I’m voting Yes to leave the union – I’ll always wish we had the power to improve it instead

Posted on September 16, 2014


I am a Yes voter, I decided so last month. As a reporter, and further, as a concerned voter, I needed time to weigh up the facts, which I naively assumed would appear in the final weeks of the campaign. The Scottish people were completely undeserving of the shit-flinging competition they received instead.

Instead, we were left to weigh up the lies in what turned into a social media fecal ping pong match.

Last week, the BBC’s impartiality was brought into question, both by a Channel 4 creative head – and by the first minister himself who demanded an official inquiry into the corporation’s complicity with corruption. The BBC unilaterally denied the accusations. The Sunday Herald ran with the BBC leak as its final newspaper lead before the referendum. Such was the gravity of the situation.

WELL, of course the BBC is biased. It is after all the British Broadcasting Corporation. The face of the very union Yes voters are unwittingly dismantling. Would members of an organisation called the Wankers Club remain quiet if their dirty little past time was outlawed. How would the Bread and Butter association feel if someone threatened to harm their bread and butter supply? The ‘British’ BC is in its very nature biased – ten per cent of its funding comes from Scotland – its safe to say we also account for ten per cent of its audience. The corp has always, through thick and thin, functioned as a propaganda tool of the empire. Many of its services set the worldwide standard of quality. But during this referendum, it has faltered, even if its bias was a perceived one, its coverage could still be accounted as a failure.

Doctor Who and Match of the Day is all fine and well but the BBC is so out of touch it thinks its day-time viewers want to watch seven hours of antique sales on a daily basis. No one in my home town of Coatbridge has ever seen an antique, except through the window of a Cash 4 Gold. Why would they want to watch that, its simply a cruel joke or a hilarious misunderstanding.

Next, BP has backed the union, claiming there is not enough oil to secure Scotland’s economic future however the actual quantity of barrels is much higher than is being quoted by the firm. There is a lot, and there will be more discovered with the coming advances in the sourcing of and extraction of oil.

Not to mention the large swathes of unsurveyed land make BP’s claims sound disingenuous – like the denial of a chubby chocolate-stained child sitting on a stash of Halloween sweets – which he’s pretending he ate. ‘There’s none left *vomits*.

We have more than enough oil for a country of five millionish people. We have seemingly enough for a union of 65 million people to fight tooth and bone to keep us. And, when the black gold is depleted, the economy will adapt as economies often do. For BP to tell Scotland, it has no interest in a third of Europe’s oil wealth is like telling turning a southern fried chicken enthusiast turning his back on KFC to instead look for specially spiced chicken legs in a dumpster filled with used condoms and Pot Noodles. Elsewhere, on the subject of natural resources, Scotland has unmatched European potential for renewable energy – an unlimited resource last time I checked but that’s a green discussion more suitable to a dreadlocked hippy guy who never showers to lecture you on.

Moving on quickly, Scotland’s professional services industry is substantial, but dwarfed when compared to London. However, with captain Boris Johnson at the helm, Britain’s capital city, the HMS Titanic, is likely going to run into an iceberg

If anyone could he could. Followed closely by Labour Party champion Ed Miliband, who the eccentric Tommy Sheridan said was incapable of running a bath never mind a country. There’s one cultural divide between Scotland and England, Scottish clowns find work in circuses, English clowns are elected to office by a majority of voters.

Let’s look at the doom and gloom from Better Together. Picturing the very worst scenario comes true and the four horsemen of the apocalypse stop buying shortbread and whiskey, and as a result, will independence costs every Scottish person ten per cent of their annual salary – it will not but let’s get rhetorical. A senior pro-union campaigner said “people with mattresses in their gardens do not win elections.”

How wrong was he? If these ‘dole-claiming, smack-heid, tracksuit-wearing chavs’ so often bastardised in statements similar to those above, can live off of a measly £56 a week, they can sure as fuck win a referendum. Especially now their political apathy has shifted for hope – and following that – determination.

The junkie who asks everyone on Glasgow’s Argyle Street for a ‘spare quid’ is made of tough stuff. And he’s now wearing a Yes flag around his worn Lacoste vintage tracksuit. What will he care if loses ten per cent of his benefits. He already has nothing. He’d pay five quid a week to stand a chance at a better society. That’s only five spare quids from generous commuters a week. Seven minute’s work top. That’s an expensive pint or a ten minutes of online bingo. The scare-stories of crashing banks and stuttering economies could not be further away from this man, or anyone he knows, or has ever met. Better Together may as well tell them ISIS will rape all the Glasgow zoo pandas unless he gives up drinking Buckfast if he votes No. Scotland’s undecided 12 per cent of voters have just been too drunk to eloquently tell the poll-takers that they will vote Yes.

In fact, I’d pay whatever it takes to ensure Scotland is an equal -er- nation, which provides free healthcare, medicine, tuition for students and more. Ultimately, any price is a price worth paying to save the NHS. If I were English, I would have had to pay for my final two years of university – thanks to Nick Clegg’s betrayal of English students, who put him in power in the first place. As a result, I would not have got to attend university. I dread to think of the opportunities being denied to those in the south.

I can discount the UK’s historic crimes, and collusions, of which there are many. However, the nonchalantly-imposed austerity measures which punished all but the most well-off disgust me. I survived, after taking out a massive student loan while those around me lost their houses. My mother lost her house, while those close to me, who have worked all their lives, are also now working for minimum wage – despite one individual having a degree. The fact is, if things got worse economically, a lot of my closest friends and family would not notice – its much worse for many others. When people have nothing – they can lose nothing. They have been pushed too far, for too long. The Tory party slashed incomes, benefits and public services – and had the tenacity to expect productivity to rise.

The human spirit does not flourish on X-Factor, call-centres and food banks. Nor Jeremy Kyle, online gambling and reduced microwave meals. Work – without hope – is slavery. And we all work a lot. This is a UK-wide problem. This is a problem I want to separate the country I love from. A country I am proud to be a part of. A community of spirited people whose happiness cannot be traded for percentage points of distant company’s profit margins.

The future of an independent Scotland is an uncertain one. The future can be ours to make, after a period of transition. There will be costs, logistic nightmares and perhaps the SNP will fail to deliver on all of its pledges – but it will have succeed in the greatest of all pledges. Defeating the considerable powers that be – for the benefit of Scotland – and England.

From a capitalist perspective, it would be good to inject some competition back into the ‘United’ Kingdom instead of having blocks of pitiful industry doled out to low employment areas by the UK or the EU – a scheme eerily reminiscent of the communism model. Speaking of which, the best story I can tell any readers is that a polish taxi driver told me about his nation’s independence.

Pyotr told me about his country’s uprising against Russia which in 1989 changed Poland from a communist state to a free market nation. He told me everyone had money but there was no food in the markets. The stores were empty, the shelves were unstocked and jobs were scarce. And things were dark afterwards, for a while. Pyotr told me that this id not matter. He said he looks upon those years fondly. Poland was free from Russia. It was as simple as that.

Is the UK a tyrant like Russia. We don’t think so. Russia likely does, as does half the Middle East, Argentina and its allies. China would if we were worth paying attention to. The Syrians and Gazas who have saw little in the way of help from the UK in the last few months probably think we are too. No doubt there’s a few African nations too obscure for me to even name who see the UK as tyrants. World powers always make enemies somewhere done the line.

The fact I want anyone reading this to take away is that oil is valuable. We have that and we will always be valuable to the UK. Countries are built from scratch with oil wealth. That’s just what we can do. It is so valuable that illegal wars have been perpetrated by the UK to acquire it. Tony Blair invaded Iraq for oil, despicably killing around half a million civilians in the process. No one has died yet in the UK’s latest attempt to keep Scotland’s oil, but there will be a long and difficult road if a Yes vote is secured.

Stay strong and believe in the hope and optimism of a people who have had none for so long. If Better Together is correct that Scotland will struggle alone. I for one, and millions more, anticipate with excitement our coming struggle to build the Scotland we want piece by piece.

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