Independence is Normal

Independence is Normal

Liz LowreyIn life we seldom regret the opportunities we take but most would agree that it’s the opportunities we never took that cause heartfelt regret. t must indeed be a fortunate individual who goes through life safe in the knowledge that every decision made is the right one.

As a young law student at Dundee University in the 1970s I applied for and was accepted to be a trainee journalist by a well know Dundee media group.

I had started my third year of the LLB and was the first in my family to go to university and although not enjoying the law course, I never did seize that opportunity to train to be a journalist. Why? I have often asked myself. Fear of the unknown, parental disapproval, lack of confidence in my own abilities. Whatever the reason I know to this day that if I had the same chance again I would seize the opportunity in a heartbeat.

Many of these reasons can also apply to those of our fellow Scots who chose to vote No to Independence in 2014. I wish 40 years later that I had been braver back in the day and trained to be a journalist, but my decision only affected me. The future I chose was of my own making and my decision did not have a detrimental effect on my fellow citizens. I am pleased to say that in 2014 I had no such hesitation when casting my YES vote for Independence.

Over the ensuing years since that day in 2014 when for a few short hours the future looked so appealing we have all been forced to live with the consequences of the No vote.

So many things were presented by the No side as persuasive arguments as to why the Union was better for us in Scotland. A main factor was that Scotland would be removed from the EU! Well that has come to pass but not in the way that Better Together predicted.

As for the ridiculousness of Boris Johnstone as PM, well that would never happen or so they said. Additionally when privatisation of the NHS was discussed again we were told that this was scaremongering. Well over the past years the chickens of Better Together have come home to roost and not in a good way. We have contracts for friends, cronyism and goodness knows what else. Every day brings a new scandal and a lot of folks have simply accepted this corruption.

Scotland has a Government that endeavours to be transparent and accountable in what it does. While no Government can be perfect I would like to live in a country where decisions that effect me and my family are made by my Government who I sincerely believe have the interest of Scotland and our people at the core.

The Corona Virus crisis sharply brought into contrast the two governments of the U.K. and Scotland.

We had dither delay and mixed messages from the U.K.. Here in Scotland we received daily updates and sound information from our hardworking First Minister. How different would have been our outcomes if we had been an independent country with the ability to control our own borders and manage our own financial affairs.Ironically the whole premise of Brexit was about taking back control but when push came to shove nothing was controlled including the arrival of the Delta virus. Yet another catastrophic error for which no one in the U.K. government will be held accountable.I want to live in an independent country where my government is accountable to our people. A country where decisions made are based on health and well being and not on securing dodgy deals in back rooms.

With hindsight which is indeed a wonderful thing we now know many no voters in 2014 wish that they had been braver and taken a leap of faith. Second time around I’m certain that there are still many of my fellow Scots who are not quite ready to commit to supporting the cause of Independence. The reasons for this in my opinion range from the obvious to the ridiculous How many people still believe the lies that were spouted by Better Together . It is up to each and everyone of us to challenge, support and convince undecideds that the only way for our country to survive in a fit state for future generations is by securing our Independence. With regard to the current climate emergency we often hear that our lives depend on taking action and I would go as far to say that the same applies to Independence.

My first suggestion for facilitating this is to ensure that all citizens have access to concrete facts and information regarding what being an independent country entails.There are numerous excellent sources of information available and I would certainly recommend the material from Believe in Scotland as an excellent starting point for undecided voters. A large percentage of people still get their primary news and information from MSM and the BBC. These are institutions of the U.K. and it is not in their interests to promote independence. Rather they will do everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

From a border with England, to what currency we in an independent Scotland will use, to scare stories terrifying our pensioners that they will be left penniless in an independent Scotland the No side will stop at nothing to maintain their grasp of our country.

The fact that we in Scotland want to be independent does not mean we will be arguing with our in-laws in England . England is and always will be our nearest neighbour. It is in both countries interest to maintain good and mutually beneficial relationships . However we as individuals mostly maintain cordial relationships with our next door neighbours but we don’t allow them to micro manage every aspect of our lives . We don’t have them arranging our finances or taking out a mortgage on our behalf. This is because with our neighbours we are equal beings and not being coerced by a larger dominant entity that is hostile to our needs .

There is so much that can be done to counteract these arguments and the primary thing that is required is education.

Independence is normal and the status of most other small similar sized counties. There has to date not been a single case of a country that gained independence returning to the larger country from which it broke free.

It’s time that the people of Scotland broke free from the chains of Unionism.

The Union is a toxic entity and serves no purpose for Scotland and our people.

In Scotland we have a government that works hard every day to achieve a fair and equal society where all people are valued regardless of their wealth. We do not live in a money orientated rogue state but rather a country where wealth is measured not solely in monetary terms but in the wellbeing of all our people. We only need to look to our Scandinavian neighbours to see how this benefits us all as individuals and society as a whole. The Scandinavian countries are some of the happiest and healthiest in the world. Like the Nordic lands we in Scotland cannot choose our weather but we certainly have the ability to choose how we are governed.When we have the chance to decide our countries future I’m optimistic that second time round we will make the correct choice for the benefit of all.

Scotland has an enormous supply of natural resources water, wind and even oil and gas. Our natural resources far exceed the needs of our population. These are valuable commodities which we should be managing for our benefit and not to fill the coffers of the U.K. and benefit the City of London. Our black gold was squandered away by the U.K.and all we have left to show for this are obsolete oil rigs. We pay for so many things as part of the U.K. that have no tangible benefit to our country. A few examples like HS2, Trident and the outdated and irrelevant House of Lords can’t be ignored.We currently have no power over the weapons of mass destruction in our midst. These are an abomination and have no place in a civilised world and certainly no place in Scotland.

Scotland has a wealth of produce that is exported throughout the world. Prior to Brexit we exported easily to 27 other counties who were our closest neighbours. Now all this is ruined by the U.K. Tory Brexit. Scotland needs people to come and make their homes here. All are welcome and desperately needed to keep our country thriving. Our young folks had the ability to study, work and live freely in Europe and again all this has ended not by our choosing but at the dictate of the Dictator in Downing Street .

I want my adult children and grandchildren to grow up in an open and progressive country not one controlled by a dangerous and xenophobic U.K. government.

The U.K. is an island and Scotland will always remain part of it by geography at least. However we should be able to forge our own path not have our decisions and life choices forced on us by an uncaring Tory government that remains omnipresent in spite of the fact that we in Scotland have not voted Tory for most of my lifetime.

Liz Lowrey

I’m alright (Union)Jack

Covid MaskI’m not a scientist dear readers or a medical expert but I can see a looming disaster as easily as the next person. The definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.This seems to be a prerequisite for being a Tory Party leader. How I long for the Halcyon daze of the Maybot May. Whilst being a figure of ridicule, no matter how ridiculous her actions seemed at the time, I believe she was basically a misguided individual who bore no malice to her fellow human beings. She certainly did not advocate policies designed to cause maximum harm to the most vulnerable in society.

This week I watched in horror as the giant Clown of Downing Street announced to the country (England) that all corona virus restrictions would cease in the near future. As if by magic a deadly disease that has blighted the world for eighteen months will magically vanish due to English exceptionalism. Yes that’s right folks it’s now in our own hands. The UK government in effect has abdicated all responsibility. I could not believe my ears. Although the vaccine rollout has without doubt been a great success there are still many amongst the young who are not fully protected.

Many of these young folks work in areas where contact with the public is commonplace and also many have to use public transport. Additionally although very effective the vaccine is not a guarantee for us that have been doubled jabbed that we won’t get infected. Personally I will continue to wear a mask and take all reasonable precautions to protect myself and my fellow citizens for the foreseeable future.

It will be interesting to see if the Clown PM has a driver wearing a mask after the alleged “Freedom Day” Watch this space but somehow I don’t see it. Having got rid of Matt (the scapegoat) Hancock we now have a Health Secretary in England who is bullish and cavalier with the health and life prospects of the people of England. I fear that he will be a threat to the English NHS and would not be surprised if privatisation accelerates.

I, like most people in the UK and indeed in Scotland, want life to return to normal or as near normal as it can be whilst a deadly pandemic continues to rampage through the world. By removing the legal requirement to end mask wearing in England and also the need for social distancing the Tory non government are repeating and adding to their catalogue of errors that has led to the UK being one of the most badly affected countries in the world.

They were too late to lockdown as the pandemic started in 2020, they promoted the ridiculousness of eat out to catch covid, they were too late to lockdown last autumn and winter and finally having promoted the benefit of controlling our own borders they allowed the Delta variant to enter when all the evidence suggested that this would result in a massive third wave of infection. The cost of a post Brexit trade deal with India will be misery for all who voted for Boris and Brexit!

In my opinion it’s herd immunity by stealth and totally insidious in its nature. What will it take for these people who are supposed to represent their constituents to see that the majority of people even in England do not wish to jeopardise the health of the many for the good of the minority fringe?

Brexit has emboldened a group of people who firmly believe that I’m alright Jack is the way forward.

We see this in the way migrants are vilified for trying to escape a life of danger and poverty in their homeland. We see it in the way the sovereignty of Parliament is under attack. We see it in the desire to curtail the right to peaceful protest. And most acutely for us in Scotland we see the overt threat to our Parliament and our democracy.

I read with great interest the excellent presentation on unconscious bias which has been put out by our Equalities Officer. Unconscious bias is something we are all guilty of. I make no secret that I’ve been biased against Tory ideology for my entire adult life . What started in the 1970s with Thatcher the milk snatcher shaped my beliefs that a society must function for the benefit of all and not for the benefit of those that would walk over their fellow men and women to further their own ends .

The film Titanic amplifies this where the rich rushed to the lifeboats pushing aside women, children and men, fellow humans who had the misfortune to be in carriage class.

Of course this would not have been a problem if there had been a competent captain and adequate lifeboats for all.Can you see the similarity with the present day? The captain of the UK is a fool and the life rafts of our NHS are overburdened already due to years of neglect by subsequent Tory governments.

The financial crisis was not caused by you or me dear readers but by the greed of a small number of individuals who put their own needs and agendas ahead of the rest of us. Time and time again this happens. How long can we accept this? In Scotland we are moving to a focus on a wellbeing economy where wellbeing of us all is more important than the financial interest of a select few.

Some of the most happy countries in the world are our Scandinavian neighbours . It is within our ability to emulate those places but there is one thing holding us back. The spectre of the broken Union still looms large and in spite of the best efforts of our Scottish government it is hard to progress forward when we are trapped on the sinking vessel of the UK.

Unlike the poor carriage class passengers trapped on the Titanic we have the means and ability to reach solid ground safely. We have an excellent captain in the form of our First Minister and I’m certain as Scotland moves toward our independence there will be adequate lifeboats and space for all that wish to join and make their homes here in our lovely country.

by Liz Lowrey

Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay