I have to say that this is a hard blog to write.
Part of it is due to how my heart feels, and part of it is how viscerally many people around the issues tend to react.
When I started Silicon Nomad I wanted to make it a positive place.
I made a decision to try and keep the blog generally free of politics, on the basis that so many political debates are a breeding ground for negativity and venom.
However, today I’ve decided to make an exception.
Today, some 200 miles away, millions of people will be voting on the future of my country, my home, and I don’t get a say; it’s a little frustrating to say the least and I can only imagine how many Scots living and working in the UK feel knowing that they too don’t get to vote, and their voices won’t get heard on this historic occasion.
I know many feel like writer Neil Gaiman, torn between differing emotions able to see the good and bad in both points of view.
However, today I actively encourage everyone who can vote to vote. I will admit that I am a unionist at heart and would encourage everyone to vote to keep this 300 year old family together. The United Kingdom represents something wonderful and throughout my life, wherever I have travelled being British has really MEANT something.
At the forefront of social justice around the world, the UK is the archetype for fairness and opposition to oppression. When disaster strikes it’s the British who have set the standard for fast responses in humanitarian aid, have written constitutions for nations around the world and had the creativity to push ideas such as Live Aid. In the world’s Top 8 economies, the UK has a long established reputation as a success story, a moderating voice and for punching far above our weight.
When it comes to journalism the BBC is the Gold Standard not only in its holding of government to account but also in its objectivity in reporting world events, especially when compared to CNN, RT and other international news platforms. In sporting terms the 2012 Olympics showed just how amazing we can be as a nation together, where as the stories of the home nations football teams have shown all to well how we struggle when apart.
Yes, we’ve not always got it right. We’ve had good and bad governments and no-one would hesitate to admit that the UK has a plentiful supply of idiots and villains. However, the UK has proved to be far more than just the sum of its parts not only as a global power, but how we have with more dignity than many, handled no longer being THE world power.
If Mr. Gaiman is right and parts of the Pro-Independence vote is a protest against a distant British Government, then by trying to create a new utopia in the the north speaks more of “I’m alright Jack, pull the ladder up” attitude than genuine social conscience, especially due to the affect that the loss of Labour support would have to the balance of power in Westminster. A plan that smacks of genuine foolishness if, in seeking to distance yourself from an unjust Westminster you rely on that same government as your key trading partner, to negotiate on your behalf for EU membership and allow them to shape your fiscal policy because you decided to continue to use a currency without currency union.
Throughout the debate there are many things said by the Pro-Independence Campaign that have left me feeling that the SNP have failed to make their case:
- Away from dry figures the fact that the SNP have flipped between wanting the Euro, to demanding the Pound, to likely having to found their own currency to have a central bank in order to apply for EU membership. There are some very interesting points raised HERE in the Financial Times
- The SNP, pushing their green credentials by pushing a No Fracking policy and alternative energy sources, while banking the future of an independent Scotland on the demand for fossil fuels
- On Nuclear & NATO, the SNP have again flip flopped between being against joining NATO, to wanting to join NATO and as a result admitting that no nuclear weapons may not be possible.
- That the British have robbed Scotland. Even if we ignore that part of the reason for the original Union was to allow Scotland to access funds to repair the damage of the Darien Scheme, which decimated over a quarter of the Scottish Economy, a Fact Check by Channel 4 News shows the truth.
- SNP claims that Westminster is a threat to the Scottish NHS but again we hear from Channel 4 and the BBC
- Last, is the fact that whenever the SNP have been questioned on what they will do if something doesn’t go to their plan. Their reaction has consistently been, “But why would anyone want to do it another way?” or accusing the questioner of being Anti-Scotland. The simple fact is that the SNP have no alternatives should things not go as planned. A fact that genuinely scares me.
I could go on and I know there are likely those who will speak out against the things I’ve posted, or feel this has gone on long enough already.
So in conclusion I’ll repeat what I said at the start. If you can vote today, of all days then make sure you do and make your voice heard.
If you’re undecided, and to those seeking a better country and a better world, we are Better Together.
A vote for independence is precisely that, a vote to go it alone, to an uncertain, not necessarily a brighter future.
Want to sort out politics in Britain, we sort that by standing together, voting, getting involved and breaking the monopoly of the few.
Want a better world? We do that better as members of the UN permanent security council, together as a member of the G8 and by showing that a Union that created one of the most tolerant and open societies in the World can endure, prosper, thrive and genuinely make a difference.