Thursday, 11 September 2014

Independent defending.

On September the 18th 2014, I shall be marching to the polling station and proudly marking my X next to Yes. I do think Scotland should be an independent country.

I started off from a "probably" position. I'm not an SNP member though and I don't consider myself an SNP voter. I expect to vote Green in the next elections. They also support Yes, quietly and reasonably.

I'm not alone, Noam Chomsky and George Monbiot think it is a good idea. So do all of these people. It isn't just the SNP, and it isn't just nutters.

I, being biased and not an expert, find the Better Together campaign to be misleading. They are less about facts than about misleading. Specifically, they have smeared the SNP and their claims and made them out to be out and out liars, by a process of misinformation. They may be lying, but when faced with untruths, it is hard to pick out actual truths and the sneering at "nationalists" is becoming perpetual.

There was a "leaked document" found by Better Together that revealed secret mention of debts that Scotland would begin their independent status with and that defence spending would be less. They spoke of the paper detailing the volatility of oil and claimed tha SNP had never admitted that oil prices could drop.  SNP had openly talked and discussed all of the supposed secrets. Better Together would defintely have been aware of the talks and debates that these were discussed at, but they chose to present it as being hidden from voters. That is downright wicked and deliberately misleading. Furthermore, they claimed that the paper contained plans to cut public service jobs and old age pensions, which is an outright lie as there is no mention of either in the paper at all. There are further mentions of things that are not actually in the paper and if you see the claims next to the actual paper it is sobering and disturbing. One mention of budgets says "Scotland will decide" and it is reported as saying "London can veto", which it does not say. A deliberate and malicious attempt to smear politicians doesn't help anyone.

I can't see the claims of NHS funding to be unfounded. A No vote leaves us in the Union forever. A union that is a lot in the shadow of America. The risk to our NHS at any point in the future is a real and serious one. But I know many disagree and think it is wicked of the SNP to use the NHS as a scare story. I find the news stories about protests in England scary enough on their own but, as previously stated, I am biased.

Better Together suggested that the people of Scotland would not be able to use health services south of the border. They suggested that we wouldn't be able to access organ donations from outwith Scotland. They specifically said that children would not be able to use Great Ormond Street. All untrue. 

Great Ormond Street utterly refuted the claims that Scots would not be able to use their services. They demanded an advert from No Borders that suggested we'd lose out be removed, as they had not been consulted. They reassured Scots that they treat patients from all around Europe and that Scotland would be no different. 

The people of Northern Ireland and Ireland visit doctors on opposite sides of their border, no problem. The NHSBT (NHS blood and transport) has a contractual arrangement with the Scottish Government to ensure the best matches for recipients across the UK are found. Obviously we wouldn't want to lose this. Ireland's Health Service Executive works with NHSBT to provide a full organ doner service across Ireland. 

The latest leaflet that came through the door claimed that the weekly shop would increase, because Tesco.ie charged more. Actually, they don't. Many products are actually cheaper in Tesco.ie than Tesco.com. And when asked, Tesco denied that the price rises were true.

Since writing this, Cameron has had a word in the ear of businesses and asked them to come out and state that costs would rise, taking prices up with them, in an independent Scotland. Many shops have, Asda and John Lewis being the most acknowledged. While this may be true, the fact that Cameron did this is such trickery and deviousness that it hardens my resolve for Yes. Why would we want to be governed by those who trick and manipulate us? As observed by someone yesterday, Project Fear has become Project Terror.

They said data roaming charges would increase, just as they were abolished. They said that we would not benefit from the UK's AAA credit rating, after that rating had been downgraded. And then they resorted to insulting us, especially women. What with being not genetically programmed to be political and being women that don't engage with politics, it is amazing we are allowed to vote at all.

And pensions. They keep on about staying in the Union to protect your pension. The elderly believe this, they don't want to lose their pension. Their pension is payable even if they go to live in a different country. So it is not at risk from independence. I don't feel my pension is all that safe in the UK and it is entirely possible I won't live to the age I'll have to retire at (I think my age of retirement is to be 68 or 70 at the moment). I can't get my head round using pensions as a reason for voting No.

A lot of uncertainty surrounds currency and the EU. David Cameron, and only David Cameron, could ask about our position in the EU and clarify this once and for all. He hasn't. I can only assume he fears that if the answer was yes, we could easily join, that this would affect the vote. if the answer was no, we would have to go through a lengthy process like any new member country, that would give strength to the No vote, but can he take that risk? No. So instead he banks on the uncertainty of not knowing and the fear of the unknown leading to voting No. Also, the currency union. For all to see, a currency union is the best option, If we don't have one, the pound will crash massively, and that is hardly in rUK's interest. But if they laid out plans to have a currency union, that would remove the uncertainty and fear, making a Yes vote less risky. It is a dirty trick, to keep uncertainty where there need not be. Why can't we go into this referendum with a clearer picture of what will happen when there are things that can be answered? We can't know what exactly will happen with our finances, how much oil there will be, many other things. But we could know exactly where we stand on currency and the EU. BT still mention that we don't have any plan for currency, I'm not sure if that is a joke or not. And I want to throw things at the TV/radio/computer/post every time they say about staying in the EU and the benefits of the EU, because they want to have a referendum to leave it.

I know that No voters think it is terrible, that we have been duped by the SNP. But I feel that if we lose the vote, for a great number of voters it will be because they have been misled. 

I for one am voting from a sense of "why not, let's see what we can do" and trusting the people that say there is no reason why we can't. I've been there since before the campaigning kicked off.

And I can't help but agree with Alan Bissett about the bleak prospect of a post No Scotland.



Incidentally, I know the other side of this. I'm not unaware of the arguments against. I'm just showing why I am less than enamoured with the No campaign and why I worry it has clouded judgement. It may not be easy but I just don't think we should be British. I can't change that view.




Thursday, 2 January 2014