Food for Thought

The results are in from the Scottish Independence Referendum!

The results are in: the Scottish population have decided that it’s better to stay as a United Kingdom. There are advantages to remaining part of the UK and I believe that’s what the majority of the Scottish population (that is, 55.3% – or 2,001,926 people – of the Scottish population) voted No. There are greater shared resources and benefits in case of any economic troubles, Westminister has also promised greater devolution powers to Scotland in relation to income tax and money raising activities.

In the past, I’d never really been interested in politics or voting. It’s hard to discern which politicians will keep their promises and enforce pledges made during their campaign before the big vote. This vote is not about supporting a politician though – this is about deciding Scotland’s future. Supporting independence doesn’t necessarily mean that Alex Salmond will remain the First Minister of Scotland. There was a street interview conducted by a BBC correspondent on Easter Road recently where two labour supporters (one Scottish and one English) told of their intentions to vote Yes.

I can’t say I’m pleased with the outcome, I voted Yes to the question ‘Should Scotland become an independent country?’. I believe Scotland should be able to make our decisions that would better suit our needs and economy, made by our own Scottish Parliament towards building a better welfare state. Westminister is bound by the need to make decisions which would best benefit the economy for the population of 60 million, Scotland only has a population of 5.3 million. Decisions made and policies enforced don’t always benefit Scotland as a nation and I feel we should be able to make decisions that affect our country.

Source: BBC Scotland

The Better Together camp have promised greater devolution power over taxes following the outcome of the General Election of May 2015. It’s known that Quebec did not gain independence through their previous two referendums and there is discontent in other nations (like Italy, Catalonia and Tibet) who would prefer to have independent states.

Maybe we are Better Together as a united nation. It was clear after 4 hours past midnight having stayed up as long as we could (as I’m sure the majority of Scotland was doing) while we anxiously waited for declaration of ballot poll counts from each local authority, the majority vote was going to be in favour of remaining in the UK. By 5am, it was a 200 000 ballot count difference between the Yes and No votes – unless the remaining larger regions pulled through with a significant difference between the ballot counts, No was pretty much Scotland’s resounding answer to the million dollar question.

Now it’s just a matter of wait and see whether Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Alistair Darling keep to their pledge of assigning greater devolution powers to Scotland. There’s no doubt in my mind that although Scotland still remains in the UK, we are not the same country we were before the population put crosses in the ballot poll boxes, either by postal vote or by attending their local polling station. Whether the vote was Yes or No, the Scottish people want change. We want better conditions that would benefit our country, but the only difference is in how we want this achieved.

Those who vote No truly believe that we really are better together whereas the uncertainty of how independence and greater controlling power would be achieved has deterred them. This is not the end for the other 1,617,989 people who voted Yes in Scotland. The world may no longer be watching, but the people of Scotland will.

Despite my lack of involvement or interest in current politics, Alex Salmond, ever diplomatic, couldn’t have said it better last night: ‘Today (Thursday 18th) is truly a remarkable day. Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands’.

So what does it mean going forward?

Today of all days as we bring Scotland together, let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short, let us dwell on the distance we have travelled and have confidence the movement is abroad in Scotland that will take this nation forward and we shall go forward as one nation.

– Alex Salmond’s concession speech on Friday 19th morning, The Telegraph

Do you think Scotland made the right decision to remain in the UK? What are your thoughts?


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