jeflew

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

My journey to Yes was the shortest of all. When I heard there was going to be a referendum on Scottish independence, my immediate reaction was 'Well, of course, why shouldn't we have it?' It was only later that the anxieties and questions came. So, some 18 months ago, I set about asking the important questions and researching the possible outcomes. It might have been a gut feeling at first, but I've built on that. It's since been backed up with some good reasoning and a touch of hopeful optimism about what we could achieve as an independent nation.

I've watched family, friends, colleagues and neighbours come around from being undecided, or an initial No, to genuinely believing a Yes vote is the first step in creating a better future. A majority of my friends and family are now Yes. It's been heartening for me, especially in the cases where I've had very little input. I've tried my best to present the support and reasoning in an accessible way, through Facebook and twitter, through conversations at the dinner table or at family events (I'm a hoot at a party, honestly - my cousin practically banned me from talking about the referendum at her recent wedding). One of the first things people ask me is if I vote SNP. I did once, when I was 18 or so. I find this line of questioning is accusatory, as if being a Scottish nationalist is on the same level as being a British Nationalist (it's not). But the funny thing about this entire movement - and it is a movement - is that Yes have come from everywhere. We are not all nationalists. We are not all socialists. We're not even all Scottish. But we are unhappy with the way things are run at the moment and we do believe we can do better.

There are still a few kinks to smooth out. No one knows exactly how our future will pan out, regardless of how they've decided to vote. What we do know for sure is that in an independent Scotland, we the people of Scotland will have more of a say in what happens. Our interests will be represented at a local and national level, as well as a European one. I don't believe Westminster have ever done what's best for Scotland, nor for Wales, nor for Northern Ireland, nor for Northern England. I think their priorities lie in the very south of England, where they focus on making the rich richer, while the poor get poorer.

No one has said this is going to be easy. I believe it'll be a lot of hard work and need some serious changes of attitude - the priorities of our country may change as the next few years unfold. What I'm looking forward to is the opportunity to hold a democratic general election in 2016, to decide on the first post-independence Scottish government. This government will be accountable to us, the people who live and work in Scotland. Their agenda will be set by our priorities. I believe an independent Scotland could provide us with the tools we need to improve education, health, employment and welfare, amongst other things. This means in 2016 I'll be voting for whichever party can offer me what I'm looking for. In the meantime, my vote in the referendum is based on more than just what I want. I'm voting Yes because I really believe it's the best option for Scotland and for the UK.

I don't think it's about the type of money in your pocket, the person leading a political party, or whether not there's oil belonging to Scotland in the North Sea. For me, it's about something bigger - the chance to be autonomous; the opportunity to prioritise the things we, as a nation, care about the most; the ability to put the people of Scotland first in the decisions we make.

I'm saying Yes to building a stronger working relationship with the United Kingdom, from an equal footing. I'm saying Yes to having the power to put the needs, wants and preferences of those living in Scotland first. I'm saying Yes to an independent Scotland.

- Jef

'It's the Question of the Moment'

(comic via Comic Soapbox Scotland - words & pictures by Jef Sinclair / @jeflew, edited by Neil Slorance)

If you want to read more about my views on #indyref, please feel free to follow me on twitter!