Thursday, 28 August 2014

Vote no, get nothing

This blog is about reasons for voting ‘Yes’ during the referendum for Scottish Independence. We largely focus on economic, social and political reasons why we, the people of Scotland, would be better off having the decisions affecting our lives being made within our borders by politicians who are answerable to us. We try to use logic and facts to back up our arguments and avoid personal attacks (wherever possible).

But it’s important to acknowledge the future that awaits us if we vote no. No offers no economic stability; just as the ‘Yes’ campaign cannot guarantee that an independent Scotland will become richer despite a mountain of evidence which suggests that it would, the ‘no’ campaign cannot promise to stop the UK’s economic slide and stagnation.
The ‘no’ campaign cannot tell us what tax rates we will have, for even if everyone in Scotland were to agree on an approach we would be unable to enforce such a policy within the UK due to our minority status. The ‘no’ campaign cannot tell us what currency we will use, for the decision is a reserved matter at Westminster. There is nothing to stop David Cameron from taking us into the Euro or adopting the US Dollar. He doesn’t need our permission, the way an independent Scottish Parliament would, as all he would need is to have a majority of MPs to back his idea, and he can easily gain them in England alone (and even if he were forced into a referendum, a 55% - 45% vote in Scotland would only affect the overall outcome by less than 1%, reducing us to spectators).

"We'll make all the important decisions for you," Westminster's 'offer'
The Conservatives will not transfer new powers to a Scottish Parliament which they are unlikely to control. This means that whenever we get a Tory Government ruling us, the transfer of power can only move south. Most people agree on this point. What about the only alternative to the Conservatives at Westminster, the Labour Party?

Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, has repeatedly called for ‘One Nation’.
“I’ve set out a vision of what this country can be, one nation…from business to education to welfare.” (New Year speech, December 2012)
A ‘one nation’ approach to business means that the power to vary the rate and thresholds for corporation tax cannot be held in Scotland (which Mr Miliband has relegated to a region). A ‘one nation’ approach to education, means that the tuition fees which students resident in Scotland can currently avoid will be imposed, with a £9,000 per year charge becoming the norm. A ‘one nation’ approach to welfare means that the prevailing attitudes in Westminster towards those receiving benefits will be adopted, regardless of whether those values match those of the Scottish People. ‘One nation’ doesn’t leave much room for the transfer of powers towards Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament will no longer be for a nation within a nation, regardless of which half of Westminster wins. If we want a meaningful say in our future and for our parliament to hold onto the powers that it has, then we need to support independence. The two Westminster parties are like railroad tracks running parallel to one another. Their direction is clear; reduce the authority of the Scottish Parliament until it is unable to do anything and hoard all power in the southeast.
Only ‘Yes’ can maintain what we have.  If you vote no, you'll get nothing.
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