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An indyref Yes would mean most for Scots with everything to gain

Given the style of some headline writers, it feels like a scoop to write: "I can exclusively reveal that the forthcoming Referendum is not about Alex Salmond or the SNP, or indeed the Labour or any other political party."

It is about the people of Scotland and the future of their governance. If the referendum belongs to anyone, it is Scotland's voters, their future and that of their children, rather than the political fortunes of the parties.

The SNP is not the only party supporting independence and neither is it the only party eligible to form a government after independence.

It can be depressing to see daily evidence that there are those in the media and political life who are incapable or unwilling to raise the debate above party politics - on either side of the argument.

Charles Kennedy's recent call for more positivity from the Better Together campaign is timely, but the make-up of that alliance is flawed in that its leading members are all associated with failure.

Darling and Brown were in control when the crash occurred; Labour is out of power north and south of the Border; the Tories are unwelcome in Scotland, and the Liberal Democrats are fatally damaged by their involvement in the Coalition.

If they could look past their party loyalties at the prospects for a different kind of Scotland, they could eschew the negativity of electioneering positions.

The potential for change offered by those who would urge a Yes vote will always be more positive than those who have failed, and their mantra of 'Be careful!'

Focusing on the needs of the people rather than the party allows for change and innovation. For UK parties, the need to sway those million or so middle England voters as a means to winning a Westminster majority will always be the prism through which Scottish politics is seen.

Whatever your views on the latest Scottish Labour proposals for devolution, they would only be enacted if it suits the electoral ambitions of the London party.

Meanwhile we are told that the 'poorest in Scotland' will be 'hit hardest' by independence when they are already in that category through the policies followed by successive UK governments.

It is telling that the parties who are not trammelled by hopes of a Westminster victory, such as the Greens and the SNP, are those most willing to embrace change, and that many who will be voting Yes are not linked to any political party at all.

When Michael Gove complains about the number of Etonians in the UK Cabinet and when one looks at the Oxbridge and public school backgrounds of so many in influential political positions, it is clear that UK politics is in a bad and narrow place, as voter disengagement suggests.

It is rare that countries get the chance to 'start again' politically, but Scotland has that chance this year.

Of course, there are risks involved in becoming independent, but I suspect 'Scotland's poorest' might prefer those risks to the certainties of austerity and narrow government, and if the Referendum should belong to anyone, it's to the most vulnerable, with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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