With polls starting to show a swing towards Yes, it’s becoming clearer than ever that when people actively engage, when they find out what Yes Scotland’s positive vision is actually about, they are more likely to declare their intention to support independence come 18th September.
This has already been demonstrated through polls from many debates held at schools, colleges and universities around Scotland, where pre and post debate polls almost always show a swing towards support for independence. The attendees hear both sides of the argument and can see what independence is really about, not what Project Fear and their chums in the media have been telling them it’s about.
Many of us spend a lot of time batting back what Project Fear throw at us, and whilst it’s important that we don’t simply allow them to get away with this mudslinging unchallenged, the positive arguments for independence speak for themselves and people are beginning to see that.
That the swing in the polls started to come after the publication of the Scottish Government’s white paper, ‘Scotland’s Future’, is no great surprise. People wanted facts and they got them. At least, those who have read it have.
Some have criticised the white paper, describing it as more of an SNP manifesto than an independence instruction manual. But independence doesn’t come flat-packed from Ikea – of course the party that has brought us to this point is going to have their own version of how independence should begin. Whether or not you agree with specific policies is not the point – that’s what elections are for. That’s democracy, and that’s what everyone under the Yes Scotland umbrella is trying to improve for every single person in Scotland, regardless of political persuasion. That’s why Yes Scotland campaigners come from every (decent) party: the Greens, the Scottish Socialist Party, the SNP, Labour (sorry Johann, you certainly don’t speak for them all), the Lib Dem’s (ditto, Mr Rennie), and even a few Tories, apparently.
Others have criticised it for not containing enough in the way of detailed projected costings. I dare say that even had the white paper been as thorough as the most meticulous quantity surveyor’s report, listing the cost of every individual paperclip and elastic band required by an independent Scotland’s civil service, the opponents of independence would merely have told us they were rubbish anyway. That’s been part of their tactic throughout the whole campaign: talk everything down and then change the subject when questioned.
There are some voters who we’ll never convince of course, but I’m not going to slag them off. They’ve made up their minds for whatever reason and are sticking where they are. I’m the same with my determination/stubbornness to promote independence. Most of us think we’re right, after all.
But it’s a pretty childish and futile exercise to criticise their stance imo, although I’m happy to hold my hands up and admit that I haven’t always stuck to such a noble line by any means. I do try, but sometimes the temptation has gotten the better of me -something I’m always conscious that I have to work on.
As it always has been, it’s those caught in the middle of the debate that we have to continue striving to get our message across to. Those who have yet to decide one way or the other are, in my own possibly rather naive opinion, more likely to come to us than to go to No. We do have the only positive vision in this debate. We are the ones seeking to make a change for the better, and most sensible people are realising that we’re nothing to do with the negative, narrow-minded anti-English campaign that ‘Better Together’ have so desperately tried to tar us as. And they’ll continue to see that in increasing numbers, unless BT stop banging that tired old drum anytime soon, which let’s be honest, doesn’t look at all likely. Any campaign that is prepared to dub ITSELF as ‘Project Fear’ is frankly never going to be one based on positivity and honesty.
So, we’ve now got just under eight months to work on completing this swing. 50%+1 might well be all we need to begin our story on this planet as a modern, open and forward-thinking democracy, but who wants to get to polling day on such a knife-edge?
Every single vote we can possibly get counts. That includes those who are currently undecided, and equally as important, it also includes those who are less likely to vote at all.
The disaffected among us have a real opportunity to make their vote count, to feel like citizens who matter and become involved in the decision-making processes that will guide our shared future. The are so many people who don’t feel that way at the moment, and feel completely disenfranchised by the very structure of the UK’s frankly antiquated and elitist parliamentary system. They have the chance to say “You know what, I want my voice to actually be heard”, and that’s one of the major benefits of becoming an independent country, with a more modern and representative democratic system. EVERYONE will have a better stake and a louder voice. That’s what I’m fighting for.