ready for Independence. Ireland’s path (I could bore you with the history another time) was a bloody one, most countrys’ path to independence inevitably is.
I do have real facts (not sound bites and tit for tat crap) that to me point to an Independent Scotland being a genuinely better place for our kids future. Ages ago I thought “no I can’t have an opinion I’m Irish and folk will just assume I am a flag waving nationalist bla bla. Back in 1998 my husband’s wonderful dad was awarded an OBE, the family should have gone to Buckhingham Palace (which I was more excited about than they were!) but for personal reasons they postponed to the next ceremony in Holyrood. I got to attend, I felt so bizarre to be in a room with the Queen of England (My grandad “Pop” was a “burn everything English except their coal” kind of guy, fair enough as his dad (my great grandfather) was shot dead by the “black and tans “by mistake” many years ago). Long story short there I was in Holyrood palace with my big camera giddy with excitement. I’m not a royalist (again another story) but I’m not a hater either. I have actually a lot of respect for Queen Elzabeth.

Ireland’s relationship with England/UK has been so fraught but it has changed in such a positive way over the past 70-80 years. There is a real mutual respect and nod to each other and an undeniable interdependence that exists always between any county and it’s nearest neighbour, but where years ago it was hate, bitterness, fear, violence and blame oh yeah LOTS of blame (famine, need I say more) now in the main that is all gone (except for the few numpties/haters that exist in every country). A few years ago the queens visit was pretty amazing to watch unfold, the warmth of the welcome, the joy on her face, her inner circle of security and lady in waiting all remarking they simply had never ever seen her joy and expression of pure happiness as she basked in the love, yes the love of a nation that has moved on, has “forgiven”, does not hate anymore or have anything to prove anymore. I am not a royalist by the way but that’s another blog!
With all my heart having lived here in Glasgow for 20 yrs!!! OMG 20 yrs! I cannot quite put my finger on it what sense I have felt all the years that I have lived here, this begrudging towards England, this blame, bitter rivalry, not letting go. Scotland needs to self determinate, grow up, take responsibility for it’s own future and decisions not in a “f**k the rest of the UK we’re breaking up with u and don’t care about u anymore…..” NO! Just in a we are a very different country with different political leanings and priorities. I think/hope a fairer place where there are less of the elite, less of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, a better education system, a massive wealth of talent and young, vibrant, creative people who want to have a say and that say mean something. I feel so sure that Scotland in the future can and will forge a better, more trusting, kinder and calmer relationship with the rest of the UK, I have absolutely no doubt about this!

Scotland will still have this incredible bond from the past, the wars (many Irish men fought with the allies in both wars), the Royal family will be integral to this country for as long as the majority want that. This is Britain if u are born here u are Scottish and British. Factually economically (and I’m not referring to the feckin oil) Scotland’s natural resources are the most of any European country (u can look this up).

I think that the rest of the UK also needs to split from London as it sucks so much from all of the UK, smaller is in my opinion better, smaller but with good close economic and supporting relationships with your nearest neighbours, with Europe, with Scandanavia (personally not so much with the USA). We don’t need to be afraid. No doubt everyone is 100% entitled to their opinion and their right to vote how they want and no-one should feel bullied or negativity towards them, timid to say how they feel and sadly that is going on on both sides.

I am such a heart rules the head person but recently with this choice I realise it’s got to be a vote based much more on evidence and fact and of course with some of your heart I am a mother after all! I so believe that it is actually a better future for UK Scotland England etc if Scotland goes for it. I see that this debate is all about resources, I am sorry but I really do not think for a minute Westminster would fight so hard if this was Northern Ireland looking for independence, would they? Am I wrong?

Scotland economically gives so much more into the Westminster coffers and that is all Alistair Darling/ Cameron etc are fighting for they do not care AT ALL about what is best for Scotland of that I have no doubt!

Yesterday like many others I cringed (with glee) watching #PatronisingBTlady but as a good friend pointed out this is simply a very stupid marketing campaign (that they must be regretting hugely) it is so flawed, BUT it in itself is not a reason to vote YES however it is a gift to the YES campaigners! The only reason to vote YES or NO has got to be because you have done all you can to be informed (while knowing there can be no 100% correct and fully right answers on either side) this is unchartered territory, but think of all the nations the majority who have fought a bloody war for independence with no clue when the country emerged what would then happen. How lucky we are that this is not a bitter violent war, but until one side wins so much cannot be answered or determined, it’s impossible. If it’s a leap too far and you feel that NO is the right way then good for you and you are making the right choice for you, be at peace with that. I am a YES but it took me awhile, if NO wins I will be deflated but I have no doubt that Scotland will be a different more confident country and maybe in 5-15 years Independence will come, maybe we really are on that road, of course I hope it’s now but I think I can live with a no.

I know this has woken the country up hugely and people really care so let’s afterwards when the dust has settled move forward, hold no more grudges and get on with making Scotland the best small country in the world (along with Ireland of course!!! 🙂

After all as the most wonderful Irish actor Brendan Gleeson once said “If you bring children into the world, optimism is no longer an option, it is a duty.” If there is one thing this vote is about it’s our kids futures!

DBH 😉