“I’m not voting for Scottish Independence because I don’t like Alex Salmond!” Believe it or not but this was my opinion circa 2013 in the run-up to IndyRef1. How opinions can quickly change!
On reflection, I can now see how ridiculous it was for me to think in that way but, at the time, I didn’t really understand the underlying issues, nor did I fully appreciate the importance which independence has towards securing a stronger, fairer and more prosperous future for Scotland.
In the months that followed, my interest in the subject grew steadily and, the more I listened to Alex Salmond, the more I realised that the things he said made complete sense. I began to believe in him when he said he was fighting for Scotland and, by September 2014, I had completely changed my mind and I eventually voted Yes in the end.
“Why does this matter?”, you may asking. Well, fast forward to 2019 and we are still hearing and seeing people who say they will not vote for independence because they don’t like Nicola Sturgeon. Some of these people even claim to support independence but they simply dislike Sturgeon or the SNP. Having been in that position, I can fully appreciate this thought process and can understand where people with these views are coming from.
My advice to them would simply be this – independence is much bigger than any one politician or political party. It is about a whole country wrestling back power from the hands of those who should not hold that power for us in the first place.
You must put to one side your dislike of Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP and ask yourself if, deep-down, you truly believe that Westminster really has Scotland’s best interests at heart and whether they’re even capable of taking care of our interests better than we could ourselves.
If you believe the answers to these questions to be No, then surely it is plain to see that there is absolutely no alternative but for Scotland to seek independence and to take full control of its own interests. If, after independence, you still feel a dislike for Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP, then you will have the ideal opportunity to democratically vote them out of power.
For the first time ever, you will be able to cast your vote and know that there’s every chance you’ll get the government or result that you wanted and voted for, and not one that our neighbours picked for us simply because they have the bigger population.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with people changing their minds and you should not be afraid to do so – I certainly wasn’t.
You may even find yourself wondering how you could ever have held the opposite opinions in the first place.
By Craig Mac