Cards on the table, I am voting yes in the Scottish Independence Referendum in September of this year, as is my prerogative. It is my wish that this be followed by others, however I'm not stupid and know that as things stand, we will not be voting for independence for our country.
I wanted to look at the reasons that people are thinking negatively towards us being a self providing, self financing, self policing nation in the world and why people might not see the, to me, obvious benefits. The biggest two factors, apart from people not liking Salmond, the threat re the pound, losing the BBC (no Top Gear, yay!), the two biggest factors appear to be that the majority seem to be scared of a potential big change and the great unknown as to what will happen after independence.
People don't like change that is well commented on and discussed and being an independent country will be a big change, so there is no getting away from it. But change doesn't have to be scary, change almost always is good! Especially change that we are dictating.
The reason that really bothers me is people who make comments like "its all pie in the sky, Salmond cant tell us what will happen if we become independent". There are two fundamental problems with statements like that, the first is that this is not a popularity contest vis a vis Alex Salmond. I like him and think he is an inspirational and intelligent man, but I do see why some may not like his sense of brashness and booming voice.
But it's not about bloody Alex Salmond. Sure, he is the most well known of the yes campaign, however he is not even in charge of it, that role belongs to Blair Jenkins. Salmond isn't even on the advisory board, sure he wants independence and it was a policy he wrote whilst campaigning to be elected First Minister, however it's not him leading. The board includes people from various political parties and Mary Doll from Rab C Nesbitt, for goodness sake.
Then it comes to the crux of the matter and the one that makes me lose faith in humanity sometimes, the point that "x can't tell us what will happen if we become independent", of course they can't! That's life, my friends, grow up!
All politics if you think about it, is suck it and see. We put our faith in the people who are campaigning and see where it goes. Nobody has a crystal ball and can predict accurately what will happen. Where would the living part of life be, if we knew exactly what was going to happen next.
Take a moment, if we could predict the outcome of each decision, then there would be no divorce, forcing hundreds of solicitors out of work, you could win the lottery whenever you fancied it, and fortunately no unruly or poor quality children would be born as parents would think, "no, you're alright."
At least with independence we can plot our own path in life and in the world. We are a small country in terms of area and population, but we are better than we think we are. We can be great on our own and we should want to prove to the world that instead of taking the safe, predictable option, because we are scared and don't know what will happen.
And, if it doesn't work out we could always charge England rent for Buckfast Abbey, at "mates rates".