Today is the last day of campaigning before the polls open tomorrow in Scotland’s Independence Referendum. This is the last day of the #YesBecause campaign, popularised by the art’s movement National Collective. I was going to write an article about my reasons and road to Yes, but soon realised it would be a long, long recap of a 15-16 year Odyssey. I’ve written in the past about why I’m voting Yes, and I stick by those.
Social divide in the West of Scotland
However, here’s another thing to set the picture. My life hasn’t been totally awful inside the UK, I grew up in a middle class household with a doctor as a father, and a journalist as a mother in the middle-to-upper class village of Langbank. Far from the poverty line, but far from the silver spoon. After school, I went on to University and worked towards a decent job inside the higher education sector. However, I have met far too many people in Scotland haven’t had the same experiences or chances as me. When I look back at attending Port Glasgow High School I can now see the disparity between my life and that of some of my friends.
Back then, I used to get angry or upset when I was called a ‘spoff’ or a ‘snob’, but looking back I guess I didn’t totally understand or actually believe the massive social inequality in the West of Scotland. Remember, this was at a time when we had left the dark ages of Thatcher and Major, and elected a landslide Labour government where things were ‘Only going to get better’. So, while a part of me is voting Yes for my own interests, it is mainly to help build a fairer and more equal society for those that need it more than I do.
To finish, here’s a video I recorded last night of an old song called ‘On Our Own’. When I wrote it, it was more about the dismantlement of the UK’s Left by the rise of New Labour but since then it has turned in to something more. I recorded it once for an album with a session band. The guitarist who played on the record remarked after recording “I liked that song about Scottish Independence”. I didn’t know which one she meant until she sang the chorus and it all made perfect sense.