The indyref has split Scottish opinion right down the middle.

Every day I'm surprised by friends I see coming out in favour of one side or the other. Unlike any other vote in living memory, opinions seem to be divided within every demographic, geographic, economic and religious group - there seems to be no pattern to voting intention that I can see.

In recent weeks, I've been asked my opinion by friends on social media, which has forced me to really analyse the arguments for the first time. My opinion at the end of those discussions surprised even me, so I'd like to share the thought processes which have brought me from an undecided to a yes voter in the space of a month.

First, a disclaimer. If I was to try to define my economic or political outlook in a few words it would be this: I have reality hunger. I don't care what the truth is, how comforting or unpalatable, just as long as it's the truth as best as I can see it.

On that basis, here's my take...

We're always reminded that the UK is doing incredibly well - now out of recession and one of the richest countries in the world. That recovery might be evident in the south east of England, but in Scotland things are looking very different.

Scotland is the UK's engine room: we staff the Tesco Bank call centres for customers in Tunbridge Wells; we run the IT systems so that RBS group ATMs work in Devon; and we host thousands of acres of wind farms so that the UK can meet its carbon reduction obligations.

Let's take manufacturing. Not everybody is cut out for an office job. In England, hundreds of thousands of people work in global export manufacturing - making the Nissan Juke, the Honda Civic, or whatever - just as we used to build ships on the Clyde.

Those types of jobs don't come to Scotland because there's no incentive to base themselves in a sub-optimal location: if the UK government offers the right incentives to attract global manufacturers to the UK, those companies will rightly set up operations in Birmingham, Milton Keynes or Swindon because they have good transport links and a wide network of local suppliers - a virtuous circle, for them.

An independent Scotland could (and the current administration proposes to) set a lower rate of corporation tax so that global companies have a reason to set up their European bases here rather than in England.

Just like Google and others did in Ireland. Some of those companies will bring jobs in manufacturing, IT and other areas. Others will just use us a way to pay less tax, but maybe that's OK - 17% of a lot is better than 20% of nothing.

The long term view is that we'll have more big companies doing a bigger spread of their core operations here, and with a better variety of jobs. People with manual skills will be able to do skilled manual work instead of sitting in a call centre or bricklaying.

The main argument against independence is that there could be short-term risk as we realign our economy and create different jobs. An element of this is true, but it's overblown. Yes, longer term some companies might choose to relocate to England, but they're going to do it over the space of decades, not overnight.

Why? Because they have talented, trained staff in Scotland. Because it typically costs 70% of an annual salary (between recruitment fees, training and downtime) to replace a single member of staff. No plc is going to incur those costs unnecessarily. Banks are routinely, naturally multinational entities - they go (and stay) where the talent is.

And in the longer term we'll create new jobs in our own economy: we'll need our own vehicle licensing agency, new government departments, regulators, etc, all creating new, skilled jobs over and above those that our tax regime will attract in the private sector.

Most of the scare stories about independence are arguably an argument for independence. For example, we're told that the UK funds many of the wind farm projects in Scotland, and there's an implication that we couldn't afford all these wind projects as an independent country.

Why is the UK throwing money into wind farms? Because, under the 2008 Climate Change Act, it has to meet some fairly ambitious carbon reduction targets. Why isn't the government building these wind farms in England? Because the topography of much of the land isn't efficient for wind production and because nobody in densely populated England wants them in their back garden.

So, to meet their targets, England would have to buy in green energy from other countries and Scotland is the most practical source in terms of generation and transmission. So we'd be broadly where we are now. The difference is that they'd have to pay not only for the investment, but also effectively a tax for the blot on our landscape which hurts our tourism industry. Oil isn't our future - our massive natural resources in wind, wave and hydro is.

Military power is also a big consideration. Westminster politicians boast that we have the fourth largest army in the world. Why is that a good thing? Personally, I'm not sure we have the moral high ground to be the World Police.

It makes us all individually targets for terrorists while delivering no perceivable benefit to the average man or woman. I'm all for doing our bit to eliminate threats and persecution, but right now we're the school bullies.

And on a related note: Trident. Whatever threats and scare stories rUK makes about the future - the ability to share sterling until we're brave enough to launch our own currency or whatever - remember we have a massive bargaining chip.

For most of my lifetime, I have lived inside the nuclear dead zone - the area on the West of Scotland that would be irradiated and made uninhabitable in the event of a nuclear attack or accident.

To arrange an orderly handover of Trident, we'll probably have to hang on to the Coulport base for 10 years or more, but rUK will have to pay heavily for that concession.

The people of the West of Scotland should always have had a "danger money" subsidy for sitting right on the nuclear curtain between Russia and the US - we'd be the first target if it all kicked off. So at least this way we either get the compensation we deserve - for a risk no other part of the UK is willing to take - or the missiles go.

We're told that the UK is one of the richest nations on earth. That may be true on paper, but what are the tangible benefits? Do we have great roads, amazing public transport and the best schools? No. Does a software developer get paid more in the UK than in Holland (or any other Northern European nation)? No. So who exactly is benefiting from "us" being a rich country? Not us.

On the subject of affordability, if Scotland really was a net cost to the UK - getting out more than we put in - then the UK would be kicking us out, not begging to keep us. My only question for English MPs would be: what's in this for you?

Alistair Darling is fond of rolling out the pensions argument: that the UK is best placed to ensure pension provision in the years ahead. Pensions aren't an unknown variable that go up and down - our pension obligations can be predicted decades in advance.

So having a bigger country doesn't help smooth out the bumps because there aren't bumps, there's just a growing pension time bomb for the whole of the UK.

Scotland does very badly out of the current arrangements. We pay in the same amount as the rest of the UK and get pension payouts at the same rate too. Yet the truth is that Scots die younger than people in England, so proportionally we lose out by about 25%.

Better Together keep pulling this one out of the bag because it plays into public fears and because the Yes campaign can't tell the truth: we'll be able to afford better pensions than the UK because we die younger. Nobody wants to hear that.

Independence could potentially help us to live longer - by creating more investment in health and leisure services, by creating jobs that are less sedentary and more fulfilling, etc - but even if it doesn't achieve that we'd still have a bigger pension pot to spend on our own people.

Similar arguments work against almost every Better Together scare story, but it would take all day to debunk them all. There's a simple test for any BT scare story: if that's true, why do they still want us so badly?

But the key argument for me in favour of a Yes vote is the whole package. Yes, there will be changes, likely some good and some bad, but at the end of the day I think we'll be happier as a nation.

We won't be the backroom staff, answering the phone calls and stoking the boilers for business in London, we'll be a nation, trading on an equal footing with England and the rest of the world.

All things considered, if anyone believes that independence is a negative in the long term it means only one thing: they think as a nation we're too stupid or lazy to run our country as well as any other nation with massive natural resources and an educated population.

Personally, I have more faith in my fellow man than that.