Lisa Hopcroft

Lisa Hopcroft is voting Yes to Scottish Independence on when Indyref2 comes around. Read why here, and if you like it, share with your friends.

When the SNP came to power in 2007 the prospect of a referendum on Scottish independence was clear.  So I thought I'd better look into it.  To give you an idea of where I was starting this journey from, I hadn't been old enough to vote in the parliamentary referendum in 1997, but I remember thinking that I'd like to be brave enough to vote Yes, but that I'd probably vote no.

In the course of my research, I came across a statement from an SNP MSP on the Holyrood website.  I can't remember who it was, but I can still very clearly remember the statement that they made: they put forward the idea that some Scots believe that "amongst all the people in the world, Scottish people are uniquely incapable of running their own country".

And I realised that I thought that.  It was my Yes Eureka moment.  I had learned that Scotland gets back less from the UK than it contributes.  I knew that Scotland had been subjected to eighteen damaging years of Thatcher and the Tories, despite never voting for a Conservative government since 1955.  I had read about the McCrone report, the 1974 UK government report which had projected "embarrassingly" vast oil reserves in the North Sea, but had been buried by Westminster.  And I had agreed with all of it.  But when I read that statement, I realised that an unconscious lack of confidence in myself and my fellow Scots was the one thing standing in the way of me casting a Yes vote in an independence referendum.  I hadn't found the answer that I was looking for on the internet, in a financial forecast or in a specific political ideology, I had found it in myself.  It was a tipping point, and I have never looked back.

Over the last few years, my reasons for Yes have crystallised.  They have become many and myriad but I'll give you the big three.

The first is the issue of political representation: it is absolute fact that for 34 of the last 68 years, Scotland has rejected the eventual party of government in the UK general election.  That is not democracy.  What's more, the political paths of Scotland and England seem to be diverging.  We are faced with the very real and frightening prospect that our welfare, immigration and defence policy (among others) will be defined by a Conservative/Ukip coalition government next year.

My second reason is that, despite what Better Together might tell you, the UK is certainly not OK.  We languish at the bottom of the child happiness tables, we are least engaged in politics and the gap between rich and poor is continually widening (I could go on, but Robin McAlpine does it much better).  This is not good enough for my children and I can't see any avenue for change at Westminster.  Goodness knows, they've tried for long enough.

And finally, I feel Scotland needs to vote Yes to get rid of that national lack of confidence that was brought into stark focus for me in 2007.  To get rid of that wholly harmful chip on the shoulder.  To begin to deconstruct the part of our national identity that tells us we are not and cannot be good enough.  We live in one of the most beautiful and resource rich countries in the world, and it is bursting with passionate and talented women, men and children that are absolutely capable of running our own country.  We need to show ourselves that we can do better.