In 30 days, Scotland will decide its future.
Here are 15 important points about this historic decision.
- Make sure you are registered to vote.
- You’re not voting for politicians, you’re voting for being able to get the politicians you vote for in Scotland running Scotland’s affairs.
- Nobody can predict the future. But you can shift the odds – do you prefer 100% control of your country by those elected in your country, or hope that having 3.6% representation in the UK House of Commons and House of Lords will protect your best interests? Do you want a written constitution?
- Consider who is paying the piper. The money to fund Yes is largely from Scotland. The money to fund No is largely from England.
- The issue of currency is simple: Scotland will use the pound. The pound’s value will drop without oil and tax revenue from Scotland, so it is in the rest of the UK’s interests to join in currency union. Even without a union, Scotland will continue to use the pound.
- Oil is only a ‘volatile and diminishing resource’ for an independent Scotland. For most other countries, it’s the source of wealth. David Cameron recently visited Shetland – the first PM for over 30 years to do so. After his visit, workers from what is alleged to be the largest oil field in the world were sent home on full pay until after the 18th of September.
- The Scottish Government plans to create an oil wealth fund for future generations, using the model adopted by Norway. In Norway, the oil fund is worth approximately $853.9 billion. It holds over one per cent of global equity markets.
- The National Health Service is being gradually privatised in England and Wales. In Scotland, where prescriptions and eye tests are free, we have a different approach. To safeguard the Scottish NHS, we can’t rely on handouts from the UK government as our ‘allowance’ for health spending under the Barnett formula is linked to rUk NHS spending.
- Voting No would commit Scotland to a number of large items of public expenditure which are not beneficial to Scotland, including the cost of HS2 rail, which will not reach Scotland, upgrading London’s sewer network, renewing Trident, and refurbishing the House of Commons. There would also be ongoing expenditure on the House of Commons and House of Lords wages and expenses bills. The House of Commons champagne consumption has risen to 8,082 bottles in 2013, a 72% rise since 2010.
- The coalition government plan to introduce further austerity in the UK, which has been calculated will place 100,000 more Scottish children in poverty.
- In Scotland, most people understand the benefits and advantages of being a member of the European Union. In England, there is a growing campaign to remove the country from the EU. With a Yes vote, Scotland could find itself the only remaining part of Britain in Europe. With No, Scotland could find itself removed from Europe against its will.
- Scotland, for more than 30 years, has contributed more income tax per head to the UK exchequer than any other part of the UK. We raise more tax because we create more wealth here.
- Consider the vested interests who are urging you to vote No. All of the Westminster parties have joined together to refuse a currency union, and campaign for the ‘better together’ status quo. That status quo includes 59 Members of the UK Parliament. No major daily newspaper supports Yes, and the BBC has been accused of bias on several occasions.
- In parts of Glasgow, life expectancy for a male is 54 years. The figure is 58.1 years in Kenya. Do you think Westminster really cares about that statistic?
- A vote for Yes is not a vote for the SNP, or Alex Salmond. It’s a vote to become the world’s newest independent country. In 2016, you can vote for any party and any candidates you want to form the Scottish Government. It’s called democracy.
The prize is a better country for the people of Scotland. And that’s only 30 days away.