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The long journey to Yes

Posted on November 24, 2013 by

Hi, my name is Cindie, I’m one of those “New Scots” you hear people talking about from time to time, and I’m going to vote Yes in 2014.

longestjourney

Born in Wales with an English father and Irish grandfather, I’m probably the epitome of “Britishness”. I moved to Scotland from London in the late 1980s after almost ten years of Conservative government – ten years which had already changed the country that I grew up in beyond all recognition.

My dad was a Londoner, a true Cockney. He loved London, and when he’d moved us there from Wales when I was nine, it felt to him like coming home. But within those next ten years it had changed so much that he felt like a stranger. The world that he knew had already disappeared.

By the time we moved to Scotland, all anyone ever seemed to talk about down south was house prices, or how much they earned or what their latest gadget was. I lived in Brixton during the riots. It was there that I saw racism first-hand. I’ve been called a “n****r-loving whore” because my friends were black, and seen them dragged into police custody through ‘sus’ laws.

(Those openly racist laws no longer exist, and it’s now purely coincidence that sees black youths stopped by the police 28 times more often than white ones.)

In London we were unhappy – we felt there had to be more to life than spending three hours a day travelling to and from our jobs (though we only lived seven miles from the centre.) Even in the 80s people we knew had to move further out of the city and travel for longer, because no-one could afford to live close to work. We thought that such a lifestyle was unsustainable, that it didn’t seem reasonable for people to have to go to such lengths in order to live a normal life. We decided it wasn’t for us.

longjourney2

My husband is half-Scots and had always wanted to live here, because he liked the Scottish ethos and values and wanted any children that we might have to grow up in a culture that wasn’t all about money. Scotland seemed to me an old-fashioned place, like another world. I was that person who’d never really been north of the Watford Gap.

And it really was the old cliché – people didn’t lock their doors, everyone knew everyone else and they spoke to me in shops. Instead of travelling for an hour and a half my husband was home from work in 20 minutes. There were downsides too – as a young mum I was somewhat isolated, as my own family lived so far away. But I went to mother-and-toddlers and volunteered at playgroups and made friends quickly.

Later on I worked in a small local library, which was very much a part of the community and tutored people with mental health problems. Then about ten years ago I helped set up a small social enterprise, supporting people to retrain and get back into volunteering or employment. Along the way I’ve met some wonderful, passionate, caring people, who wanted to help others and support them to help themselves.

But if the rural communities in which I’ve lived have many positives, they have negatives too. People fall out, and can hold grudges for generations! There’s gossip and poverty and high prices and poor roads and over the years I’ve seen so many brilliant, capable kids leave because there is no work for them and nowhere to live even if they could get a job.

When the 1997 referendum was held I was busy being a mum to two small children and I had no real idea of what devolution meant. I did some reading and talked to my friends because I didn’t want to vote without knowing more about what it was all for.

My view was that the place in which I was living was very different from the London that I’d known. Scotland really is another country. As well as all the practical differences – education, law and the like – the culture is different. So it made sense to me that decisions should be made in Scotland and I voted for devolution.

longjourney3

Since then things have changed in Scotland too. There’s been a cultural flowering, thanks to things like the Feis Movement, to the investment in arts and language. There have been very good developments in Mental Health and Social Care, such as the introduction of legislation of the Scottish Mental Health Act and the Social and Community Care Acts, which enshrine principles of care in legislation. There’s been land reform and investment in renewable energy and a reformation of further education, which has helped ensure that people can access learning opportunities in remote and deprived areas.

There’s been a restructuring of the qualifications system via the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Agency and the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence, which aims to strengthen the education system. All these developments have the welfare of the people of Scotland at their core, and have been developed with consultation (I know, I’ve been part of the process more than once) and cross-party support. There’s a way to go in many of these areas, but the change has been very real and palpable.

Why am I listing all these things? Because they’ve been my experience of some of the many positive developments that devolution brought to Scotland. There’s much negativity in the media at the moment about job losses and austerity and a lot of articles about how Scotland would struggle to go it alone, how we couldn’t share currency, or depend on inward investment or any support from Europe, how there’d be passports at the border and our families would all be foreign and whatnot.

But I don’t believe any of that to be true. Would hard-pressed UK and European businesses really want to jeopardise access to five million customers by being awkward about currency? That doesn’t make any sense. They’re trying to scare us and they’re lying, and if I can’t believe them on any of these issues then why should I believe them about anything else?

longjourney5

I’ve been a long time coming to the Yes vote because of my history. I would have definitely voted for devo-max and couldn’t believe it when David Cameron took that option off the table  – didn’t he realise the risk that he was running?

Taking devo-max away as an option meant taking away our choice; instead we’re expected to gamble on what we already have and vote No, and then to take the goodwill of the Unionist parties on trust. The Westminster government may hint at new powers, but if they delivered, anything devolved would be the choice of the politicians in London and not necessarily what we’d want. That’s not democracy: it’s paternalism.

For a long time I was a Don’t Know. I wanted more information. I went on “Better Together” sites with questions that were never answered, no matter how many times I asked. They didn’t seem to invite debate, offering only relentless negativity and censorship if anyone dared to disagree.

I watched everything I could on the mainstream media, but balanced, informative articles were few and far between. I couldn’t quite square what I was being told – nats are nasty, nats are scary, nats are anti-English etc – with my own experience. I’ve never experienced anti-Englishness here, not once in twenty-five years, even though I still have an English accent.

So I object to the claims and insinuations that the Yes movement is anti-English or racist. Nationalism is a very emotive term, linked so often with the far right of politics, but the Scottish version is different: it was and is simply about self-determination. I know what racism is like and the SNP and the Yes campaign are not it.

I also couldn’t understand why Alex Salmond was being demonised, because in my experience he and the SNP have done a pretty good job on the whole, under appalling economic conditions that they were landed with from almost the moment they took office in May 2007 (the run on Northern Rock which kicked off the economic crisis in the UK consciousness came just four months later).

So I carried on searching online. I did that with a great deal of trepidation, because, according to what I had read such sites were biased and racist (that word again) and run exclusively by the SNP. But what I found couldn’t have been more different from what I’d been led to expect.

There are a range of ideas and political beliefs. There are discussions and articles and videos available that made me think and that helped me come to my final decision. And that’s why I’ve written this article: because scare tactics are being used to hide the positive side of the debate and put people off finding out for themselves.

longjourney4

In the last ten years, I worked in Social Enterprise. Not many people know what that is, because it doesn’t get a lot of press time on the whole, and I’ve not seen it mentioned in this debate yet. According to Social Enterprise Scotland the definition of a social enterprise is “an innovative, independent businesses that exists to deliver a specific social and/or environmental mission.

These are social businesses which provide training, goods and services and sometimes all three. There are hundreds of them, all over Scotland. And I mention them because a big discussion which is taking place in that sector is that of “globalism versus localism”, and for me that’s the essence of what the independence debate should be all about.

It’s got nothing to do with Braveheart or Bannockburn. It’s about people having to deal with global economic and cultural change whilst living and working in a myriad of diverse local communities, be they urban or rural. A solution that works in one part of the world will not necessarily work in others. Sustainable communities have to work for the people who live there. They need to be free to make decisions for themselves, based on the options that are available in each place; it leads to innovative solutions, creativity and sustainability.

Recently, Alistair Carmichael was quoted in the Daily Record as saying that the biggest danger for the No campaign was that of the emotional appeal of nationalism beating rational arguments against independence. I couldn’t disagree with him more.

For me, it’s the other way round. I’m voting for independence because it makes economic and cultural sense for Scotland and because in my experience, the Scottish Parliament has delivered interesting, innovative and creative advances in the areas of government which have been devolved to us.

But the reason my journey to Yes took such a long time was because I feel a great deal of emotional attachment to Britain, my childhood memories of it, the things I liked about it and to my friends and family in England and Wales. If I was voting purely on emotion I might not be voting Yes.

But all of the things that I love about Britain will still be there. This isn’t about the past, it’s about the future, and logically staying in the Union makes no sense.

longjourney7

I don’t believe that Scotland is too small to be an independent country; there are plenty of examples of countries that are a similar size to ours. But within the Union Scotland is tiny; our entire population is far smaller than London. The Westminster parliament is elected to make decisions for the majority of the people who vote for them, and that majority lives in England.

Devo-max may have been one solution to that problem, but it’s not on the table and there’s little chance that it, or anything like it, will ever be. The No campaign wants us to vote for the much vaunted “status quo”, but there isn’t one. They say that there are no guarantees on a huge range of issues, should we vote Yes, but we don’t know what will happen in the UK either. Would the UK leave the EU for example?

One thing we DO know is that both main parties say austerity is here is to stay. I know people who are disabled and have felt bullied and intimidated by cuts to benefits, to the point that they’ve become ill again. I know families who are struggling to make ends meet, who are exhausted, desperately worried about the future, under far more stress than they need to be.

According to Shelter there will be almost 5,000 children homeless in Scotland this Christmas. We have no power in this matter; we are disenfranchised against policies which I and so many others believe to be shameful. Scotland is a hugely creative, innovative and yet pragmatic society. There have already been so many positive changes since devolution; I think that a Yes vote would allow us to do so much more.

longjourney6

I don’t read much into the polls. Before so publically outing myself on this site, if anyone had asked me how I was voting next year I’d probably have told them I didn’t know, even though I actually made my mind up several weeks ago.

At first I wanted to write this piece anonymously. I’ve never been political, have never been a member of any political party and have voted variously for MPs, MSPs and Councillors who were Labour, Lib Dem, Green, independent, and SNP depending on where I was living, policies at the time and the individual concerned. I didn’t want to stand up and use my own name for a variety of reasons.

Speaking out is hard for me. People that I know will be able to read my views and opinions, I have no idea what (if any) reactions I’ll get and I’m a very private person on the whole. But I’m sharing my journey to Yes because I think it’s time to be counted.

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89 to “The long journey to Yes”

  1. Les Wilson says:

    Well written and we all are with you in your journey to attain the better future for you and your children.

  2. GP Walrus says:

    That is a really fine article. Thank you. I will be sharing it with friends.

  3. PickledOnionSupper says:

    Very good article, Cindie, thanks for posting it. I think there are a lot of people like yourself, who’ve not been politically active before, but who have been active in their communities, and are making a similar journey. It’s very brave of you to ‘out’ yourself, I think you’ll inspire a lot of other ‘quiet yes’ voters to do the same, and then we’ll see those polls shifting! 

  4. heraldnomore says:

    Brilliant Cindie.  And welcome, you are indeed a Scot and a nation awaits.
     
    I might just have to blog a link to this one.  Fine piece.

  5. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Well done Cindie for speaking out. You are right, the time for standing up and being counted is now. You are not alone, and I know others who have wanted to remain private up until now, and are considering ‘coming out’.

    Everyone who shares a dream of a better Scotland needs to make a move now, in whatever way they can.

    Somebody on Wings recently said that it was maybe time to sound the Braveheart Klaxxon, and as that is something I had the capability of doing, I have started my push down that (heart-as-well-as-head) road, and have added a first blog entry on Friday. All heads need to be above the parapet now …

    http://www.braveheart.co.uk (Braveheart Museum)
    http://www.yesbraveheart.net (New Blog)

  6. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Cindie – Thankyou for ‘coming out’ and I had to smile at your last paragraph.
    I have no idea what [if any] reactions I’ll get…………’
     
    Well Cindie you sure came to the right place to publish. Just watch this page!

  7. lumilumi says:

    Thank you, Cindie, for having the courage to share your story. Very well written, too.
     
    I especially liked this bit:
    anything devolved would be the choice of the politicians in London and not necessarily what we’d want. That’s not democracy: it’s paternalism.
     
    As to Alistair Carmichael moaning about nats basing their decision on emotions… I think the whole No Scotland campaign is based on emotions: most of all fear, but also nostalgia for a failytale Britain that never was, or for the Empire, or love of the Queen, or pride in past glories (esp. WW I and WW II), or cheering for Team GB in the Olympics etc. etc.

  8. gordoz says:

    Very much a welcome addition to the YES side Cindie –
    The longer the journey, the greater the reward, (and truer the pilgrim !)
    Remember you have joined the yes camp from a path of soul searching and considered reasoning, you are now a great asset to YES; dont forget it.

  9. Bill McLean says:

    Read this before somewhere!

  10. Juteman says:

    Nice article Cindie.
    I think if anyone actually researches and studies the information out there, they can only come to one logical conclusion. Children, and those not yet born would curse us in the future if we voted No. This really has to be won for the kids of the future, as well as for the present.

  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Read this before somewhere!”

    Well, you read about a third of it before somewhere.

  12. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Great stuff.
     
    Has anyone ever written a similarly convincing and honest article explaining how they arrived at the decision to vote No? It’s what BT will have to do to stand any chance of capturing DKs.

  13. redcliffe62 says:

    Tories latest wheeze is to say immigrants even from within the EU will not be able to claim benefits in the UK for at least a year.

    The fact it is all EU and mutual seems to have escaped them. After Poland emigrating en masse they are worried… lots coming in as soon as allowed is of course a free goal for UKIP and Tories will see UKIP at 5 to 10% effectively making a Tory Government impossible in England too.

    Of course if Scots stay in the UK they can continue to get the money immediately.

    The cynic in me says this is not just aimed at Bulgarians or Romanians but people north of Berwick as a disincentive for the poorer people to vote YES? Nothing surprises me.

  14. Michael Laing says:

    I think this is an excellent article and you make a lot of good points. While I very much agree with your paragraph about UK-imposed austerity and benefit-cuts, I feel your wording is very restrained. People are literally being starved, cast out onto the streets and driven to suicide by downright evil policies that, without independence, we are powerless to change. I am convinced that these things will not be tolerated when Scotland is independent, and that’s one of the most important reasons why we must vote Yes.

  15. Left of the Dial says:

    Thanks for the article, Cindie. Very encouraging!

  16. Bill McLean says:

    Where was it published before Rev?

  17. Macart says:

    Beautifully put Cindie and welcome aboard. 🙂

  18. Aye Cindie, that’ll dae fir me. 

  19. Taranaich says:

    The Longest Journey is a story I consider to be one of the most powerful, heartfelt and affecting in the history of gaming as a medium. My heart honestly skipped a beat when I saw that first screenshot of April, that’s how important this game & story is to me. I’m so happy to see it on Wings. In fact, the story has a lot of applicability to the independence debate itself.
     
    I know a lot of New Scots myself. Every one of them’s a Yes voter. Says it all, doesn’t it?

  20. Bannock Hussler says:

    I was just thinking about the previous article, about Carmichael’s presumption and bluster, Darling’s ticks, and the fantasy these men self-servingly promulgate, of the supposedly continuing beneficence and greatness of the Union. A joke. It’s finished, whatever the Referendum result, and the Sunday Herald piece reminds us, as do many of the previous posts here, including yesterday’s, that a No vote is not a neutral position but in fact a vote for political, economic and cultural servitude. I was impressed therefore with Lumilumi’s comment on the section identified above in this article – and with the article as a whole, of course. Keep ’em coming!

  21. Keef says:

    Well written Cindie.
     
    I like your gentle push for social enterprise as well. That idea’s time has come just in time for the new iScotland too.
     
    You are indeed an asset to Scotland. Let’s hope your coming out in support of aYES vote is the beginning of ‘the big awakening’.

  22. msean says:

    o/t just there,bbc passing opinion off as comment again on bbc1

  23. Jimsie says:

    Good, good, good Cindie. Clearly you have arrived at your YES stance by rational thought. Problem is that the NO Scots are totally irrational and logic is an alien concept to them. However if we keep plugging away at the unbelievers we will get the swing required. Re your point about the population size of Scotland. Wikipedia lists 242 countries in the world. Going by population size Scotland would be in around 116th. Presumably the 115 below us are not too poor, too stupid, too wee or too feart to run their own affairs !!!.

  24. kininvie says:

    Bill, it wasn’t. Cindie wrote part of her story in the comments to  ‘Insatiable howl of the fat cats’.

  25. msean says:

    Welcome to yes Cindie,you have made the right decision.

  26. Robert Kerr says:

    Well done and welcome Cindie.
     
    I post in my own name and show my photograph sidewise as an atavar.
     
    Coming out is catharsis!

  27. Jim says:

    Great piece Cindie. I know it hasn’t been an easy path to tread, but it is the right and proper one for all the reasons you mentioned and more. Big kiss and hug.

  28. Bill C says:

    Really enjoyed your article Cindie. As folk on here will be fed up hearing me saying, I have been a supporter of Scottish self determination for over 40 years and although Scottish born and bred, you and I and millions of Scots are not so different. I am also a bit of a mixed bag in that I am about a quarter Irish, can’t say precisely, but that sums up Scots in general, there is a bit of the mongrel in all of us However, we are all Scots because we want to live in Scotland. Welcome to the cause, freedom is indeed a noble thing. Soar Caesar!

  29. Geoff Huijer says:

    Great Stuff Cindie!
     
    Yes voters (in the main) seem to (like you) have weighed up the
    realities of the current situation against the potential scenarios of
    a Yes vote and/or a No vote and come up with an intellectual decision
    to vote Yes.
     
    This is why Better Together want to misinform and shut down debate;
    they do not want people to look at the options closely and come to the
    inevitable conclusion that a Yes vote is the ONLY option in reality.

  30. HandandShrimp says:

    Excellent and captures the forward looking ethos of what I want independence to be about beautifully. I really enjoyed reading that, thank you Cindie.

  31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Where was it published before Rev?”

    In a comment here. I asked Cindie to expand on it as a proper post.

  32. Doug Daniel says:

    This is a great article, Cindie. I love reading people’s journey to becoming a Yes voter.
     
    Maybe one day we’ll see someone detailing their journey to becoming a No voter… *collapses laughing*

  33. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Bill C
    I too am one quarter Irish, I think.

    My maternal granny was rumoured to have been born in Ireland and as a newborn came over to Glasgow. We never found her birth certificate so we were never certain.

    Anyway, had she been still alive today and applied for a passport the UKPA would have had her deported as being an illegal alien. Shades of Spike Milligan him being either Irish or Indian because he was born in India to an Irish Officer in a British Regiment as had been his own Father although he was born in Ireland. Spike cited his book, Adolf Hitler, My Part in His Downfall as support for his unchallengeable right to a UK Passport

    When presented with that connundrum Spike refused to fill in the designated form for his automatic receipt of a UK passport and buggered off to Oz who gave one of theirs. Typically Spike.

    He did return having been given a UK one. I don’t know if he signed that bloody form. If he did he would probably have signed it as Harry Secombe. He had form you know.

    Cindie, thanks for a well written and heartfelt declaration. I can’t say welcome to you because you are here and part of us already although your article was most welcome.

  34. Franariod says:

    Well put Cindie, Scotland is a nation not a race 

  35. Luigi says:

    Excellent article, Cindie.  Thank you for sharing.  I agree with your conclusion that Alistair Carmichael’s take couldn’t be further from reality. The big potential spoiler is the emotional appeal of BRITISH nationalism beating rational arguments FOR independence.  Quite a few closet BritNats still among us, although there are much less of them around these days than 10 years ago.  They would never admit it.  British patriotism in Scotland has gone the same way as smoking – not longer socially acceptable.  No better displayed than BT’s reluctance to use the union flag.  Rather than admit a love of the UK, they try to excuse their opposition to self determination by irrational, ludicrous statements like “I can’t stand Alex Salmond!”.   Why are they so ashamed?  Perhaps the Scottish cringe is being replaced by the BritNat cringe.

  36. liz says:

    Excellent article and very moving.
    I think in the main Yes voters are very rational and have thought things through.

    A lot of the No voters are emotional – tied to a feeling of the UK that used to be – as something better than it is – in reality it has always been a bit of a myth- think of the poverty in ordinary families when GB had the biggest empire etc. etc.
     
    O/T about the Herald not being trusted –  admittedly the daily version – I posted facts lifted from the PESA government web site which proves that London gets more per capita than any other part of GB and has done for years and it was modded off.

  37. Patrick Roden says:

    Thanks Cindie, A very powerful read.

  38. rabb says:

    Cindie,
    Great piece. Welcome to the fold 🙂

  39. kininvie says:

    Lovely piece, Cindie.  I know exactly what you mean about wanting to be anonymous, and it’s not an easy decision to out yourself in the very public world of the internet. So well done! But, you know what, once you are out, cards in the open, you discover not only that you are proud of where you stand, but that you are suddenly part of a community (this one for instance) that takes little or no notice of background, class, profession, or indeed anything apart from the shared desire to see Scotland become a better country. At least, that’s what I’ve found.

  40. AnneDon says:

    I wish I could get my brother to talk to you, Cindie. He is interested in Social Enterprise and community empowerment. Because he won’t go onto “Nationalist” websites, he doesn’t even realise all the interesting work is being done outwith the mainstream. And, of course, is planning to vote No!

  41. Andrew Morton says:

    Superb, heartfelt story. How many others in the don’t know / soft No box are undergoing the same journey to Yes? Hope to see more stories like this in the coming days.

  42. Brian Mark says:

    Welome Cindie to Jock Tamson’s bairns, a moving and powerful bit of writting

  43. southernscot says:

    Great article, well done Cindie.

  44. tartanfever says:

    Well done Cindie.
     
    I wouldn’t worry about people reading this, it’s heartfelt and sincere with an honesty that many a politician could only aspire to. Good for you.

  45. The Cat says:

    A warm welcome to ‘YES’ Cindie and thanks for sharing your journey with us.
    I don’t expect to ‘gain’ anything personally from independence (other than a warm  feeling and post-party hangover!). The way I see it, it’s essential for my children. I, too, will be sharing.

  46. Capn Andy. says:

    Thanks for a great article Cindie. My late Father was from London and was an SNP voter.

  47. calum says:

    nice one Cindie.

  48. Amarichtyaken says:

    Very nice, and written  but I feel it’s wasted on this site , preaching to the converted. It needs to be in the news papers, but that’s a bit of a tall order , in fact I fear you would have no chance.. 

  49. Andy-B says:

    Wonderful piece Cindie I really enjoyed an insight into you’re life, and how you reached the conclusion to vote YES.
     
    I also like the way you pointed out how the Scottish Governments policies, are aimed at helping its people, imagine what we could do and how we could shape the country for the better, if we had control of our revenue in an independent Scotland.
     
     
    We have that chance next year, independence will lead to exciting times in Scotland as we its citizens will have our say in its  future, welcome to the fold.

  50. Bill McLean says:

    Rev and Kininvie thanks for replies.  Thought I was going doo-lally or had suddenly developed “second-sight”!
    Great article!

  51. Lynsey says:

    Great article, Cindie. Going to share this on FB 🙂

  52. Davy says:

    Well Cindie after an article like that, I will gladly walk with you on our road to independence, welcome and thrice welcome.
     

  53. seoc says:

    Your article ticks all of the boxes for me and I admire your vision of our tomorrow, Thank You, Cindie.
    As someone who vividly remembers getting ‘parish claes’ due to our depth of personal poverty, the days before the Welfare State were no picnic, believe me. Paddy’s Market, the Barras and the myriad of stalls in and around Cumberland Street, trading in multi- previously owned claes, the bustling rag stores, etc.
    We are perilously close to this days reappearing, make no mistake. It cannot happen to you? Please, do not gamble with the futures of the young. It can and it will.
    This time there is a choice – I well remember when there was no choice.
    By simply voting  YES you can avoid catastrophy. Please don’t gamble with the future of Scotland’s young life-blood.

  54. Wingman 2020 says:

    If 50% of WOS readers tweeted this to 100 followers…  that would be a….  a…  lot! 
    More than the circulation of the Hootsmon anyway…  🙂 

  55. Wingman 2020 says:

    “…Just about day break I met a young lassie 
    Who asked me the road and the miles to Indy..”
     

  56. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    Thanks Cindie.  A beautifully written and well thought out piece. It is a great shame so many of the unionistas are so entrenched in their mentality of just agreeing with each other without actually bothering to think about the facts. In fact they are generally so up themselves, you will probably find that most of us here have been blocked from assorted BT pages and sites, simply for asking questions.

  57. AMC says:

    Pure fantasy – as good as the Grimm brothers!

  58. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

    What a wonderful exposition as to why Scotland will vote “Yes” come referendum day. That it will vote yes has just been conceeded by the Unionists – they have as they say just “blinked”. Forgive me if I get off topic here but I am pretty excited – as opposed to the usual being depressed and shaking my head at their arrogant ignorance- about the most recent Guardian article about the dangers of Scots independence.

    There doesn’t seem to be much “if” in the Guardian article at all – perhaps even the Unionists have found their lies to be so improbable as to be supportable no more. Now the emphasis is on fiddling the unwished for result – a fine old tradition of the British empire – Scotland will have to “negotiate” to the new British government – whatever it may be – after 2015 to have the decision of its people accepted as the current pack don’t have a mandate to grant Scotland the possibility of independence. This sounds very much like “you only got an agreed terms referendum when we were sure the vote would go no”. There are scare stories about “no currency union” etc etc

    Personally not having a currency union with an economy productive of nothing and based on property bubbles and speculation sounds fine to me. And if Scotland is forced into a unilateral declaration of independence then it’s goodbye to Westminster getting a contribution to the national debt ( what colonized country has ever had to pay back its colonisers for being colonised?) and the electrical lines to Faslane can be cut immediately to get across the double message that Brit nukes have zero strategic importance and they are not wanted in Scotland in any case.

    I understand entirely if this message is regarded as too off topic for this spot and in any case I eagerly am looking forward to the honorable moderator’s comments on the most recent news.

  59. archie says:

    nice peace another person looking in from the outside I have people that stay down south and they say the same thing my or our country needs independence so it can keep moving fore word I have never been on the fence I voted for indy the last time to and we were cheated that time to with just lies and misinformation but as you say the info is out there you just have to look and don’t listen to the man (A.D.) that says he is Scottish because he is English he was born in London.

  60. X_Sticks says:

    Yes Cindie.
     
    Yes! YEs! YES!
     
    Great to have you with us on this amazing journey.
     
    Don’t care if you are married, a big iHug from me. xx

  61. Andrew Morton says:

    I just came across this post on the Guardian threads (acknowledgements to Bitthick) in response to another post. It is such a strong and effective case for independence that I thought it was worth posting here:
     
    “It’s a wonder why Scots want to divorce the rest of the UK when I hear of their wealthy childhood experiences –

    Your post made no reference at all to Scotland — I did comment on how off-topic it was.

    But since you mentionit, the so-called “baby boomer” generation in Scotland – the people you are casting as greedy and selfish) endured in their youth not only a signficiantly lower standard of living than their cohort in the south, they (we) also paid a flat-rate council tax (paupers and millioniares the same, one third of my annual income) while non-householders south of the border paid nothing whatever, and ratepayers still had rebates and progression.

    In Scotland there was no loadsamoney boom between recessions. There was one long grim period of financial and social misery from about the mid-70s till the mid-1990s.

    Scotland had neither the mad house-bubble inflation nor the extent of consumer recklessness that we saw down south. The fact is, Scotland has lived on a few billion a year less than Scotland produced: we would have had no need of any national debt. We are paying for money borrowed and largely spent on the south:Airport extensions, Jubilee Line, M25, quiet little Channel Tunnel bailout, Canary Wharf infrastrcuture, Millennium Dome, Jubilee crap, Olympics…on and on and on. what borrowing was not actually spent in and on the south has been spent on things we “older” people in Scotland actively opposed as a nation: privatisation, foreign military adventures. Trident.

    The one and only time, ever, that Scotland has not been first to suffer and last to recover from recession, the first time Scotland has been more than averagely successful in attracting inward investment and new manufacturing, has been since devolution.
    Devolution — particularly after Labour’s moribund stint ended — has made such a palpable difference to Scotland that Lord George Foulkes famously complained “But they’re doing it deliberately!”

    Only because we have the current Scottish government have we preservedfree uni tuition for our kids. (Protecting Labour’s own policy from Labour!)

    Only because of devolution do we have 25k new apprenticeships.

    Only because of devolution do we have a way forward for our education system with cross-party + teacher/parent consent — instead of one made git after another imposing their whoims on it.

    Scotland introduced free nursery care a couple of years ago.

    It isn’t unlimited, but it’s better than anyone bothered to do south of the border…until they saw it done here.

    One of the reasons we want independence here is precsiely because we feel a responsibility not only to the people who are young now but to those who come after them.

    We don’t think our kids and their kids are too stupid to know how to run their own country: we don’t think they’re too weak or too poor to prosper.

    Voting YES is among other things a straightforward rejection of the austerity politics of Westminster.we see it for the unnecessary, dishonest shite lie that it is. We want better for our kids.

    If you had any real concern for young people you would actually take the time and trouble to read the information that’s been published on independence — not read the pathetic unionist misrepresentation about it.

    We won’t let our kids be treated by the Tories the way we were treated at their age – shoved on the scrapheap and reviled as lazy, almost malicious to society. Left to scrabble for years on end to find full-time work, and reviled while they can’t.

    That’s why we’re voting YES.”

  62. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @AMC
    What is?
    or are you just a Troll  (rhetorical question) ?

  63. Truth says:

    Well done Cindie. It was clearly with trepidation you published your name, but thank you for a fantastic read.
     
    Come the day you are another on my list of Scottish Heroes.

  64. Hetty says:

    Great to read this and very positive, after we were all looking at what things could really look like if there is a no vote, yesterday.
    I will make sure my 93 year old friend who is a cockney reads this, mind you he says he’s Scottish now he’s been here for 45 years, but still hanging onto the bbc propoganda and how we are all better together…I think many older people think back to the world wars, and so they think if we hadn’t been ‘united’ we would have been defeated, in fact we, especially we women, would be slaves to the Germans now, apparently!  
    Ponder that one.

  65. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Hetty
    How does he explain all the other  countries who were against the Germans?
    Were they part of the prototype Better Together nostalgia?
    I don’t want him to get apoplexy but many different people in many different colonies worked with UK, many died and lots of them now live in countries which became independent after the war.

  66. ronnie anderson says:

    Cindie, All day I have been trying to remember the words of the  Vagabond, so late in the day I read your article, a very powerful / emotive story, Scots have been for centurys Vagabonds so loved by the world, your journey in the begining shaped the person that you are today ,otherwise we here wouldnt be graced to be part of that journey , nobody writes a story such  as your without heart and soul, your family in Wales /  London I hope they can see your passion for your family here in Scotland, I find it hard that a reserved  / quiet person , hasent put pen to paper before now, but I /we here welcome your story as many have said in previous posts, Welcome to our family, your community have a untaped asset in you, Thank You.

  67. Onwards says:

    Nice article.

    “The Westminster parliament is elected to make decisions for the majority of the people who vote for them, and that majority lives in England.”

    This really sums it up.
    Scotland just isn’t a priority with only 8.4% of the UK population.

    The UK economy is always going to be focused on London, directing investment there to increase its potential as a major global city.

    Southern politicians don’t want jobs or companies moving north, and Scotland being able to compete..

    But if you live here, why shouldn’t we want a better alternative than as a regional feeder zone ?

    It’s only logical to want a better future for the part of the world we live in, wherever we came from … Better schools, hospitals, jobs and roads etc ..

  68. cath says:

    Great article Cindie! So much of it resonated with me as well- half English, grew up very much “British” and a late convert to independence, partly for that reason. I found coming out last year scary as well, and the constant “anti-nat” abuse in the media hasn’t really helped since!
     
    But you’re so right that, “all of the things that I love about Britain will still be there”. I’d actually go further. When I think of what I love about Britain it’s the huge variety of dialetcs, cultures, humour, creativity and the colour and differences of all the various regions, countries and areas. It’s the people, and the vibrant mix of people living on this fairly small island, with all their eccentricities.
     
    But over the past few decades, as the UK has gone ever more right wing politically, the media and establishment down in London has become ever more stifling of all those varying cultures, ideas and eccentriticies. They’ve been trying to push a horrible, sterile kind of “Britishness” onto all of us. And all of that seems tied up with at the same time far more repression of those who are poor, sick, not able to work. And all of it seems to find final expression in UKIP and the current Tories – judgemental, little Englander types who don’t feel representative to me of anyone I know anywhere across the British Isles.
     
    So in many ways independence seems like the best hope for shaking that off and creating a real change right across the British isles. Devolution up here has brought about a cultural and political awakening, and hopefully independence will help spread that to other places and let the regions of England emerge a bit more from that stifling political and media idea of “Britishness”.
     

  69. Jeannie says:

    Really enjoyed your article, Cindie.  My Mum’s neighbour is a 69 year-old lady from Yorkshire.  She tells me she’ll be voting Yes.  She’s lived here for 18 years and feels Scotland has been good to her….and with independence, it will only get better.  My 89 year-old mother thinks the same.  I mean, having the chance to get stuck in and build the best possible future for your children and grandchildren, whit’s no tae like?

  70. Morag says:

    I voted for indy the last time to
     
    Really, you can’t have done.  There has never been an independence referendum in Scotland.  2014 will be the first.  Carpe diem.

  71. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Andrew Morton (9.06) –
     
    Thanks for copying that in here – a great post.

  72. This is a thoughtful, reasoned and constructive article.  I think you have done something really important in sharing your journey Cindie

  73. stephen says:

    Cindy that was a fantastic read but more importantly fantastic attention to detail over such a long period of time. People get what they focus on in life and that’s what we have to do to the others that will vote next year. GET THEM TO FOCUS. 
    As said in your piece, you made up your own mind, you read very little regards to the polls etc. 
    Scotland is a country full of optimists. It’s a country rich in history of inventors, entrepreneurs, visionary’s, pioneers, etc. 
    Scotland will pull through and get the vote but let’s hope the Politicians and the Scottish papers start wetting the appetite of the ones that don’t know which way to go.
    If they can achieve that, then the great imagination of us Scot’s will create the spark for a bit of self teaching. Once self teaching kicks in and they understand more, one thinks the YES vote will be in the bag..

  74. Nation Libre says:

    Well put Cindie and I think your last paragraph is very telling about my thoughts on the don’t knows and even some nos.  I don’t believe there are any people saying yes who are secretly no voters but there will be plenty of people saying no who will vote yes.  A good majority of the don’t knows will vote yes I’m sure also.  People like yourself ‘coming out’ for yes just keeps the snowball rolling.  Who on the day of the vote, could possibly vote no.  How could they look themselves in the mirror again following a no victory 

  75. Kate McLaren says:

    Thank you, Cindie. I am a Cockney, born within the sound of Bow Bells, and so another New Scot. Although the details of my life are very different from yours, the opinions you express are mine almost to the letter – but I could never have expressed them so well. Hail Alba!

  76. Spansco says:

    This is an excellent well written piece. it to shows how someone who was not born in Scotland has been able to see through the smokescreen of negativity of the No campaigners and came to a conclusion based on the facts. Scotland will be a much better country to live in for all the right reasons after independence. We just need to keep the faith and work relentlessly to make it so.

  77. Craig P says:

    Thank you Cindie. 
     
    Even now, there is a widespread idea amongst those who have not yet engaged in the debate, that independence is an obsession  of a minority of Anglophobic fantasists. 
     
    This is where the long campaign is going to pay off. The more folk like yourself come out in favour, the more that easy assumption becomes invalid, and people will then engage with your reasoning and the real issues at stake. It is thanks to your testament that the undecided’s movement is only going in one direction…

  78. Caroline says:

    Thanks for this, Cindie – it’s only in the past few weeks that I too have made a firm decision to vote Yes, and I shall do my best to follow your example in being unafraid to nail my colours to the mast. Although there is really no need to employ negative scare tactics in support of independence, there is one frightening image which should terrify one and all – that of Boris becoming the first ‘I’m a Celebrity get me to No.10’ winner. AAAAAARGH

  79. Cindie aka CR says:

    Hi all, have just had time to read through all your comments.  Thanks you so much for them and for your positivity.  I was out all day yesterday, so didn’t get chance to pop back before now.
     
    @Archie [not Erchie] 12.32pm – you were right I certainly did get a lot of nice comments!
    @Bill McLean, you have an excellent memory, sir.
    @Michael Laing, I so agree with you about what is happening to our most vulnerable people, but if people do not get angry when they read about the rise in visits to food banks or Cameron on  golden throne preaching austerity they I really think there is no hope for them.  I felt this article needed to be balanced and positive, if it is to be shared. People who are just beginning to waver might read it and I would like them to then be able to research more and make up their own minds with out being put of by anger or negativity
    @Taranaich 1.09pm Rev Stu chose the Longest Journey, I had to look it up on Wikipedia, but I thought it very apt.
    @Keef 1.10 I do think the social enterprise model fits well with a lot of the ideas that are being developed right now and it is such an exciting time, a new way of doing things
    @Amarichtyaken 4.25pm.  I hope people will share the article and that might bring people here, but I first wrote this in answer to some of the really nasty anti-nat comments that I’ve seen online, which are not only offensive but also untrue.  As someone who identifies as British I wanted to share my story here, so that if anyone reading this is accused of Anti-Englishness again, they can share my article.  I know a lot of English people who’ve lived here a long time and they would say the same. In fact people have in the comments.  The nationalist slurs are simply not true, but it needs people like me to say that public to help overcome the slurs.
    @ronnie anderson, I’m not shy or quiet, I just value my privacy on the whole.  And just have to give you and X-Sticks a hug.
    @seoc, Andrew Morton, Frazer Allan Whyte, cath, stephen, hetty, caroline, annedon et al, thanks so much for sharing those stories.  I first came to Wings to read the articles but now I also read the stories and comments as well, they are sad and wonderful and inspiring (sometimes all at once) and are doing their bit to help convince people too.
     
    I’m sorry if I left anyone out but I really have appreciated your kindness
     
    Thank you
     
    Cindie

  80. Frank Wright says:

    Hi Cindie – Perhaps you might consider publishing your beautifully written article in the Guardian “Comment is free” section? It would be great if a wider audience were able to read about your journey.
     
    If you are interested, check out the Guardian webpage and then click on “comments” and then “about us” for the submission protocol.  Apologies if you already knew this – I only just looked up how to do it!  I have no links with the Guardian by the way.

    Thanks again – your writing was a pleasure to read,
    Frank
     

  81. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Frank Wright
     
    Double plus good
     
    So long.

  82. Barbara Gribbon says:

    Cindie, thank you so much for ‘coming out’ in so well thought out an article. Hopefully more of us (me!) can be so brave!

  83. Andie says:

    This article is truly inspirational. I’ve been sitting on the fence for far too long and this has just pushed me off!  I have no doubt that the road ahead will have many difficulties. On the Yes Road there is light at the end of the journey. Better to chose our own path than be lead into the abyss by lying greedy immoral unfeely sociopaths. Bring it on!

  84. Cindie aka CR says:

    @Frank and Bugger (the Panda) Good idea, I might just try that! 
     
    @Barbara, go for it!  It’s scary but as @Robert Kerr says, at 1.24, coming out is catharsis! 
     
    @Andie Am so glad!  You express my feelings exactly, our choice, possibilities instead of more of the awful policies of these dreadful Westminster politicians.  Let’s give it a go!

  85. Nigel Burkin says:

    My Scottish wife and I decided to move to Scotland nearly ten years ago. Since then we have seen the rise of the SNP and Indy become mainstream. We had a feeling this would happen when we decided to come north in 2004. Part of our decision to leave the rat race in the south was the chance, albeit slim, of Scottish independence and the vital changes it would bring. Now Indy looking more and more like a reality and we are with it all the way.

  86. Cindie aka CR says:

    It does feel like there’s a real possibility now doesn’t it?  Thanks for sharing xx

  87. Swan says:

    Are you even real or a fictional person? Seems like you’ve wrote a whole load of hopes and dreams. I’m northern English, I worked in Scotland for 8 years. Before I worked there I holidayed there and this is the impression I got from my time there. I was racially abused whilst working there, told to stop stealing Scottish jobs, called an “F.E.B”, had to sit and endure tales of battles long ago fought. Anyway I’m not saying the scots don’t get the same when visiting England but I for one was taken aback by the hatred. Before visiting Scotland I always imagined it to be a romantic cultural place but my opinion changed quite quickly, I’m not suggesting that this was buy a majority but it was for sure by a significant minority. I read recently on a blog that the English should stop being so interested in this referendum… To be honest, it’s hardly ever mentioned in England( maybe once a week) but I will say this, the animosity coming across in some of the messages I read, the anti English vibe for example will damage relations between these two nations. In the story above it’s suggested that we can’t afford to ignore the voice of the ppl of Scotland, all I can say is, England will do what’s in her interests and not what’s in a minor neighbours interests. England didn’t become powerful but listening to minor countries concerns. Just saying. And be careful what you wish for x

  88. Frankie goes to Holyrood says:

    I notice that the previous comment by an anonymous reader called “Swan” asked if the author, who gave her name,  was “even real” or “a fictional person”.  This was then followed by a disparaging comment about “whole load of hopes and dreams”.  

    The rest of the contribution was about unhappy experiences of being English while living in Scotland and not being treated well by a minority of Scottish people.  I am genuinely sorry to hear that – I have an English friend who also had a more extreme problem (attacked in Edinburgh by fans of an Edinburgh football club due to his accent, then rescued by Rangers fans) but it does seem rare – the rest of English people I know who live in Scotland have not experienced such treatment.  Despite his experience, my friend loved living in Scotland as compared to his original Essex.

    However, why do challenge the author who has given her full name, and make negative personal comments?  Why attack the messenger?  Your life experience and her life experience are equally valid, and I feel you should accord her more respect. 

    We can share experiences, disagree and still be civil.
     

  89. My husband … had always wanted to live here, because he liked the Scottish ethos and values and wanted any children that we might have to grow up in a culture that wasn’t all about money.”

    I realise I’m years behind here, but thanks for this: it describes exactly what I want for our family, and you even work in the sort of business I’m trained in and have experience in.

    I left the UK many years ago because I couldn’t see a future there, but I’ve been looking to see if a devolved/independen Scotland could be a home, and if we could come back and work in social enterprise, as it seems pretty hard to do it how we would like here in Germany, and this has helped answer the question. Many thanks.

    I will now go and turn cartwheels for a few minutes to calm down again…



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