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Wings Over Scotland

Sowing seeds

Posted on April 12, 2014 by

Dear Scottish women,

It seems that we’re letting the side down a bit here. If the same percentage of us were willing to vote Yes as the men, we’d be home and dry come September 18th, living in a nuclear-weapon-free democracy for the first time in our lives. But it seems like a lot of us are either not convinced or haven’t begun thinking about it yet.


I don’t believe it’s the former: anyone genuinely looking at the arguments, not to mention the behaviour of those on both sides of the debate, could hardly fail to be convinced that independence is a good thing. So I’m guessing it might be the latter.

But it’s springtime. There was a rainbow in the sky today and I planted seeds – wild flowers to attract the butterflies and bees, nasturtiums for a riot of yellow and orange and sunflowers because they’re relentlessly cheerful, ridiculous and my birthday flower. They’ll be blooming come referendum day. I planted with my babies round my feet, chatting endlessly, arms and shoes caked in muck, each hoping that every seed would throw up a flower by tomorrow.

It’s one of our jobs as parents, both male and female, to manage the relentless optimism of a tiny soul, while beginning to temper expectation. How long will the seed take to grow? Weeks. Lots of sleeps. It’ll look like nothing’s happening then one day there it will be – a tiny, insignificant sprout sending out a tendril, feeling for the sun, hoping for the best.

Most will make it, but not all. Sometimes there might be too much wind and rain, or a drought and parched earth. We’ll have to watch and tend and care for them. For a few it won’t work out. But most will thrive.

So we teach our children gently. We don’t want to squash that impetus towards permanent optimism and excitement, but they need to develop an understanding of certain things – death, patience, deferred gratification, chance, work, effort, trying.


And that’s just it. When did we, as adults, become people who need cast-iron guarantees, who expect the world to deliver without effort and attention and realistic expectations? You say you need more information? What can be given has been. It’s there, from both sides. It’s up to you to read it, to seek it out, to take the trouble to understand it.

Imagine where we’d be now if Edwardian ladies had said “I’m not sure Emmeline, I think I just need some more information.”

You want certainty? There is none – never has been any, isn’t any now, will never be any in the future. The only certainty is your choice on September 18th. You can choose to stay governed from London, or choose a smaller democracy based within arm’s reach, answerable to you, where you can vote for whoever you want and have your voice count rather than being drowned out by far bigger numbers far away.

You can choose to take control and responsibility over your own finances. Fail, have stuff go wrong, fix it and own it. Be a grown-up. Grow a country.

Do you want control of your own money, or are you happy to give all the responsibility to someone else to worry about? Are we adults with ambition, vision, insight and fire to make things better, or are we passive, disinterested, happy to leave the big stuff with all the power to the “husband” of Westminster?

Equality between men and women isn’t a fight about him versus her. It’s about acknowledging differences and ensuring a balance of power and effort and reward. That’s the basis for a happy relationship. And equality isn’t a fight about “us” (Scotland) versus “them” (the rest of the UK) either. It’s about the exact same things.

So you’re making a choice for your children’s lifetime, for your grandchildren’s lifetime. Nuclear weapons on your doorstep, or not? Taking responsibility for your own money – and debt – or not? Creating a more equal society based on long-held principles of fairness and democracy, or not?

I’m not a member of any political party. My politics are inextricably linked to my life, and they’re my own. There isn’t a political party in existence that I don’t take issue with on one thing or another, but I am in favour of democracy. And I’m on the side of the seeds, those little pods of hope and potential.

It looks like there’s nothing happening. But one day there will be. A tiny insignificant sprout, sending out a tendril, feeling for the sun, hoping for the best. We’ll have to watch and tend and care for them. For a few it won’t work out. But most will thrive.


So come on, Scottish women. Let’s plant seeds. Let’s have hope, and let’s reap potential. You have the opportunity here – for once, because your vote has never counted this much before – to make them listen. Don’t be on the wrong side of history.

*A version of this article previously appeared on Lynn Blair’s blog.

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110 to “Sowing seeds”

  1. sneddon says:

    Great article Lynn. You’re right life isn’t certain unless you take responsibilities for your own actions and take care of business by yourself.Taking responsibility means standing a little taller, a little more self confidence and beholden to no one but ourselves. A good feeling whether its in personal life or political life. 🙂

  2. Murray McCallum says:

    Really enjoyed reading your article Lynn.

    Voting yes or no is not about party politics. It’s so much more important.

  3. sausage fingered luddite says:

    Great article. I agreed with so much of it that I’ve just had to do a quick check to make sure I’m not a wummin…

  4. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Excellent article Lynn, thank you.

    ‘We are our own salvation, both as an individual and a country.” Kendo, Helensburgh 2014

  5. Grouse Beater says:

    I despair every time I hear a woman, in response to the plebiscite, say, “I hate Alex Salmond.” Sometimes they add, “And I don’t like Nicola Sturgeon.”

    It’s a truly dumb way to decide one’s politics purely on the basis of personalities, I hate him, I like her.

    Had people listened to Blair between the lines he might never have been awarded the adulation he received, and Labour the landslide votes. Dumping Clause 4 was Labour dumping its loyalty to its roots altogether, abandoning swathes of the democratic system. To Labour and multi-millionaire Blair the poor are given lip service, the vulnerable scorned.

    If someone has a mental block and cannot see past the end of their prejudices ask the question, what will happen to Scotland if we vote No?

    The answer to that will concentrate the mind wonderfully, as they of the condemned prisoner.

  6. Excellent article, Lynn.

  7. Croompenstein says:

    Shared on facebook Lynn, great article

  8. Robert Louis says:

    Excellent article. I am heartily sick and fed up of people greetin about ‘oh there isn’t any information’ etc.. I usually say to such people, what do you do if you want to go on holiday (use the internet), move house (use the internet), go to the cinema (use the internet), so to know about Scottish independence, why not try the internet – like you do with just about anything else. The information is all out there, and google is your friend.

    Lynn makes a great point in the article about Emiline Pankhurst, fighting for the right of women to vote. What if all the women had said ‘oh I’m not sure, can you tell us with certainty it will be a good thing’ or ‘oh you know, Westminster thinks it will be terrible’, or ‘I don;t know anything about this, and I can’t be bothered finding out, so I’m against women voting’. It is so true. There are NO absolute certainties with anything in life, and there are NO certainties if everyone votes NO, except things will only carry on getting worse, with London Tory rule.

    What we do know, is that with a YES vote, Scotland will no longer be run by a political party nobody in Scotland voted for, from a detached undemocratic parliament far away in London. For the first time in over three hundred years, Scots will choose the Government of Scotland, with independence. It is about basic democracy and basic accountability. When Scotland is in control of affairs, instead of running like a wean to London for everything, we can finally get rid of nuclear weapons located just minutes from our largest city, we can stop sending our soldiers on illegal wars in Iraq, and we can create a better fairer, optimistic society, as is seen with other developed small countries. Let’s spend our money on childcare and education instead of useless (macho dick waving) nuclear weapons on the Clyde.

    I would love to see more writing by Lynn on this site if it’s possible. 🙂

  9. Thejourneyman says:

    A great piece which sums it all up in a very inspirational way. If ladies need to take more time that’s fine but please don’t say you need more information. There are many excellent orators pounding the local meetings schedule now so prevalent all over Scotland, so go listen to them or get the info from live streams or the many internet sites with downloadable articles now available.

  10. caz-m says:

    I think this quote from a conservative MP speaking on Sky News this morning will concentrate the mind,

    “No matter what happens in the 2015 GE, the UK will be led by either David Cameron or Ed Milliband”.

    That quote alone should send shockwaves of fear and depression right through your body.

  11. Angry Weegie says:

    Great item. May be aimed at women, but I’ve spoken to plenty of men who should read this and really think about whether it equally applies to them.

  12. Robert Kerr says:

    Thank you Lynn.

    Best concept for a while.

    “Let’s grow a Country”

    I like that.

  13. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    Beautifully metaphorical.

  14. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Caz_m

    The answer is not to be led by the UK

  15. Whiplash says:


    Scotland listed twice in ‘TOP 20 COUNTRIES IN ALL FIELDS’ in, sure the data is from 2011 but aljazeera is linking to it in a current story about turkey so would seem to be the most up to date info.

    Citations and citations by paper.

  16. Jimsie says:

    Excellent piece of writing Lynn and a very good post from Robert Louis. How can women not be persuaded with positive messages like these?

  17. Fergus Green says:

    Great article Lynn

    Teach your children….

  18. Truth says:

    Thoroughly good read.

    Who could argue with any of these sentiments?

    I’m voting yes for many reasons, not least for my toddler son.

  19. The Flamster says:

    The majority of people I know who are voting Yes are women it’s the men I find that can’t be bothered to find out what’s going on and just believe the propaganda. Women tend not to be very vocal about Independence but are quietly going to vote yes, actually the loudest woman I know who is shouting and bawling about it is me!

  20. Rosie says:

    What a delight to read such an up-beat inspiring article! So often I simply try to improve my argument when faced with women who choose to shy away from what is perceived as an ‘argument’.

    Thanks, Lynn, for reminding me of the power of metaphor, particularly when it comes to pleas for answers and certainty. My 13 year-old grand-daughter quoted Rabelais to her mother this week and in a phrase she offered all the courage, choice, willingness to face risk, and sense of responsibility that voting Yes offers: “I go to seek a great perhaps…” Okay, he was dying, but maybe that makes it all the more relevant. Rabelais wasn’t lying back and letting death come. He was prepared to go and seek the uncertain. I’m with him all the way.

  21. The Rough Bounds says:

    I suppose, when you think of it, Wings does appear to be mostly a blokes site. Nothing at all to stop women from commenting of course, and several women do so, but perhaps if we were to have a little more input from women it might help to get the independence message out.

    OT. I watched a bit of the STV news coverage on the SNP conference and watched Alex Salmond suggest to the delegates that instead of a minute’s silence for Margo MacDonald they should all stand and show their appreciation by giving a loud applause.

    STV immediately turned down the volume and only gave the sound from Mr. Salmond’s microphone so that it sounded as if hardly anyone was clapping. They also showed only a little part of the hall to make it look as if the conference was poorly attended.

    We often complain about BBC Scotland, but in many, many ways STV is worse by very wide margin.

  22. Croompenstein says:

    I don’t like that Alex Salmond is a cowards answer, it’s an answer from someone who willnae bother their arse looking for answers. I’m hoping that when they stand alone in the polling booth (if they go) the realisation will dawn on them when they read the question..Should Scotland be an independent country..of course it f*cking should

  23. We Are All Bourgeois Now says:

    Excellent article, thank you! I don’t know what the problem with my fellow women is, but I think a lot of it is people just not engaging in the debate yet, you know, we are all busy etc etc! 😉 I think in the last few weeks we will see people engaging more (I hope!).

    My 2 elder sisters (late 40s, educated, professional women) are both “Nos” – their reasons are “what if it all goes wrong? We can’t come back!”, and fears we will end up like Ireland, Greece, Spain etc! I cannot understand how they cannot see through these fears! One of my sisters was a poll tax rebel, nearly giving my dad a heart attack at the time by refusing to let him pay it, so I cannot understand how she still believes we are better with Westminster!

    Did anyone check out the Mumsnet debate I linked to a few days ago? The general consensus between the no voters was there was “no information” available, and what info they had read they don’t trust! People are wanting cast-iron guarantees when of course there is no certainty in anything! I don’t know how we get round that. It also seems that a lot of people are under the assumption that we hold the cards if we vote No, and Westminster will have to give in to our demands!!

  24. theycan'tbeserious says:

    Great article Lynn.

    Scottish history, and this period in Scottish history will be taught at school. Years from now the children of Scotland will look back at their parents and grand parents and say ” they set a country free and built a nation”. And be very proud knowing that their family made Scottish history.

  25. call me dave says:

    Met two young folk this morning handing out ‘Labour for Independence’ YES leaflets at our very busy wee local shopping centre in Pitteuchar Glenrothes.

    Had my YES badge on and so smiles all round.

    While I was in the shop waiting in the queue I was watching through the window and, not to my surprise, many folk were walking over to them to take a leaflet.

    Game on, without a doubt 🙂

  26. The Rough Bounds says:

    @croompenstein. 12.24pm

    Your foul language isn’t helping at all. Why can’t you see that?

  27. wingman 2020 says:

    The MSM (along with Labour and BT) have done a good job of demonising Alex Salmond.

    But it’s credit to the man and the SNP that after 7 years, the party is still riding high in the polls. And they have done that by being a good government. They have done a lot with the minimal power they have.

    I’d hazard a guess that there cannot be many women who find fault with Swinney’s competent and cautious handling of the Scottish economy.

    I think you are right Lynn, woman are thinking carefully before jumping one way of another.

    ‘Thinking women’ will see past the ‘Westminster Smokescreen’ to a Scottish Government that is making things better, Westminster parties that are out-of-touch and a future of hope over fear.

    People voting on Salmond’s looks or characteristics are in the minority and not worth the time to explain the difference between a beauty pageant, a general election and a Referendum for an opportunity to fix the country.

  28. Yesitis says:

    I`ve also experience the “I don`t like Alex Salmond, he`s smarmy” attitudes (from women and men). I usually suggest that no-one`s perfect and you can`t please all of the people all of the time, but there is a whole weird world out there waiting for Scots to vote No.
    The two words that should strike fear into the hearts of all Scots, male or female: Nigel Farage.
    And if you think Alex Salmond is smug git…

    So, let`s get talking.

  29. wingman 2020 says:

    @We are all Bourgeois

    Did anyone check out the Mumsnet debate I linked to a few days ago?

    You mean the one that the UK Government started with a paid propaganda advert trying to scare the bejesus out of pregnant women?

  30. Helena Brown says:

    Well Lynn, I thank you for your inspirational words. All my life I seem to have been out of step with what I like to call my sisters. I am a political animal and I have yet to meet outside of a Political Party another just like me. This is sad, because I know within the SNP, which is my Party, women are very much in evidence. All you need to do is look at the Parliament at Holyrood. Too many women bury their heads in the sand, saying “I am not interested”. They were the same when I was in the Union. When I gave up as Shop Steward, could I get a replacement. I know that having a family and running a home is a full time job, but taking an interest can be done while the kids sleep. Too many are somehow timid when having to speak and rely on people who aren’t. When I look at women’s lives in other parts of the World, what is so hard about reclaiming your country and giving your kids a better life, because believe me staying in this Union will not do that.

  31. futureproof says:

    I love the paragraph about uncertainty. My father-in-law told me he wanted to vote Yes but he needed guarantees about his pension (which he then got anyway). I asked him if he felt his pension was guaranteed in the Union? He’s voting Yes now.

    There are no guarantees about any issue, in or out of the Union – but we can make the decision makers more accountable and more representative of their electorate. It’s the simplest and lest frightening thing in the world really.

  32. Juteman says:

    When someone hits me with the old ‘I hate Alex Salmond routine’, I simply ask them, why?

  33. We Are All Bourgeois Now says:

    @Wingman 2020: Yes!

    I see some posters pulled them up about that though! I have to say, I am disappointed in Mumsnet’s approach. Will be interesting to see if they approach the Scottish Govt / Yes camp.

  34. Hil Mark says:

    Other than asking people to have a “Don’t read a newspaper or listen to the BBC week” and I think it’s very difficult to see how perceptions of those who don’t normally engage in politics are going to change. You can’t underestimate the impact of a constant background noise of anti Scotland and anti independence. Without engaging and having to make a slight effort to read up on the issue most instinctive reaction is No to change if you add the dripfeed of how dreadful independence would be, many don’t think they need to look into it any further – the media has confirmed their gut instinct.

  35. Tim F-G says:

    Great article, Lynn. Hope you contribute many more articles to Wings.

  36. caz-m says:

    Do women want to be linked to the Johann Lamont mind set.

    She will have to explain to her grandchildren how she fought tirelessly to oppose an Independent Scotland.

    She also demanded that Trident Nuclear Missiles should be retained at Faslane, along with the £100 Billion pound cost of replacing them.

    And we haven’t even started on food banks.

  37. TD says:

    Lynn your article is like a breath of fresh air. What a change from the usual disingenuous garbage that we get from MSM. It’s not as if a No vote will give us any certainty. It will just give us the uncertainty we know – will we still be in Europe, will we ever get rid of the Tory government (and if we do will UKIP displace them), will the Westminster government attack our social structures even more than they have already, will we be barred from welcoming immigrants who we need to balance our demographics. It’s quite unrealistic to seek certainty in any walk of life – but if we take responsibility for our own destiny then we can grow, learn, develop, improve.
    I for one whould very much like to see more from you Lynn – women’s perspectives have been under-represented in the debate so far.

  38. Truth says:

    @caz-m 1pm

    Lamont also tirelessly campaigned for No in 1979.

    Don’t let anyone forget it.

  39. GrabTheThistle says:

    To Our Lovely Girls:
    Don’t understand why women are reluctant to vote “YES”.
    My late mother was a woman and was conscripted to fight in WW2, she was posted to South West Wales to defend an airfield. She got nothing for it.

    All my 50 years adult life I tried to get her to vote for Scotland via the SNP(I’ve voted Labour and Liberal in the past, but my heart’s in the Highlands), but from her responses I don’t think I succeeded.

    She was coastal Highland(fishers) working class, very poor and hard working. Strangely we got the Daily Express in our household. I think she swallowed the propaganda, due to the secrecy and silence of the establishment, of course in her day there was no Internet. Strangely doted on the Queen and Queen mother, guess at her time Radio,TV, newspapers broadcast establishment propaganda all their lives.

    She was always scared of authority, If anyone came to the frontdoor she’d just about bark name, rank and number. I think Monarchy’s have to be a covert police states to cow their subjects(but of course in Scotland we are citizens), and keep the staus quo, and the establishment in their rich comfortable LandLord lives.

    Her drunken father disappeared to Canada in 1918, and she was orphaned at 10years and lived with grandma. Mam brought up 3young bairns on a widows pension and cleaned to make money. Its great being in the UNION, not.

    They were and are used as CannonFodder and RentSlaves. Its finally time to do the right thing and correct past injustices.

    You must Vote YES for a better life, a better life for your children and grandchildren.

    Maggie McPherson we Honour you.

    ps. Just saw Michael Portillo(who has Scottish mother) on his TV Train show saying “JamesII of England”, surely must be “JamesII of Great Britain” at the very least.

    Shows the mindset of Him and the English Establishment. If your voting YES your very very welcome indeed, as a new Scot.

    Portillo is always briefing against and putting down Scotland, strangely disrespecting the Scots and his Scottish mother.

  40. joe kane says:

    To think 100 years ago women weren’t allowed to vote.

    I think it’s brilliant that 16 year old women will get a vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

    To think they may go through the whole of their future adult life free from the soul-destroying, spirit-crushing, suffocating hypocrisy of the Westminster elite.

  41. We Are All Bourgeois Now says:

    Just realised Lynn Blair is a fellow home educator! 😀 I thought I recognised the name!

  42. Capella says:

    I agree Lynn. Taking responsibility for running our own affairs and helping our children to thrive and grow is all about the triumph of hope over fear. Once women engage with the issues then they do see the logic of voting for self-determination.

  43. Cyc says:

    Indeed. As I said to my sister: we have the Westminster tiger by the tail. We can’t let go until we have it in the ‘Yes’ cage.

  44. ronnie anderson says:

    Great article Lynn, there is only one certainty in life ,thats death & we have no control over time/place/circumstance,we as Parents have a duty to Guide/Guard/Nuture or Children/GChildren/GGChildren,so lets provide a better life for all Scots/and all the people who choose to live in Scotland,our lives dont belong to any Political Partys/Governments,we live within the dictats of them,lets take ownership more fully for the future wellbeing of our Ofspring,the seeds of change have been well and truly planted,and as Lynn says the tendrils will reach for the sunshine.Lynn I found years since a wee sprinkling of ( rooting powder work’s wonders )If I could I would sprinkle it all over Scotland.

  45. “Too many women bury their heads in the sand, saying “I am not interested”.

    At the hairdresser the only magazines to read are OK and similar clones. You ask someone if they are attending a local event, and the excuse is that they will miss Coronation Street or X-Factor. Not interested, shoulder shrug, no time, politicians are all the same. The chat is about what Kate was wearing, or what a favourite soap star did or didn’t do.

    Sadly, I think too many women have become disengaged with the real world. There are probably many reasons for that (not always difficult personal circumstances as many of the disengaged are comfortably off business people) but I fear ‘can’t be bothered’ is one of them. Chat at get-togethers is more about fluff, rarely if ever about politics. Where is the radical spirit of so many Scottish women during times of adversity hiding?

    How do we re-engage these women? Difficult, but a concerted effort is needed. Otherwise these disengaged women could well lose us the referendum.

  46. Cath says:

    Great article. I’m also sick of hearing “we need more information” or “but what will an independent Scotland look like?” or “What will it do for me?” Same with “I hate Salmond”.

    There’s a vast amount of information out there; no one can EVER tell you why they hate Salmond. All these lines are things people have just picked up from the media and are repeating without any though. And you know if they’re doing that then the “don’t have the information” whinge is because they haven’t looked beyond whatever daily newspaper they read and the BBC. Some never will, because they don’t want to. Others just need to be told to go and do their own research and given some steer on where to go to find the information. Then they can make up their own minds, based on facts.

    I don’t know anyone who’s actually gone and researched the facts and stayed a no. I know quite a few – all women – who were very sceptical, and insistent they weren’t going to get involved – who went and did the research and are now yes advocates. And I know a couple of no voters who are deliberately avoiding any information or facts because they don’t want to be shifted.

  47. sionnach says:

    An excellent piece, Lynn: well said!

    “sending out a tendril, feeling for the sun, hoping for the best” – a wonderful image of the new beginning that awaits.

    Like others, I’d love to hear from you again! 🙂

  48. ronnie anderson says:

    Alex Salmond speech on Sky at 3pm live.

    Joe Twyman on Yougov poll No 52% Yes 37%,how the rUk will react when there’s a overwhelming YES.

  49. SquareHaggis says:

    Good article here for the ladies

    Anyone got a link to Alex Salmonds live stream due on shortly?

  50. Juteman says:

    I must be strange, as I like the fact nobody knows what the future of an independent Scotland will be.
    It’s an exciting future, that can be anything we make it.

  51. Clootie says:

    Great article – thank you

  52. Juteman says:

    BBC are at it! The announcer just said, ‘and now we go live to Aberdeen for the Scottish NATIONALIST Party conference!

  53. caz-m says:

    I think we can all agree then, that if we can get more women voters to vote YES and more Labour voters to vote YES we win this referendum.

    Surely the YES Campaign and the SNP have sussed this out and will target these voters from now until 18th Sept.

    Give them the information they need in nice chunk sized bits, keep the message positive and uplifting.

    I also believe that a huge amount of voters have still to engage in the referendum debate.

    I know for some people that this is hard to believe, but that is the reality of where we are at the moment.

    It will change, and the closer we get to the vote the more they will engage.

    Soon we will have the eyes of the world on us with the Commonwealth Games and the pre-Ryder Cup events.

    And all these journalists from around the world are going to be asking questions about the referendum,

    so by default, the referendum will become world news, and this will be the turning point in the referendum.

  54. ericmac says:

    Has anyone else seen this? Am I the last to know about this? Shocking in many many ways.

  55. CameronB says:

    Balance is needed in order that harmony may prevail.

    I can’t think of anything less balanced than the hugely centralised British state and the apparently anti-democratic Westminster party.

  56. muttley79 says:

    Does anyone know where you can watch SNP conference on internet? The BBC link is not working….

  57. Robert Peffers says:

    There is only one suitable comment to that great article : –


    (And I’m not at all sorry for shouting it out loud).

  58. Robert Peffers says:

    @muttley79: “Does anyone know where you can watch SNP conference on internet? The BBC link is not working….”.

    Now THERE’S a surprise!

  59. muttley79 says:



  60. Morag says:

    Has just shown a bit of Nicola’s speech. Going to Stewart Hosie now I believe.

  61. mogabee says:

    Great article Lynn.

    I am going to print out a few copies and “introduce” it to various female friends who seem to be under the impression that the coming referendum is unimportant!

    It’s really difficult to believe but I was told recently that the referendum is “No fer me”! Fecking does my head in!!

    I do wear YES badges, YES stickers on my car, YES wristband and deliver all YES stuff through the doors, so it’s not as if I’m not trying!

    I generally find that the husbands locally are adamant they will be voting NO and perhaps that explains the problem.

    Anyway, I never give up…

  62. SquareHaggis says:

    Thanks Morag 😉

  63. Douglas Macdonald says:


    This poll was taken in September, 2013, and was widely publicised at the time. However, you will note that ALL secondary pupils took part, including those in 1st and 2nd year, who will NOT be eligible to vote in the referendum. It would be interesting to see if the exercise were to be repeated in the near future involving only those pupils, who are eligible to vote.

  64. Anne Lindsay says:

    Great article. Thank you Lynn
    Much of what has been expressed by others, I feel too. We need to highlight the point that if Westminster remains in charge after September, Scotland will have given its soul away. I wish all those reluctant to change, would realise that nothing will ever be the same again which ever way the vote goes. Better to take charge of your own destiny . This metaphorical article says everything very clearly . What a wonderful opportunity Scotland has to show her self as a grown up who can stand on her own two feet.


  65. call me dave says:

    Watching the FM’s speech talking Scotland up and noting how that wee gold YES badge twinkles.

  66. Gary McIlkenny says:

    Why are women are less inclined to vote “yes” than men?

    Could it be that (1) they are generally less interested in politics? and/or (2) they are generally more risk averse?

    Cue howls of protest from female yes voters!

    But there must be some reason for it. Maybe women will take an interest nearer the date. Maybe it is just because the don’t like AlecSammin (and have fallen for the no campaign’s personalisation of the debate).

    Whatever the reason, I hope a lot more sistas out there will wise up.

  67. Maid_in_Scotland says:

    Hello, I’ve been following ‘Wings’ for a couple of months and have finally plucked up the courage to join the debate. I’ve been naturally drawn to Independence for many decades and remember going to see Margo Macdonald in Edinburgh in the 1970’s – I was SO impressed. Now retired and living quietly in the north Highlands.

    As a woman of advanced years (!) I find it difficult to get too involved in debate, because 1) I get rather too quickly angry with people’s often sneering dismissal of THEIR OWN COUNTRY (grrr..) and 2) I’m not very good with criticism (personal trait) so tend to keep my mouth shut. However, what I find is that when I do meet with someone of like mind (male or female), certainly up here, there is a tendency to ‘test the water’ very carefully first rather then dive headlong in, then breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a meaningful and positive discussion. Oh, how the establishment has conditioned us!

    Here’s an example of the sort of reason one lady gave me for not voting SNP at the last council elections:

    “I can’t stand these two – Salmond and Sturgeon.”

    “Why?” I enquired


    No doubt she couldn’t or wouldn’t have been willing to discuss the pro’s and con’s of viable, safe, cheap alternatives. All she knows is that every time she flicks a switch the lights come on, so who needs a wind turbine?

    Finally, there are times I feel a tad ashamed of my fellow Scots and sorry this has been such a long post. Will try to make any future ones more ‘pithy’.

  68. ronnie anderson says:

    ‘call me dave, ah hiv’na got ma Wings Gold badge as yet, but ah hiv a wee twinklie Gold Yes badge as some noted in the Counting House.lolaaah think ah hiv a couple of silver wans tae.

  69. msean says:

    Well said Lynn. It’s about a better future.

  70. liz says:

    Welcome Maid_in_Scotland – the threads go so fast sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

    I think there are a lot of folk like you reading and hopefully we can convince a lot of the DKs as the evidence is there just not in the MSM.

  71. Tam Jardine says:

    Thank you Lynn – a beautiful piece of writing. It makes me think of the other demographics where there is plenty of opportunity to spread the word and pick up yes votes: the elderly and the new voters/16/17/18 year olds. This has maybe been done in posts before I started following the site but anyone fancy trying a similar effort addressing either group? Maybe one of our Generation Yes team for instance.

    Those on Facebook that disseminate this to their friends – this single piece of writing on its own will translate into an unknown number of votes. Make it a big number.

  72. Andrew Reid says:

    An inspirational article for many people – so, apologies if it comes over as negative, but even with all the postings coming below the article, I’m none the wiser about why a large majority of women, according to the opinion polls, are intending to vote No, And that goes especially for women aged 16 to 34. Understanding the reasons would make it easier to address the issues in the yes campaign. So, why is it? I genuinely haven’t a clue.

  73. Capella says:

    Welcome to the debate. I only discovered these sites in January and was so pleased to find fellow travellers. I read the posts, and all the comments, then read the other blogs and Newsnet etc and it takes hours every day but I believe it’s time well spent as there is a dearth of good information out there. Who needs the MSM.

  74. Thepnr says:

    @Lynn loved the article, showed it to my wife who for some reason is usually reluctant to read articles on Wings. She enjoyed yours though. Just after she had read it, Nicola Sturgeon was being interviewed at the conference.

    When the interview was over my wife said “she is the SNP’s greatest asset” which quite surprised me. Maybe by September she might be saying the same about Alex Salmond.


    I like long posts and yours was a good one. Welcome to Wings, hope to read more of your thoughts and experiences.

  75. ronnie anderson says:

    @Maid_in_Scotland, it was maid Marion that hid in a forest, welcome to the site,express yourself however long that is, there’s pithy wit an banter,an some o the ranter,but a welcoming site, so dont you be feirt of posting,spread the word tae awe yer friends as weil.

  76. Morag says:

    I’m going to make a couple of printouts of that too, in the hope of getting the chance to give them to a wavering female voter. It hits just the right note for some people I think.

  77. CameronB says:

    Glad you chose to join in and hope you feel better now you’ve gotten that off your chest. 🙂

    The establish have indeed conditioned society well, through the MSM, but they do not appear overly confident as to its effectiveness. Hence Project Fear.

    Katorga 🙂

  78. Croompenstein says:

    Just after lunch sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting the FM’s speech. The Missus asked what I am doing, I’m waiting on the FM’s speech says I, oh no you’re not says she you are going out to get that grass cut!

    First cut so needed strimmed, raked up then mowed so missed the FM’s speech! Then people wonder why I sweer!

  79. Croompenstein says:

    sorry – meant to say welcome Maid in Scotland great first post

  80. Margaret says:

    I don’t understand how some people out there will go to any lengths to find out the latest about celebrities and gossip but when it comes to something as important as what effects their lives and their children’s lives they are prepared to sit back and let someone else make decisions for them, surely what impacts on your children’s life is a lot more important than what goes on in someone else’s.

  81. Margaret says:

    By the way this is my first post

  82. Bill Walters says:

    “anyone genuinely looking at the arguments, not to mention the behaviour of those on both sides of the debate, could hardly fail to be convinced that independence is a good thing”

    This sort of statement presumably comes from the right place, but I don’t think it does anyone any favours. No matter how strongly someone might support/oppose independence, you have to operate from the standpoint that it’s perfectly possible for honest, reasonable, intelligent people to weigh up the evidence and come to a different conclusion (yes, really).

    That means accepting that some people will vote No for perfectly legitimate reasons and trying to reason with them on an equal footing – not lecturing them on perceived ignorance. Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing an online discussion in which someone tentatively puts forward an entirely reasonable point against independence only to receive a torrent of self-righteous gibberish in reply (as if merely suggesting there might be some limited flaw in the concept of independence is a perspective so utterly moronic that only a complete simpleton could hold it).

    So as to the gender divide there is obviously a reason why women are less likely to support independence than men. I would guess it’s likely related to broad underlying attitudes rather than the specifics of the campaign. One explanation might be that the doctrine of nationalism is less prevalent among women than it is among men. For instance, if you have a regionalist outlook rather than a national one there’s less to recommend independence – we’re discussing a principle in which regional representation in Westminster (which will still impact on our lives) is sacrificed for greater autonomy at the national (Scottish) level.

  83. Maid_in_Scotland says:

    Thank you for your welcomes. Regarding OLDER ladies and their views on Scotland’s future, I am afraid that most around these parts are rather thirled to the establishment – Queen and country, standing thegither in two wars and all that. Change is difficult for them and they are rather apprehensive which is something perhaps we more determined folk should appreciate.

    One of my friends is genuinely concerned about her state pension upon which she relies entirely (as I do) and whether it will continue to be paid. Don’t all sigh at once, please, – but she feels she needs more information, like where will her pension come from etc. Now, she has no computer, and relies entirely on TV, radio, and one newspaper a day, which currently is – oops – Scottish Daily Express FOR THE CROSSWORD (it used to be the P & J), but she does read a lot of the main news items.

    I have finally persuaded her to start reading with a more critical eye, and she is now much more sceptical of the rubbish it churns out. She is still undecided, though, but I’m getting there. As to her little group of acquaintances at the lunch club etc, it’s a resounding no, I’m afraid. I suppose they feel safe with the status quo and this is reflected, from what I gather, throughout the older community here.

    What can we do to change their minds? And the sad fact is that many have families living far away, many in England and quite a lot abroad. That’s the tragedy of Scotland, particularly the north, and the fact that the London-centric establishment couldn’t really care less, does not seem to register with them. Do they feel obliged to the establishment for some reason? I wish I understood.

    Hope I don’t sound too downbeat here, as I enjoy ‘Wings’ for its upbeat tone, but there is another reality around, unfortunately to which we must face up.

  84. Morag says:

    I don’t understand how some people out there will go to any lengths to find out the latest about celebrities and gossip but when it comes to something as important as what effects their lives and their children’s lives they are prepared to sit back and let someone else make decisions for them, surely what impacts on your children’s life is a lot more important than what goes on in someone else’s.

    Maybe because finding out about independence requires one to be active rather than passive? It’s an intellectual exercise. It requires one to sift ad evaluate data and arguments. Reading what Posh and Becks are wearing is relatively undemanding stuff.

  85. Morag says:

    One of my friends is genuinely concerned about her state pension upon which she relies entirely (as I do) and whether it will continue to be paid. [….] I suppose they feel safe with the status quo and this is reflected, from what I gather, throughout the older community here.

    I would be getting my state pension now – except they changed the rules and now I have to wait another five years. I had fully expected to retire next year, but for various reasons all related to decisions taken in London, I can’t.

    I don’t feel at all safe with the status quo. It scares me rigid. I really, really don’t want to be dependent on the good mercies of Westminster in my old age.

  86. Andy_B says:

    Great article Lynn, and as I walk around my local park I see the trees beginning to slowly blossom,especially the early blooming Cherry trees, they brighten up my day,and when I look at them I think, one day Scotland, will be in full bloom, hopefully the 19th of September, will be that day.

  87. Paula Rose says:

    Lots of new ladies! Hello Maid_in_Scotland and Margaret. Parity soon.

  88. Croompenstein says:

    Good stuff Margaret welcome to the world of posting

  89. dramfineday says:

    Lynn, thank you for a very thought provoking article, beautifully put. Welcome both Maid_in_Scotland and Margaret, hope to see more comments from you both in the future.

    Kind regards


  90. radweesis says:

    Thanks, Lynn, for such a thoughtful, eloquent article.

    Perhaps it’s time for us all to write “Dear Women of Scotland” letters, putting our own female slant.

    The article sparked off discussion at our street stall in Gourock today about how to tackle the female vote more efficiently. Has anyone thought about a women-only poll which tries to elicit the stumbling blocks – or at least shed more light on them?

    The more information we have, the more it will spark ideas for action.

  91. Jeannie says:


    Welcome to you and the other ladies who are posting comments and thanks, Lynn, for the article, which I greatly enjoyed. I’ve been posting comments here for a couple of years now and female voices were few and far between for quite a long time. It’s lovely that so many women are joining in the conversation these days (no harm to the men, by the way).

    Re the pensions issue, I’d suggest that you write a letter to the DWP asking them what the status of your pension would be in the event of a vote for independence. They will reply to you, as they have done to some of the Wings readers who have already written to them, and will assure you that your pension will be perfectly safe if Scotland becomes independent. You can then show both letters to your friend. That might help reassure her….but if she’s a definite No, she’ll probably come up with something else to object to, sadly.

  92. Training Day says:

    What a depressing last few comments. It is difficult for many of us to understand why people wouldn’t want to govern themselves and instead hand responsibility to less than benign politicians in a different country, but perhaps some people are irretrievable. The thought that they could lose us the referendum is actually beyond depressing.

  93. Anne Lawrie says:

    Excellent article – thank you. I believe, as many others do, that women can take longer to make their minds up, but I also believe that once they have, they are more thoroughly committed to their decision. The females of any species will defend their offspring to the death! I am an old(er) woman and whatever way the vote goes in September, it won’t affect me, personally, very much. However, I want a better, fairer society for my children, grandchildren and their offspring. As long as there is one foodbank or one hungry child in Scotland, I will fight to the best of my ability!!

  94. Croompenstein says:

    @Training Day – it’s painful, some days you get so up with enthusiasm then the feet get taken from under you with negativity from people who neither look nor care about the democratic deficiency we are forced to accept, please please come September let it end.

  95. JGedd says:

    I usually find that all-female company expects absolute agreement in the ranks – no dissent is acceptable. There is a nervousness about anything considered controversial and anyone who introduces such a subject learns to shut up or you won’t be invited again.

    Personally, I have never found this smothering consensus conducive and prefer mixed company. I don’t think that it is anything to do with biology but everything to do with female conditioning which feels safer, in a male world, in an atmosphere of group solidarity.

    I have never felt comfortable with it and having only had sons I don’t really know whether younger women are similarly motivated to seek only the company of the like-minded. So, as I have often told my sons, if you are looking for enlightenment about women don’t ask me.

    In case you think I’m one of those awful women who ingratiates themselves with male company by running down women, let me say that I find men puzzling too and perhaps we could look to a (still) male-dominated world for the reasons why women are so keen to be seen as conciliatory and protective of the status quo?

  96. HorseHead says:

    A Toast to the Lassies:
    I’ve just watched BBC Professor John Curtice comment on Alex Salmond SNP Aberdeen conference.

    I’ve been watching him since he first appeared on TV, perhaps for last 10years.
    I recall coming across him on BBC TV in Labours Blair/Browm, (Lord)JackMcConnell / WendyAlexander(spouse Prof.Brian Ashcroft) years.

    BBC NewsNight Scotland never once declared Economics Prof.Brian Ashcroft is married to Wendy Alexander! I haven’t seen him for a while, he always used to rubbish Scotlands economy but I believed he has changed! He’s no longer seen on BBC! BBC now has a longfaced sourmouth Prof. Jo Armstong and she always negative!

    Prof Curtice is OxBridge graduate in Politics, Philosophy and Economics(PPE), a 3year course, effectively 1year study for each subject. Go figure!

    Today his body language was suspect, I regard myself as an expert in human behaviour. He was constantly fluttering his eyelids, rocking side to side on his backside. I judge this to be the nervous behaviour of a liar. He was interviewed by the ever stuttering BBC Glen Campbell, another troll.

    YESer’s always finish posts upbeat and show themselves, BetterTogether trolls don’t.

    I’m a TrollHunter General and I find Prof Curtice guilty as a BetterTogether Union Troll. Listen to him with caution!

  97. John Gourlay says:

    very impressed by sentiments. It is about the grandchildren. I watch my wife’s grandchildren and i know I would not want them to have to pay tuition fees just because we voted to stay in a union that really no longer exists. I have friends in England who cannot see why we should not vote for Independence. Westminster is not a British parliament it is a parliament of stock-brocker want-to-be’s who have no real concept of what the stock market is about. London is quite possibly the richest area in the world but it has poor poeple that would embaress a third world nation. Let us be Independent and let the Londoners tackle their own problems.

  98. Croompenstein says:

    He was interviewed by the ever stuttering BBC Glen Campbell, another troll

    Nae relation I hope?..

  99. rab_the_doubter says:

    I’m not usualy the sentimental tyoe but that was a beautiful bit of writing.

    When I started taking an interest it was from a position of ‘not having enough info’. And, do you know what, when I actually decided to start looking for information there it was. Simple. If people can use the Internet to look up celeb gossip then finding information about the referendum should not be a challenge.
    Had a good day today, a goodly number of Aye Right business cards distributed to the information hungry masses.
    I’m at the stage now where ‘rab_the_doubter’ is ‘rab_the_totally_convinced’.

  100. Patrician says:

    To Lynn, thanks for this article, most upbeat one I thinnk I’ve read in some time.

    @HorseHead,9:42pm. Listen to everyone with caution.

  101. Robert Peffers says:

    This is the first of several verses of the Robert Burns poem : –

    “The Rights of Women”.

    “While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things,
    The fate of Empires and the fall of Kings;
    While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
    And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
    Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
    The Rights of Woman merit some attention.”

  102. Lynn Blair says:

    Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. I’m a long time reader of Wings, but this post was originally written for my own readers and certainly not with this audience in mind. I don’t think I’d have written in the same style if I had felt all of you in the room with me!

    Maybe it works here though. Maybe we’ve hit on something. While I’m so glad the campaign at large has concentrated on the facts, there may be room for a little heart as the day gets closer. For me this issue is part of my family life: my husband and I talk about it every day, the children who are old enough ask questions, we explain our ideas and there’s lots of chat about what we hear on the radio or see in the headlines. If they grow up seeing how politics is woven in to their everyday lives, then we’ll be happy. And just as I wrote that, a three year old asked me to draw a smiley face on a stone!

    And yes, I’d love to write here again. It’s a privilege.

  103. Doogi Bee says:

    A lot of women and men will vote no because they dont like Alex Salmond..a friend of mine liken this remark to saying..I’m not getting in the rescue Helicopter cos I dont like the try and explain that its not a vote for AS but onto deaf ears it falls..sad really…xxx

  104. rab_the_doubter says:

    Doogi Bee,

    Rescue Helicopter – good one.

  105. Debs Sanderson says:

    Dear Lynn,

    details of our Independence Blethers events.
    It is designed for answering questions from undecided Women, without talking at them, or down to them in a ‘round-table-chewin’-the fat’ model.
    hot buffet supper, as well as satirical entertainment from 4 Gals and a Piano (we have extended our repertoire!).
    Come along for an informative and enjoyable evening, and get the answers you deserve!
    Looking forward to meeting you or providing you with info so as to set up an Indy Blethers night for yourself in the community you know best.

    With very best AYEs,
    Debs Sanderson

  106. Am says:

    are we really being this behind?
    The decision to vote Yes is not about traditional politics. It’s about a politics of the heart, an inner knowing, a truth that has been denied me by history.

    In 1992, I was living in Florida. We were asked to write an article envisioning what we would have achieved by 2005. We were also encouraged to be as ambitious as possible while doing this.

    I immediately became a freedom fighter in my imagination. So ingrained in my psyche was the need to be Scottish that my vision was to help my country to be free through peaceful activism. I still have a handwritten copy of this article and interestingly it includes the phrase ‘As the economic climate changed, she gradually realised that the dream (of independence) wasn’t as impossible as it seemed.’

    What is important here is that this need was foremost in my heart and my mind. I spent my childhood watching biased media representations of my country and my people. Thanks to my English mother, I grew up knowing something was wrong, out of kilter. I felt the disconnection from my heritage. I knew things weren’t right.

    This vote isn’t about policies. It’s about a reconnection with who we are. An ability to stand in our own power again. Once we achieve the means to take care of ourselves, the policies can and will be determined, by us and for us. This is the best opportunity we will have in our lifetimes to help steer our country in a new, positive, nurturing direction.

    For isn’t that one of women’s greatest gifts; the ability to nurture. We want to protect our bairns, our family, friends, heck, we want to protect the world itself. But how can we do that when we are denied our sense of identity? How can we make them be proud of themselves when we are isolated from our sense of self? Prevented from making the very decisions that matter most for our kin?

    It is our responsibility to make those feelings, the need for connection and the necessity for a return to heart-led politics, vocal and visible. And if we need inspiration to draw from, let us look to the emancipation of our communities, the achievements of the Isles of Eigg and Gigha, of Assynt, in initiating vital change. And remember how important female voices were in achieving those goals. As Alastair McIntosh makes clear in ‘Soil and Soul’, ‘it became more and more apparent that the campaign…was being driven forward, in no small measure, by its womenfolk.’

    Admittedly, the fear of change can manifest in a conservative (decidedly with a small c) attitude. My mother, who taught me to be fiercely pro Scottish, is worried about a lot of the ‘what ifs’ if independence happens.

    I get this. I understand her fear. But this is the woman who taught me to be proud. So I can believe. I can stand in my power and have faith that if we take the first step back to owning our country we can achieve greatness. In fact, it’s the only choice we have if we want to improve our lives and the lives of those around us

  107. Alexa says:

    Dear Christ, what a load of fucking compost. This woman teaches? She writes like a ten year old with a make-a-wish book

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