Scottish Independence: Why I’ll be voting yes

In the run up to the referendum on Scottish independence on 18 September 2014, Kettle will be speaking to a range of voices from all sides of the debate.

In the run up to the referendum on Scottish independence on 18 September 2014, Kettle will be speaking to a range of voices from all sides of the debate. Today, we have blogs from a student canvassing for their respective campaigns.

About the author: Drew McGowan is a 21 year old researcher at the University of the West of Scotland, campaigning for Scottish independence as part of the Yes Scotland campaign. 

I’ve been invited by Kettle Mag to tell you why I’ll vote Yes next month. It’s been a long journey for me. I got involved in politics to make a change and I believe that that change starts with Yes.

I believe Scotland to be a nation and – like all other normal, independent nations across the world – we should make our own decisions.

I campaign for independence because it is about putting Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands. It’s about putting Scotland’s future into our hands.

Because at the heart of independence is one simple idea: Decisions about Scotland should be made by the people who care most about Scotland. That’s us – the people who live and work here; the people of Scotland.

A Yes vote is a vote for a government the people of Scotland choose; a government who pursues policies of importance to the people of Scotland; delivering policies that the people of Scotland support.

I want a government that will never accept that unemployment is a ‘price worth paying,’ a government will fight tooth and nail to obliterate the obscene in-work, child and fuel poverty that is rife in our country.

I want to create a Scotland where decent pay and decent living standards – being able to heat your home and not struggle from week-to-week – is the norm and not the exception in a rich country such as Scotland.

I want a government in Scotland that will stand up and refuse to accept the scandal of thousands of our people freezing in an oil and energy rich country, a government that will refuse to accept that the poor must beg at foodbanks.

It is an undisputable truth that Scotland is the 14th wealthiest nation in the world. However, unfortunately, it is an unescapable tragedy that – in areas like Ferguslie, Drumchapel and Possil Park – it doesn’t look or feel like the 14th wealthiest nation.

In Iraq – a country that over the last 20 years has faced strict sanctions, terrorist attacks, wars and now daily battles between government troops and insurgents – the life expectancy is 69 years of age. In war-torn Gaza – where missiles rain down on the 360 km² area of land, that suffers from a seven-year Israeli-imposed blockade – life expectancy is 70. In areas of Scotland’s biggest city life expectancy is 54 years of age – and that is rounding up!

With the purse strings and crucial powers controlled by Westminster it is hard to see how that will ever change if we vote No.

By completing the powers of our parliament – taking the natural step to taking responsibility for our economy, taxation and welfare – we have an opportunity to introduce a revolutionary childcare system at the heart of our new democracy, abolish the iniquitous Bedroom Tax, grow the economy, create jobs, champion a higher minimum wage and rid ourselves of the obscenity of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. That is just for starters.

We can have a written constitution that sets out our rights as citizens and the responsibilities of government. In that document we can express the modern Scotland we seek to create: the right to a free education, the right to a home and to enshrine the founding principles of our NHS.  

Independence is about choosing a different future – it’s about choosing our future.

Have your say on the referendum in the comments section below.