On the 18th September we are all being asked to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives. The decision we take will not only affect the future of our children but also their children and so on. This decision can give the people of Scotland Hope for a better future with our own government. I am very saddened to read in the newspapers the result of a poll which showed that so many women are afraid to vote yes as they are too ”feart of what will happen after a YES vote wins” I have been writing and changing this for over a week now. It is worth it to me if it helps others to make up their minds whether they are Yes or No voters. In this post I am trying to get some information over to as many women as I can in plain speak about the issues. I know it is a bit long and I don’t apologise for it. So here goes:
I believe that the working people with families don’t have enough of the facts and figures in easy speak terms to come to the decision they need to make. This is probably down to the busy lives they lead. So I will try to give you as much information here as I possibly can: How many jobs have been lost in Scotland since the 1980’s? I come from a left of centre background Labour supporting family steeped in Labour tradition, believing in social justice, equality, a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work and looking as a society which is more than about money. We now live in a society where we know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
I was a traditional Labour supporter all of my adult life, was a Member of the Labour Party and canvassed for them throughout the 1970’s 80’s and 90’s. My husband and I have a comfortable lifestyle, our own home, holiday a few times a year and no financial worries. However, financial interests are not what motivates me to vote Yes, which seems to be the main thrust of the comments I have taken days to read through by the NO Campaign.
I am more interested in a fairer and just society with policies being undertaken by a Scottish Government on behalf of the Scottish People and not by a Westminster Government which has lied to us for years. I have watched as many friends and family have been put on the scrapheap by losing jobs (ones that were often regarded as safe), losing their homes and most of all losing their Hope. Where we are in Scotland is not good enough. The Westminster Government is not serving the people of Scotland who need it most and has not done for many years. We live in a society which is the 4th most unequal in the world. Make no mistake this Referendum is about those who have and those who haven’t.
If you look at any of the housing estates in Scotland, a lot of which are a failure of Labour which i used to support, you will see not only the the young people who never had a job but also the working people who are having to depend on food-banks. The fact that Labour over so many years has failed to deliver to those people who need it most is a disgrace. In Ayr life expectancy for men is now 68. One in four baby boys born this year will die before they are 65! Labour at Westminster should hang their heads in shame. They are coming up here talking about borders, currency etc promising us this and that if we vote NO.
We have fallen for these promises many times in the past but NEVER again. What happened to the promises from the Thatcher Government – they gave us the Poll Tax. They also brought our country to it’s knees. Dismantled our coal industry, manufacturing and so many others. They were the ones who brought us high unemployment. They are trying to tell us we are thinking with our heart. Forget it, we are thinking with our brains – we are waking up to what this is all about. We are waking up to a level of injustice and a society that is so unfair to the people at the bottom that we have to do something else.
Do I think that Independence is going to solve everything – no I don’t. Will there be negotiations, lots of treaties, will it be hard? Yes it will be at times, but I’ll tell you what – we will be doing it from a position of sovereignty, where we can truly represent the people of this country and we can organise ourselves better. That is my vision and that is why I am voting for Independence. If there are still people out there who are voting no, well go and look at the arguments.
If you still have fear and you look at the arguments and think I don’t know or I am still voting no – fine. The worst thing for me is why you are going to vote no? I am not going to argue with you I am just saying it as it is. It is your opinion and you have as much right to that opinion as any of us. If you say I can’t stand that Alex Salmond and the SNP, forget it go and bile your heed. By all means go back and look at all the choices and research, you should look at the arguments for and against, switch your brain on and engage in debate. If you still think No then vote No. What are you going to tell your grandchildren when they ask why you didn’t vote for Scottish Independence ”well I didn’t like that man ”what’s his name now?” We are voting for ourselves and each other we are not voting for Alex Salmond but for our own decision making process.
Women are seen as being the ones with the ”low voice, if any”. That is not true, there is nothing worse than the cringing Scot who thinks we are not good enough because we haven’t been to College or University or haven’t any qualifications. We all have been through the University of Life and have skills and on the ground knowledge which are far more important. Those people can’t articulate an argument any better than the rest of us. Many women for too long now, have had the opinion that it is best to listen to the men; we are too frightened to voice our opinions in case we make a fool of ourselves; this is so wrong. We live in Scotland , most of us for a very long period of time. We were brought up by our parents saying to us ”Don’t get above yourselves”.
Well it is about time we did get above ourselves, this is about who we want to be and the type of country we want to live in. This is our chance in this country not to be involved in illegal wars, not to have nuclear weapons on our shores. What damage did Chernobyl do not just to their area in Russia from the fallout in the West of Scotland. The areas populated around where nuclear weapons are based have witnessed the highest increase in Cancer. My mother, who unfortunately is not with us anymore, stated when I was young that the fall-out from Chernobyl would be known in a number of years. We used to laugh at her when she told us that everything we eat from these beautiful fields in Scotland would be contaminated. She was right all along. I ask myself, how many of my friends and ordinary people I know in the passing have died recently from cancer.
An overwhelming amount of funerals I have been to over the past few years have been of those people under the age of 60 who died of Cancer. Previously fit young women and men. Does Westminster worry about fallout from nuclear weapons based in Scotland – no it will not affect them and as it looks like it to me – we are disposable, along with our children and grandchildren. We are now getting the usual lies from Westminster Government and MP’s, we love you Scotland, don’t leave us – it makes me weep. We have been told for as long as I can remember that we are scroungers, we depend on the money from English taxpayers to keep us in booze, fags and bingo. Many English people don’t want to keep ”supporting us Scots” because they have been fed these same lies by Westminster.
We are more than able to stand on our own 2 feet, making decisions for ourselves and have a thriving economy and export trade. We are a country rich with innovation, excellent tourism, massive energy exports, outstanding trade, superior education and laws that other countries try to emulate and best of all ”our people” are regarded highly throughout the world. Lastly, I wish to let all of my English Family and Friends know that we YES supporters are not anti-English or anti-anything. We are pro Independence and that is the truth of the matter.
I hope you take time to decide what your vote will be and I look forward to an exciting time.
Submitted by Rachel Dempsey