As part of our English for Yes series Rickie Walthew looks back at the past half-century lived experience in Scotland.
I came to Scotland for a 7 month training course in 1965 with every intention of returning south. But I soon discovered that I had come home. I was offered a job in Edinburgh, married a highland lass, our twins were born in Elsie Inglis ,and have been here happily ever since. Finally retiring after successfully running my own business for many years in the beautiful Borders.
I soon realised that Scotland was being shat upon. Successful businesses were being closed down everywhere; Caterpillar, Ruston Bukyrus, Singer, Hoover, Ravenscraig, etc, etc. Vast tract of Scottish land were in the hands of a few aristocrats and moneyed absentee landlords. Social experiments such as the Poll Tax were inflicted on Scotland first.
I could not understand how the Scottish people meekly accepted all this discrimination, because there was the SNP Party, promising to fight for Scotland and not the South of England, but it was largely ignored. In France they would have been tipping manure on the steps of the Elysee Palace! But finally Scots woke up and in 2007 and voted in a minority SNP government. Then in 2011, voters really discovered their power. Against a system designed to prevent such an event, The SNP gained an overall majority – the Labour Party were stunned, it had always complacently and arrogantly assumed that Scotland was its manor. But voters had finally had enough of its decades of indifference, especially in Glasgow and Strathclyde.
After one rigged and one successful devolution referendum, Scotland now has the historic opportunity to be a democratically constituted independent nation again. If voters reject this propitious opportunity I believe that our children and grandchildren will judge us very harshly indeed.
Yours for Scotland
Categories: English for Yes