I’ve always been interested in Politics. Politics is everything and everywhere. Apathy is rife though. The Scottish Independence Referendum has really reawakened my activism; specifically the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) Conference in November. A gathering of mainly left leaning pro Indy groups, including Yes Scotland, the SNP, the SSP, the Scottish Greens, Women For Independence, the Jimmy Reid Foundation, the Commonweal, National Collective and many others! The diversity of people coming together in support of Yes was inspiring, not just from Scotland but around the world.
I listened as a variety of speakers delivered the positive case for Independence. Of radical, progressive, lasting change to bring about a fairer society, putting people first, not profit. A greener Scotland, built on equality and social justice. Hope not fear. An end to fuel poverty. Land tenure and ownership reform; promoting community ownership over corporate terror. An end to austerity. A diverse, bottom up economy, high wage, high skill. No more banker bailouts and no nukes! New ideas and a rejection of neoliberalism. Sensible investment of oil revenues to facilitate diversification into a publicly owned renewable energy industry. A fairer, progressive tax system and an end to tax avoidance by wealthy elites.
Last night was my third time out canvassing in Aberdeen; knocking on doors and talking to people about the Independence Referendum. The first time I was really nervous. In fact the second and third time I was still pretty nervous, but once you begin to engage with someone and talk about the issues that affect them it becomes very natural. Not everyone wants to talk, not everyone will agree with you, and not everyone is open minded. If I can help pique the interest of just one person; if I can encourage one person to consider the issues when they haven’t before; if I can bring one person from no to maybe; if I can bring one person from maybe to YES, then it’s worth every minute, every hour, every cold, rainy, windy, snowy evening pounding the streets. The mainstream media represent the status quo. They are not presenting the debate fairly or responsibly. We need to get out and talk to real people about the real issues, particularly in regeneration areas where people stand to benefit most from radical, progressive change.
This referendum is not a general election. It’s not about political parties. This is not about Labour, Conservative, SNP, Liberal Democrat. This is about whether you believe that people who live in Scotland should make decisions about the issues that affect Scotland. Whether you want more and better or whether you want the status quo. This is about whether you want to shape your own future or let someone else dictate it for you. I don’t want to be part of the generation that missed this opportunity. I am voting Yes because I know Scotland can be a strong, independent country; an example to others and somewhere I can be proud to call home. Dream big and work hard to make it a reality. Another Scotland is coming. Another Scotland is possible. Our Scotland, for all of us.