• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

The Referendum Q & A: Liz Lochhead

This is the latest in our series where eminent Scots explain their attitudes to Scottish independence and how they'll be voting.

Liz Lochhead was named as Scotland's Makar, or national poet, in 2011.

Which way will you be voting? 

Yes. Unless something I can't at the moment imagine comes along and changes my mind.

What are your reasons for this? 

Because I think this is a COUNTRY - not a region of the 'United Kingdom' or 'Great Britain', which I don't feel is either united or great. My reasons are, in part, emotional  - but I think many people's are going to be, whichever way they choose to vote, and we may as well admit this. Mine are strongly, though not sentimentally, cultural.

Is this something you’ve always believed?

No. Way back at the time of the first, failed, referendum I was, I remember, very anti any form of 'nationalism', equating it automatically with jingo-ism and even with fascist tendencies!

And at the time I swallowed the Labour Party Line that 'we would be over governed and over administered, just have another whole extra bureaucracy in place' and was much more interested in gender politics and identity, class, socialism and internationalism. (I used to say 'my country is womankind' which, of course, I now find quite embarrassing,  but, hey, different days and I was young!)

After the referendum I was ashamed and thought 'What kind of a country doesn't want to have more of a say in its own affairs?' And, gradually, I've realised it would be perfectly possible to pursue the same concerns as I've always had as an equal European and a citizen of a small, independent country. One that didn't think itself 'better' than any other, but one perfectly capable of taking responsibility for itself.

What benefits do you think this will have on Scotland?

Independence. Freedom to make fiscal and other choices to improve our far from perfect society. I am somehow optimistic about this, confident about the deep, core values of my fellow Scots. 

Have you always had an interest in politics?

Only as much as any other glad-to-be-enfranchised citizen. It's not a passion. I was, very briefly, a member of the Labour party in, I think , the late seventies. (Could've been very early eighties). I've not been a member of any party since letting that lapse, and think it unlikely I would be again. I am interested in this Big Change because it could not help but be dynamic and exciting.

How do you define your identity?

Scottish, female, writer, senior citizen.

What are your views on Scotland and the UK’s relationship with the EU?

I can see the EU is sometimes a very scary thing. But worth it. And I do believe in associations of equals.

What are your views on free tertiary education, health care for the elderly and welfare?

Desirable. Essential. Worth every penny of higher taxes to pay for them. 

Did the Olympic Games or the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 have any bearing on your opinion?

Nope.

What do you think of Alex Salmond’s plans for a constitution?

I think we ought, of course, to have a constitution. I would very much like to be 'a citizen' and not 'a subject'.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

151435