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