Scottish Independence

With the Scottish Independence Referendum fast approaching, there are many arguments coming forth from both sides of the debate.

I feel that more information needs to be given on how independence will effect our lives. Will we be better off? What will happen to our healthcare? I understand that these points will of course been covered in The White Paper, but the vast majority of people simply do not have the time to read the 670 page document. For many to get a true idea and feel for what could happen, I think that the facts need to be given in a much clearer format. I personally would benefit from this.

Beside from the strong political arguments that the ‘Yes’ campaign are fighting for, it seems to be the case that they are using many patriotic factors to attract voters. Yes Scotland is a great country and everyone should be proud to be Scottish. However, I’m not sure whether this can be a valid reason for independence. Why can we not be proudly Scottish and British?

Personally, I do not have a strong interest in Politics but I still care about how my future may or may not be affected. Despite the fact that I am swinging towards  a no vote at this moment in time. I feel that I need more relevant information to help finalise my decision.


Scottish Independence

There are many valid questions surrounding the Scottish Independence Referendum. Will independence weaken university research in Scotland? What would independence mean for education? Would we have our own currency? What would happen to the NHS? How will Scotland become an independent member of the European Union?

I am in no way politically informed and part of me doesn’t really care for politics in general. For this reason I would just like a solid answer as to why Scotland should choose independence? What will we actually gain as a country and as a community? Why do we need to be independent? There is a lot of heavy political jargon surrounding many independence debates which is far too much for my brain to handle. So, for me, a simple answer would suffice.

A lot of Scots bring out the patriotic aspect to validate their reason for voting Yes. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy being Scottish, I do. I feel very privileged to have been born in this country. However I just don’t hate England. I don’t see why anyone would and I don’t think that patriotism is a good enough reason for agreeing to break up the Union.

In saying that, for some odd reason this particular discussion managed to bring about a small amount of Scottish rage within me. Maybe that’s just the effect Katie Hopkins has on us.

Scottish Independence: I don’t care


Should Scotland be independent ? That question was asked a few thousand times over the last months. Newspapers write about it on a daily basis, polls are conducted and discussed and even my Austrian friends ask me that question over and over again. Are you pro or against being independent? From trying to sound super informed about the topic, as I am now living in Edinburgh, I started to answer with a even more clever – I don’t know yet, I need to do more research before i will answer that question.

A recent poll showed that about 23% of 16-24 years old also “don’t know” what their going to vote for in september this year, but is it really the fact that they don’t know yet ? I think most of them just don’t care and to be honest i really don’t care either. I tried to inform myself several times, searched the internet to get my personal pro and contra list and finally gave up. It is a fact that England and Scotland not always have the same needs so some laws are just not suitable in both countries, so here is one of my       “YES Scotland please get independent” arguments. On the other hand Scotland profits a lot of being british and it could have bad influence to the economy if Scotland gets independent.

I could continue that list, but in the end I really don’t care and just leave the decision up to people who do know and do care.

The independence question – you decide

When it comes to the Scottish independence referendum, I’m not sure. It’s not a case of a lack of information as such, but probably a bombardment of disinformation.

When the original idea of an independence vote came around I was prolifically no. But really it was because I was thinking of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’. But that’s a pretty shallow argument, so it took a bit of thinking to arrive where I am now. I would say that I’m on the fence, leaning towards yes. My lean is attributed to one section of arguments: politics. The reason for that is because the way I see it the only spectrum in an independent (or not) Scotland that can truly be predicted is political.

The current state of affairs isn’t particularly desirable as Scotland is under a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition that we specifically didn’t vote for. I come from an area of Thatcher wasteland so for my community being ruled by Conservatives is a huge injustice. So, at least if we were independent we would be ruled by a government that we actually voted for. Thin argument if that’s your only one though.

The other side of the coin is that if we vote no then how would Scotland be treated as part of a country that we tried to escape. I dread the thought.

For me, that ends all viable arguments. For there is no models to compare of an already developed country in a similar situation. Because Scotland and the rest of the UK are so similar, I can’t see there being many social or economic arguments either way. This is unlike the situation with the Catalan region of Spain, which with the huge tourism industry in the region, if they were to become independent, and follow other small countries in installing a duty free law, could see their area turn into a country or principality such as Andorra or Monaco. The way I see it Scotland will remain indifferent.

An Not-so-foreign Foreign Issue

Even though I have only been in Scotland a little over two weeks, it seems that the way politics are handled here are not so different from the way they are back home in the U.S. of A. Before I hopped on that 9 hour flight to Edinburgh, I was told by many people to be excited because I was going to be in Scotland during a very turbulent but exciting time–a time where the word “independence” would be whispered with feelings of adoration and beguilement. “How exciting,” I thought. “How lucky I am to be able to be in the midst of a group of people stirring with the same emotions that stirred in the hearts of those who fought for the freedom of America.” A bit nostalgic and a tad overemotional of a thought perhaps, but, hey, that’s just the kind of girl I am.
Upon arriving in Scotland, I was driven to my flat by a man with whom I conversed about the Referendum a good bit. He was an older fellow who seemed to believe it was high-time that Scotland had its independence; he wanted to vote Yes and believed that this country could easily sustain its own economy with oil and, to no stereotypical surprise, its whiskey. Since he was the first Scottish individual I had spoken to about the issue my whimsical picture of the fight for Scottish independence was perpetuated.
The second individual I spoke to about it was a uni-age guy who had some very interesting beliefs that he was gathered from a myriad of different sources. He believed the whole vote to be some what of a conspiracy–a way for the Scottish government to trick the English into giving Scotland more power by threatening a YES vote. An interesting idea to be sure.
The third group I spoke to were two of my classmates who both held a similar view of the issue: disillusionment. Ah yes, now this feels like home. Discussing the topic with them made me think for a quick second that I was back in North Carolina talking about “politics” and the next big issue with a few friends at coffee. They both see the whole issue of independence as an issue that could have maybe had merit at one time or another but due to oversaturation by the media and the ridiculous blind-loyalty of Scottish Nationalists neither of them really want much to do with it at all. I can’t blame them. Oversaturation of politics in the media is something I am quite familiar with as an American, especially as an American student whose home university is very liberal. It seems like everyday the young adults and 20 somethings of the U.S. are bombarded with different viewpoints on a whole host of different subjects but one thread remains common amongst them all: the issue is never really the issue. Now, what I mean by that is the topics the media chooses to speak on are rarely at the actual heart of the issue at hand. Rather, they focus on the fringe issues that get people really heated up and polarized like abortion, homosexuality, freedom of speech, etc. None of those issues are wrong to discuss at all; however, most of them they are abused, used as distractions from discussing the topics, though perhaps less clear and more difficult to handle, that truly affect the situation.
For the issue of the Referendum, this fringe issue that everyone seems to be playing on is the hatred of the Tories and/or the English in general. The YES campaign, according to my classmates, appears to be driven by this essential polarization: either you want to continue to be associated with the English/Tories or you are a loyal Scot and want nothing to do with them. Quite the heavy-handed viewpoint, is it not? This is what politics has become in America and it appears to be no different here. And, because of the plethora of information coming at us from every direction in this world of 24/7 news media cycles, the issue gets lost. It is so hard to discern truth from extravagant lie and because of this, it is so much easier to just sit back and let other people handle it all. We just want our peace and quiet right? Why does anything have to change at all? While I agree with this to a certain extent, there is no denying that if all of the sensible people decided to sit back because they are overwhelmed, that means that the floor is open for all those extremists with their heavy-handed opinions to make the final decision. And, let’s be honest, no one wants that. But how is one to wade through all the muck of the political media marsh in order to find solid ground?
What everyone wants to know is if Scotland can survive on its own, monetarily and politically. But, the majority of what appears to be discussed in the media focuses not on that central question but instead on the perks of saying YES and what a terrible Scot you are if you say NO. Now, don’t take my word for it for I am just a wee American lass attempting to understand a complex issue about a country that is not my own. Even though I am still very much in the dark, I am intrigued. So, ermm, let the games begin??

Scotland’s Big Decision

To leave the UK or to stay, that is the question on the minds of the Scots. Will we be better off as a independent county or will we fall apart? Can we stand on our own two feet? Will we survive without England? Those are a few questions you’d find yourself asking if you are a Scottish citizen in 2014.

You’d think that people in Scotland would want to be independent but as it turns out, a lot of Scots want to stay part of the UK. This really surprises me. Maybe it’s because I am from the US and being free/independent is what I’ve grown up with. England is nothing like a dictatorship towards Scotland, Scotland does make their own decisions involving education and health care. So maybe staying part of the UK is the best choice.

If Scotland did end up leaving, could the country survive without the help from England or would they crumble under the pressure?  Does Scotland have enough resources to keep the country going strong or would it only be a matter of time before they would go running back to England? It’s hard to say what the future would hold for Scotland if they did receive their independence.

Don’t get me wrong, Scotland might become a great country on it’s own and be just fine. Really , it could go any way and there is always that fear of the unknown and the what ifs with every huge life -altering decision. But you have to risk the bad to see if the good will follow.

Patriotism also plays a role in the Scottish Referendum. Obviously there are people in every country that feel proud to be what they are and this applies to Scotland. I’m sure some people want to be independent just because they can be.

It’s hard to form an opinion on whether or not Scotland should stay or leave the UK because I have only been here for 3 weeks. A few Scots that I have talked to are leaning more towards voting no and staying part of the UK. Maybe it’s because all their lives they have lived with British influence and couldn’t think of any other way of living. Or because they don’t think Scotland can survive alone.

I guess the only thing to do now is wait for the vote and see what Scots choose to do. Take a risk and become independent or play it safe and stay in the UK.

Just give me some peace and quiet for a while. Please.

Scotland: the country that gave us Robert Burns, William Wallace and Ricky Ross. It’s also the country that has given us an entertaining, yet dreary independence vote. Ever since the Scottish National Party pledged to hold an independence vote in their manifesto in 2007, it has almost come to the time where Scottish people make their decision to whether they want to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. While there is plenty of time to make a decision on whether you want to vote for ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, the topic of independence has grown tiresome.

Most Scots are prevalent on Twitter and the aspect of social media has been a significant factor during the Scottish independence vote so far. This is mainly down to the SNP’s idea of implementing social media in order to get people to vote ‘Yes’. It is supposed to allow people to be convinced to vote ‘Yes’ by using a simple hashtag: #voteyes. However, it isn’t all roses and daisies. There seems to be a fair use of animosity on Twitter – and not just Twitter. Facebook, blogs and YouTube seem to be hostile, filled with arguments about why independence is better for Scotland. On Twitter, especially, you can clock the people who are voting ‘Yes’. They have ‘Yes’ in their profile picture; they have ‘Yes’ in their bio; and they have ‘Yes’ in their cover photo. One, in particular, and this is no word of a lie, had a guy who designed melted cheese on toast in the shape of ‘Yes’. There’s being passionate about your opinions, and then there is making cheese on toast as a statement. Hang your head.

The argument continues on Twitter when Scotland Tonight is on air. Very often they have a televised debate which usually ends up in a fat politician being lynched. That genuinely happened in November of last year when Nicola Pigeon (Sturgeon) faced the Secretary-of-State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael in a match of politician deathmatch. Here, we witnessed the vulgar tongue of Sturgeon who essentially vilified Carmichael on air while he was – and I’m going to quote Malcolm Tucker here – like a sweaty octopus trying to unhook a bra. The man was all over the place, but mainly because the vicious Sturgeon had dropped him into that – a woman who has absolutely no dignity or respect. I took to Twitter following that debate and the Scotland Tonight hashtag was filled with ‘Yes’ voters claiming that Sturgeon had ‘won’. Nobody won. You will only win in September, and that’s if you win.

Now it seems that you cannot get away from Scottish independence. Wherever you go, there are people in the street handing out fliers; there is adverts everywhere; there are people wearing ‘Yes’ badges; and there are even households getting ‘Yes’ newspapers through the door! That newspaper is essentially free bogroll, but I don’t want independence shoved in my face. I mean, you don’t provide the Scottish public with a newspaper through their door and state that The Proclaimers are for independence. Nobody cares if those two halfwits are for independence, it isn’t going to swing my vote. In addition to this, there is even sly bribery involved where you can win an iPad and money if you enter a competition. How desperate does one party become in order to gain more voters on their side? I know it isn’t directly targeted towards me but glancing over the next computer, there was someone on the Yes Scotland website which stated that a River City ‘star’ was for independence with a picture that tries to grab the attention of male readers. Great tactic. Totally irrelevant, Sean Lafferty (or Laugherty, perhaps?).

That’s why I have become bored of independence. I’m bored talking about it, I’m bored hearing about it, and I’m bored seeing it everywhere I go. Not only am I fed up of all that, I’m sick (yet quietly laughing) at the desperation of the ‘Yes’ campaign. I know it’s extremely difficult to move away from independence, unless you moved to Singapore or something, but you can’t go anywhere without knowing about it.

Reading this, you may be thinking, “this guy is definitely a ‘No’ voter.” Actually, I’m on the fence more than anything, but if from now to September there is a continuation of desperation in terms of ideas and off-the-hook policies, I won’t be venturing into ‘Yes’ territory.