You southerners may feel that us Scots care purely about haggis, tartan and ‘FREEDOM’ (a quote from ‘Braveheart’ – classic). However in recent months, Great Britain has been jolted back to pre-1707… when the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland were divided. The Scottish Independence referendum is threatening to change the lives of the British forever, and after 300 years of blissful, peaceful unity, the potential separation of the United Kingdom, is something that I feel is just not on.
My support for the Better Together campaign is not due to my lack of appreciation for Scotland. And I feel strongly that this debate is not about whether Scotland CAN be independent. Scotland may be a small country, but we sure are mighty. There are world-class scientists, sportsman, writers, musicians and so on. However it is about whether our future would be better than what we have at the moment. I recognise Scotland and all of the greatness it has produced. Yet realistically, the simple truth is that Scotland alone can not handle the same 21st century pressures as the rest of the world can.
Our resources are not infinite. Scotland has the security of being a part of one of the largest economies in the world. England and Scotland TOGETHER created the welfare state and from that we get to make our own decisions regarding health and education. Scotland has its own parliament… we even get our own church and legal system. People are minimising and denying the risks. The UK together has just scraped its way out of a double recession. Would an independent Scotland have been able to get out of their share of the debt alone? The fact is NO, they could not.
In my realistic thought, I do also know that the situation in Westminster is far from ideal. As a Journalism and Public Relations student, I know that the media centric coverage in London desperately needs to be improved. Why some people would rather lose our heritage of the pound, the Queen and our EU membership than work on our issues together, is something I am unable to comprehend.
When it comes to England – apart from the potential loss of students in your education system, it is now known that you would need to change currency from the pound – to something unknown as of yet – if you wanted to come and appreciate what Scotland has to offer… From Hogmanay in Edinburgh, to Skiing in Aviemore, to concerts in Glasgow, to exploring our highlands and even seeing our adorable highland cows.
On a more serious note – there would be the movement of the nuclear submarines from the Clyde to a currently undecided location further south. In terms of politics, England would see a huge loss of Labour voters and the further dominance of the Conservatives. Whether that is good or bad, is down to your personal opinion.
United, we have the best of both worlds. More powers, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. Separation is putting that at risk.
Personally, with the current voting polls being 49% NO and 51% YES votes… I’m scared. When I come back to my beautiful second home of Bristol after the vote on the 18th of September, am I going to be considered an immigrant? And at the end of the day, as a 19 year old British girl, I WANT THE QUEEN! I want to be able to justify my hysteria at the excitement of the new royal baby! And how bloody dull would the United Kingdom be without our beloved union jack?
This isn’t ‘Braveheart’! This is the future of our generation. I’d also like to ask the YES voters why, with the recent global problems the world is facing, why you would ever want to tear down our united front? We have built a national identity together. Let’s improve it – not destroy it. Let’s work on a brighter future together!
By Georgia Black