Tomorrow, the people of Scotland get the chance to make history.
97% of the eligible voting population are registered to vote in this referendum. The country is for once fully engaged in political dialogue and debate, people in pubs and workplaces are talking more about social justice and economics than the X factor. My own gran, who has never spoken to me about politics in my entire life, phoned me up two weeks ago to discuss her postal vote – we chatted for an hour about nothing but the referendum. I have watched the energy and excitement build up over the last few weeks and have been amazed and proud at how the country has owned this vote.
Scotland: How do you want to feel on Friday morning?
If a no vote would give you a huge sense of relief because the prospect of independence is just too risky, then I respect that.
But if you are someone who has been, perhaps for the first time, politically engaged and motivated by this referendum; if you are someone who believes that Britain is perhaps no longer so great; if you are disillusioned by the Westminster party politicians who no longer stand for what they once did but rather have merged into one average blended photofit; if you want to make a stand and start a process of change: Now is your chance.
I’m not building my hopes up for a yes vote to be revealed on Friday morning, but the latest polls suggest it’s going to be too close to call. If the result was yes, I would feel excitement. I would feel relief. I would feel empowerment and energy and autonomy. And I would love for all of this and more to spread across the country and beyond, because this isn’t just about Scotland. To all those posing the rather odd “what about England?” argument – a yes vote would send the message to London that “hey, some people outside London don’t like the way London runs things”. I can’t see how a yes vote would be damaging to our neighbours in England, unless you genuinely believe that once that border is made we are simply going to turn our backs and never consider those in the north of England. This idea is preposterous. Note to all: This is not a “Scotland hates England” thing. Trust me.
Will an independent Scotland be perfect? Of course not. Will things be hard initially? Probably, perhaps for some time. But I personally think these risks are worth it if we end up in control of our own country, and as a message to Westminster that many people across the UK are not happy with the status quo.
Whatever happens over the next two days, I am exceedingly proud of Scotland. The past two months have been incredibly reassuring, and it’s proved that the general public are far from apathetic about politics – it’s just that for many, for the first time ever, they feel like they have been given a real choice. A real chance to make their voice heard. And that’s something that is not going to go away.
I found this stuck to a wall on Woodlands Road. I liked it.