Wednesday, 3 July 2013

What voting 'Yes' won't do

A ‘Yes’ vote will change many things.  It will guarantee that the Government of Scotland has the support of her people, something that haven’t been true in 25 out of the last 43 years (since 1970).  Voting ‘Yes’ will also guarantee that an unelected, unaccountable body like the House of Lords doesn’t form a second chamber, removing one source of government corruption.

"History is unlikely to change with Independence," anonymous Doctor

But voting ‘Yes’ will not change certain things.  It will not be a final statement of our position in Europe.  It will not set in stone what currency we use, or what wars we enter.  All of those things will be determined by the Governments we elect, just like most of our neighbours.  Independence will not result in [insert latest Unionist scare story here].  And finally, there is something else that voting ‘Yes’ will not do.
One of the reasons often cited for voting no is the history Scotland shares with England, Wales and Northern Ireland (the last 300 years, not the millennia before).  I have come across those who argue that we need to be ruled from Westminster today because that’s what we did when we stood against Hitler and the Nazis, communist USSR, and countless other nations.  This argument makes even less sense than most for many reasons but let’s focus on the most obvious one: becoming independent will not change history.

"Scotland might miss out on the next war!" No campaign threat? 

Do we think less of the over 50,000 Canadian deaths during the First World War because they subsequently became independent?  Or, would Canada continuing to be part of the empire during the Second World War have made any difference to its outcome?  Such a statement would be condemned as ludicrous and yet this is the level of discourse of many within the no campaign.

There are countless other examples of why this ‘logic’ fails.  What of the 1,500,000 (1.5 million) Indians who died during the Second World War, did Indian independence lessen the importance of their loss?  Was it wrong of Malaysia to become independent when 100,000 of their citizens died alongside ours and those of other countries?  Did Indian and Malaysian independence make the world a less safe place?

"Westminster is the best place for these types of discussions to take place," says everyone at Westminster

The fact remains that the decision to become a sovereign nation should be made by the people based upon their needs and wishes.  Vague hints that doing what’s right will somehow be an insult to the dead are wrong, not only in a practical sense, but in a moral one too.  Modern day wars are often fought by many nations working together yet respecting each others boundaries.  Just as Denmark, Estonia, and the Netherlands have important roles to play in NATO and other international organisations, so would Scotland, however important decisions such as will we go to war can only be made in Scotland if Scotland is independent; otherwise we rely on the judgement of a government in Westminster who may not even have popular support here.

Westminster logic

A ‘Yes’ vote will change many things, one of them being the quality of discourse in our country, but our history will always remain the same.

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