Our Future in Our Hands

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14 year-old Éireann Sheridan reflects on her experiences of the referendum and asks: who stole my future? 

Apprehension and excitement buzzed throughout my whole being, I could think of little else even when at school.  The 18th of September loomed nearer by the moment, and all that occupied my mind, were thoughts and hopes for the outcome of Scotland’s referendum. This was a new thing for me, and I was enthralled by the opportunity for positive change.

The lead up to what I saw as the chance to create a better place to live, had engrossed me in a whirlwind of learning, hope and opportunity.  Despite taking a passing interest, politics had never excited me on such a high level.  I understood the huge importance of what was happening in my country, and as a result, took the time to educate myself on what was happening.  Conclusively, I came to the wholehearted and enthusiastic decision, to back independence.  The more I learned, the more frustrated I became about my inability to vote due to my being 13 years old when the vote would take place, however, this did not stop me passionately supporting the yes campaign.  I wanted a better future for us all.

The excitement remained within me constantly; it was all I wanted to speak about.  I asked many of my teachers about it, but they were not allowed to share their opinions with me at all.  In fact, there was something of a taboo on the subject within the school walls. The premise seemed to be that teachers swaying the minds of children would be unfair, yet we learned about political happenings from other countries. In hindsight, it seems like an opportunity wasted, for example in Modern Studies class we could have discussed the process.

Regardless, as the day drew near, my age group and peers had become more aware of the situation. They gradually developed opinions about it, and I very much actively voiced my own and engaged in debate.  Some of the points put across and opinions shared, shocked me to my core. I had not realised how many people thought so very differently from how I did.   Ideas that my country was incapable of running itself had never before occurred to me.

“Our future in our hands” promised the yes campaign, but suddenly, I was faced with the harsh reality that my future was in other people’s hands, many of whom did not share my view.  When some of my friends spoke, I heard their parents voice speaking through them.  Worse than that, I heard the TV speaking through their parents to get there. This made me question my own views.  Was I falling into the same trap? Were my views actually those of my parents who were both yes voters?  Should I have been reconsidering my opinions?

I tried to engage my brain, I listened, I read and I had to convince myself my opinion was my own. The best possible future for me, I completely believed and concluded, would be in the land of opportunity following Scotland’s independence.

It was the 18th of September.  Although the weather was awful as usual, and everyone was going about their daily business, all it took to know that something greater was happening, was to listen in to conversation. Everybody was talking about it; when they voted, what they voted and what other people were saying.  You would have had to be living under a rock to be unaware of it.

I can clearly remember sitting in Modern Studies, staring out of the window, watching people go to the polling station. Never had I been so excited. Never had I put so much faith in my country.  After school, I went to the polling station with my mum. I went all the way to the booth with her and witnessed her draw an ‘X’ in the yes box. Pride and hope were my distinct feelings in that moment but they were met with envy. I would have loved to have been allowed to vote and considering how educated I now was, I felt it unfair that I could not. There was nothing I could do, my feelings reminded me of the slogan “hope vs fear”, I hoped with all my heart that the people of Scotland would not let me down and feared with just as much of myself, the consequences of a no vote.

With that thought in mind, I reflected over the referendum. It had been the positivity and ‘hope’ of the yes campaign in contrast to the negative and ‘fearful’ No campaign that had initially attracted me to Yes, although I believe, both hope and fear can propel people to accomplish great things. In many people’s minds, a no vote was the safe option, that remaining part of the United Kingdom was not something to fear.  Having learned many of both the inevitable and possible repercussions of both outcomes, I knew this to be so very far from the truth.  In making a decision, one must consider its consequences as well as its possibilities, to do otherwise would be foolish, surely?  This seems pretty obvious, despite the fact I will not be 14 until January.

I stayed up to watch the results come in. It did not take long for the hopes in my heart to sink, heavily to my stomach. Something, in the mood, in the eyes of the politicians on the opposing side, told me that a no vote was imminent.  The next hours proved this. Never in my life had I felt let down by my country, up to that moment.  Scotland the brave?… 55% cowardice, I dare say. Fought and died for? Yet refusing our own self-determination with a vote! Disappointment was an understatement.

Stating that I simply could not face it, I took the next day off school, I didn’t realise I would be this frustrated and upset.  I had woken up at the normal time anyway, and habitually checked social media. The yes related groups and pages, which had been my daily ritual to visit, were still very much alive.  Although among some remaining hope, the regret and the hurt was hugely present. As is done in such times, I looked for someone to blame.

I asked myself then, who stole my future? I started with all those who voted No, this had seemed the most rational place to apportion blame. But I quickly came to the conclusion that they only did so because they were convinced to. Who had convinced them? The leader of the no campaign, Blair McDougal? The leader of better together, Alastair Darling? The scare mongering of Jim Murphy and Gordon Brown? They seemed very valid people to blame, and then I wondered why they did what they did.  Clearly, their actions were for their own personal gain, I decided, for: power, wealth, their own jobs, their own classes, a different country, an alien way of life. How could they possibly get away with such things and how did their actions actually have any influence? I played with this thought, toying it from corner to corner in my mind.  Then it hit me. The mass media, I had heard people complain about them and my own experience and logic told me they were right.

The mass media is our most easily accessible source of knowledge. Our knowledge of things stretches only as far as the knowledge of the source from which we gained it and moreover, its conveyor is rarely reliable. The human ability to remain impartial, according to my observation therefore seems limited.  And the mass media allow these people, these selfish people, to influence the ways and thoughts of our society. The persuasion and influence of media is to be expected, but when it becomes pervasive and repetitive, there are issues such as the one we are currently faced with. We are the victims of brainwashing. And the mass media are in on it. Incidentally, I covered this area as my chosen subject during a school challenge in English, to make your own ‘ted talk’ and is why I have developed this opinion.

With a growing aggravation and despising towards the mass media, I was sure I had found the people to blame. However, I came to the puzzling realisation that when I refer to the ‘mass media’ I am unsure of who exactly I mean. What individuals make up the mass media and which individuals within it are to blame? The reporters who deliver the news, the journalists who tell them what to say, the editors who decide the content or the people in charge?

Most of the people I tried to blame, were not really people at all. They were organisations, made up of people I knew little of. So, who stole my future?

The people we allow to hide behind the anonymity of their entities.

That’s our problem, as the Scottish people, we allowed this to happen, we were too apathetic. We played too nice. Although an invigorating, refreshing movement to be a part of, the positive yes campaign was not powerful enough.  We failed to convey our fears and the repercussions of a no majority to other Scots. We allowed the Westminster monsters to put across their fear mongering scare stories.  We allowed our opposition to get away with far too much.

Not anymore. They might have won the battle, but the war is just beginning. We are the Yes movement and we will not stand down.  We will use both hope as well as fear now. I look forward to participating in future elections, although I cannot vote in the Westminster election in 2015 and I will only be 15 when we have the Scottish election in 2016 (grrr!). Still, I recently represented Deans Community High School at the inter school debate, ‘Model UN’ where schools act as countries and submit resolutions, which kept up my interest in politics. I especially look forward to voting Yes in Scotland’s next referendum.  May the people of Scotland unite and break free, and may it happen in my lifetime.

I wont let my future be stolen again. Will you?



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59 replies

  1. 14? Well I’ve certainly had my faith in the future restored. I wouldn’t get too down about the no vote. It would have been a dangerous shock to two countries not prepared for it. I said at the time, and I’m still convinced, they lost and it just hasn’t dawned on them. Well it’s beginning to dawn on them now. After we decimate the traitors in May it will be a slow and steady transition to autonomy.

  2. Until the yes side understands that No voters (more than half of the Scottish people) do not consider themselves in any way oppressed – which is what ‘break free’ implies – the yes side will never win.

    Until the yes side adopts a more reasoned and consensual opinion than 55% of their fellow countrymen are ‘cowards’ – the yes side will never win.

    Until the yes side puts on paper a proper, accounted fiscal position with a rock solid currency policy – the yes side will never win.

    I could understand the vehemence of nationalist opinion if there was ever a clear and absolute public desire for independence, but as it happens, even after 2 years and the entire force of the Scots Gov/Civil service at its disposal, yes still came up short and it has never got over 55% in an opinion poll yet.

    There is currently no majority appetite in Scotland for such radical change and I don’t foresee it changing decisively in favour of the yes side any time soon.

    You can either accept this or reject it. At the end of the day – Scots Sovereignty was there on the 18th and a people does not hand it back to be shared with other brother peoples lightly or out of fear.

    What an utterly ridiculous notion.

    • I agree with everything you’ve said. But it is what is, we have a minority calling us cowards, traitors, and worse.

      What we need to make Scotland (and the rest of the UK) a better place is less nationalism and more cooperation. I certainly hope a “war” is not beginning…

    • Scot and Brit.above; Scot and Brit. is being wilfully blind .Were it a yes vote then Full policies would be thought out over years and the currency would have been implemented.

    • What we need is not for the yes or no to understand each other but for the no camp to realise that selling your country out to an imperialistic english ideological sense of belonging to an era that is dead. Whilst only 45% voted to go independent, that may have risen(?) but if you look at the way the english run parliament treat our country with contempt the end of the union will eventually come. A change in the politics of Scotland has happened and the old way of bowing to our imperial masters has stopped. I’ sure both sides had their reasons and ideological train of thought when they went into the ballot box, but as with all things in life people change. In such a short time I have seen so much radical and at time scary change in Scotland that people who once wanted no change now want change. The fear for the yes camp is not whether another referendum will happen, and if you look and read between the lines of the current news it will come, the fear is that the imperial masters will outlaw and create a state where the oppression of Scotland, whether you are yes or no will result in civil unrest. If the westminster politicians had left Scotland to their own devices I believe she would have voted no with a bigger percentage but as they interfered they will now reap the whirlwind they have sown. It is logical to look at the polls at present and see how the masses are now flocking away from the unionist parties and want their voices heard, although how loud that will be remains to be seen but the overall picture is that it won’t be a wee whisper it will be a lions roar like you have never heard before, and change will come sooner than we thought it would, troops on the streets of Glasgow or not the union flag’s time is almost up.

    • This is precisely the response one would envisage from the mind set that voted no. It was never about ‘sides’. It was about information. The notions of romanticism and the pejorative use of the term ‘nationalism’ adhered much more fittingly to the ‘loyal British’ citizen voting ‘No’. The term ‘cowards’ is not a mantra of the Yes movement, rather it’s akin to the standard human trait of name calling, very much in the vein of ‘separatists’. Still you reference ‘fiscal position’ in that vague language of the media, as well as the hoary old ‘currency’ bluff. You cannot seriously suggest that the Unionist vote didn’t have at it’s disposal the entire might of Westminster and the three largest political parties in the UK alongside and entirely compliant national media! The Yes campaign was and remains a genuine grass roots movement of ordinary people, no amount of unionist rebuttal will change that fact. I’m not sure if Scotland will vote for independence ‘soon’, I’m pretty sure it won’t. I am however convinced that Scotland will vote for independence eventually. Why? – because of the engagement and awareness of our youth such as the wonderful young author of the above post, because it’s not about ‘sides’ it’s about information. The youth are evermore informed. Not by old establishment media. Read again the conclusions of an articulate young mind with no motive to accept or reject anything without deep rational consideration.

    • Scottish and British? What happens when Scotland’s interests conflict with the Divided Kingdom’s interests? Which side do you choose then?

    • Well, the No side had the same length of time, the entire apparatus of the far larger Westminster civil service, the two governing parties of the UK, the official opposition party in Westminster and an entirely compliant media.

      Break free does not necessarily imply opression, I do not consider myself opressed but I still want a seperate constitutional setup that ‘frees’ us from Westminster governance.

      The ‘fiscal’ position is interesting, if opinion polls are to be believed, the various announcements made on denial of the pound etc were not believed by the Scottish electorate, pretty much the only thing it did was harden opinions at the two poles, between committed yessers who took it as a clear sign of Westminster’s imperialist, patrician like rule, and committed No-ers at the other end who already thought the whole thing was a bad idea in the first place.

      The long term problem for those committed to the UK, is that they are a smaller minority than those who are committed to an independent Scotland, in between lies the plurality. Folk who have no intrinsic emotional attatchment to the Union. The outcome of the referendum was decided by several groups in favour of No, Yes was level pegging or slightly ahead in age groups up to 45-50, and got tanked royally by that generation who still had positive memories of the Union and it’s legacy growing up, and by other-UK born and EU born Scots who tilted massively no as well. Yes should have done – needed to do – better, it wa snot enough to be level pegging or slightly ahead in groups where the Yes message would get a positive hearing, a sit was patently obvious that No would be miles ahead in certain demographics. Still, you live and learn.

      I guess I’m rambling, but the great concern for those in favour of the UK is that the opinion polls only ever went one way. Yes never hemorrhaged votes to No, the movement was entirely in one direction. That 45% is largely locked in, which is not something that can be said for No, which still has a soft edge that can be chipped away at. Indeed, recent opinion polls show that the Yes vote has gone up since September, even in the few that would still show Yes behind. Depending on May’s outcome, and fruther wrangling over the entirely inadequate Smith commission, life could get very interesting in the next 5 years.

    • “Until the yes side understands that No voters (more than half of the Scottish people) do not consider themselves in any way oppressed – which is what ‘break free’ implies – the yes side will never win.”

      What about the No voters who *want* independence, but think that it’s impossible? What about the No voters who hate Westminster and do consider themselves oppressed, but were too afraid of unknown to vote Yes? What about the No voters who only voted that way because they throught radical devolution was, in fact, a possibility after a No vote? What about the small but noticeable percentage of No voters who now regret their vote?

      There are many different types of No voters, just as there are many different types of Yes voters. The 55% are not some amorphous mass whose opinions can be represented by a single opinion.

      “Until the yes side adopts a more reasoned and consensual opinion than 55% of their fellow countrymen are ‘cowards’ – the yes side will never win. ”

      Until the No side adopts a more reasoned and concensual opinion that 45% of their fellow countrymen are racist, xenophobic separatists, the no side will never win either. See, I can do strawmen too.

      “Until the yes side puts on paper a proper, accounted fiscal position with a rock solid currency policy – the yes side will never win.”

      There is no such thing. There are no “rock solid” currency policies, because everything is subject to change, fluctuation and revision – and that includes the UK’s own currency. Who’s to say the UK will be using the pound in 100 year’s time? Even 50? So why is the Yes campaign called upon to put on paper a “proper, accounted fiscal position” yet the UK doesn’t?

      “I could understand the vehemence of nationalist opinion if there was ever a clear and absolute public desire for independence, but as it happens, even after 2 years and the entire force of the Scots Gov/Civil service at its disposal, yes still came up short and it has never got over 55% in an opinion poll yet.”

      2 years and the Scottish government’s resources are as nothing compared to 300 years of endemic unionism and the entire force of the British establishment, including the near entirety of the UK media, the government, the civil service, retail giants, business tycoons. Yet even with ten times the resources and a monopoly on the press, the UK side went from a +30 point lead to a +10 point result. How does that happen when every news channel, almost every newspaper, every major UK-wide political party, and the wealth of billionaires are so resolutely on the UK’s favour?

      “There is currently no majority appetite in Scotland for such radical change and I don’t foresee it changing decisively in favour of the yes side any time soon.”

      Does “radical change” include or exclude devomax/home rule, long considered by far the most popular choice but never offered to the Scottish people in a binding contract? Because it’s pretty clear from all polls that the people of Scotland want more change than anything proposed by the various commissions.

      “You can either accept this or reject it. At the end of the day – Scots Sovereignty was there on the 18th and a people does not hand it back to be shared with other brother peoples lightly or out of fear. ”

      No, they do not – and that is why they have to win every battle, but we only need to win once.

    • Bull, it was 55% of the people who voted not 55% of the country and OMG the entire force of the Scots Gov/Civil came up short WHAT versus the entire Westminster/Civil.

      The big mistake you make which is typical of unionist shills is that Scotland has changed, there was no major appetite for change but the referendum campaign has opened eyes that once were closed.

      And did you not see the opinion poll at the start of September putting Yes in the lead ?

      The tide is turning, the referendum was maybe too soon for a lot of Scots but the more we learn of the way our country is treated in this ‘union’ then the more inclined they will be to independence.

      And well done Éireann you fill me with hope for the future against this commentators useless contribution

  3. Great stuff, Eireann. ……..”a better place to live” it’s as simple as that.
    Thank you for writing this great piece.

  4. What a wonderful piece of writing. I so enjoyed meeting the young folk in the Yes campaign. They were so impressive as are you Eireann. May thanks for making my day!

  5. Just when the thud of realising the campaign was over and we lost was going away I read this and it all comes back.
    Brilliant article , we will win in the end I just hope its not long to wait

    • Alan the campaign was not lost,it was ” stolen” as history will unequivocally show. Its really great to have our young people thinking so maturely as the power elite will pull out all the stops to keep their hopes and dreams of a better Scotland minimised.
      The government knows exactly what is coming at the forthcoming elections, and let me assure you that steps to infiltrate and destabilize the democratic wave of optimism that we are experiencing just now are afoot.
      Free thinking people are the controllers greatest enemy, and we must keep up the education of our youngsters at the forefront of this battle.

  6. 13/ 14 years old? Really? And I thought my niece was smart! wow, if a bit weird. Is this the Ed taking the piss? Bit creepy TBH.

  7. Eireann, you yes folks lost the vote, but won the cultural battle. Just look around! It’s been so inspiring to watch from the dreary U.S. of A.

    Don’t put most of your eggs in the political basket. Politicians always do what will keep them in power; SNP will too. Win on the culture front, and you will see them trying despite themselves to keep up. And there are no age barriers on that battleground!!!! You go grrl! 🙂

  8. Wise beyond your years. Thank you for sharing your journey and reflection.

  9. This is not a 14 year old girl. This is a middle aged angry man! This is weird….read it again!

  10. ‘The mass media is our most easily accessible source of knowledge. Our knowledge of things stretches only as far as the knowledge of the source from which we gained it and moreover, its conveyor is rarely reliable.’

    I barely know what this means and I’, in my 30 s…. woooooo sooooo creepy!

    • So her mom edited a bit. Get over it.

    • It shows the difference between your education and the education of kids today. My kid wrote a piece on local culture and it amazed me how well constructed it was, although some spelling was to be desired. Kids are sharper than a 30 something guy, you are getting old and soon to be like me..defunct an in need of upgrading

    • I’ll have you know I’m not an angry, middle aged man. Thank you for picking this quote, it’s one of my favourites!! I apologise if your intelligence does not stretch to the extent that you can comprehend it, although, it’s really not my problem and your unconstructive criticism is not appreciated. Thanks for reading though

  11. Excellent article. The intellectual gap between yes and no becomes ever wider. We are merely playing with them now. Talking of brainwashing, No voters remind me of obedient Amway sheep.

  12. I’m particularly scornful of the contribution above from Scottish and British. The YES side put up a watertight well argued and well balanced case for independence in all terms including economic. The economic case was given the thumbs up by the world’s most respected rating’s agencies. The case was ignored by the media. The White Paper of 670 pages was declared dud minutes after its publication by politicians who had not read it and this continued relentlessly. The Better Together produced no model, no case and spoke unadulterated economic nonsense and scaremongering which was covered wall to wall by a thoroughly dishonest media.
    I kept meeting Better Together proponents who disparaged the White Paper. On questioning I met none who had actually read it. The unionist politicians did not beat us. They made fools of themselves regularly (and continue to do so – you cannot produce good leaders when you have no cause). The media and those who own it and control it was and is our opponent.
    You got it exactly right, Eireann. And we will win the next one.

    PS I do not believe the result . We will shortly hear more on this

    • I read the white paper and found it a major disappointment. Never has so little been said in so many pages.

      • There is still a Question over postal votes and the White Paper would have been beefed well out on a Yes vote

      • Monty where was the bitter together’s manifesto? They only produced papers and essays from people who were discredited within hours and shown to have a financial connection to their work. Even now the unionists are fighting for their lives but still they have no coherent means of leading or of producing a manifesto that is not stolen from the yes groups or rehashed from 2010. show me their manifesto and I will read, digest and decide, until then I’m for SNP and independence.

  13. I worked in secondary schools for 38+ years and have always been proud of our young people.
    Eireann may be able to put together words in a way many cannot – but I have known many young people able to express themselves in different ways.
    Our future is full of hope and each of us must carry that hope forward like abright torch.
    Rise Scotland. Rise and shine!

  14. Eireann, you’ve filled me with hope. How can we fail when we have such committed young people just waiting for the chance to claim back a better world? So well written, you remind me of me when I was 14. Only you’re smarter. The future’s so bright I’ve got to wear shades. Many thanks.

  15. For those who simplistically pick up the comment about ‘cowards’, please note that this was a passing thought; the remainder of Eireann’s article qualified and elaborates on her thinking nails the source of Scots inability to have faith in themselves and their country: the main stream media.

    When even major newspapers claiming to represent Scotland are little more than copies of English papers, owned and produced in London, with TV much the same, it is to be expected that their outlook is primarily that of the South East of England.

    It requires considerable insight into how one learns if one is to break the habits of a lifetime but that is what is happening in Scotland now. Scots have a new and growing media based in and devoted to Scottish interests, in print and on line. It is also conceivable that Scotland might also have its own limited TV news channel within a year or so. If that comes to fruition then any right minded person will have the option of considering alternative views in order to determine the truth. And I know where that truth will be found.

    Eireann’s future in an independent country is almost certainly assured. I only hope I am around to see Independence Day, having spent a frustrating 54 years since I first began the same journey as Eireann using the facilities of Edinburgh’s public library. ‘Forward Scotland’ was the slogan at the time, and that is certainly the direction Scotland is now going, at quite a lick.

  16. With young people like Eireann Sheridan we can all look positively to the future. Great to see someone so young so articulate, thoughtful and brave. Never heed what the hoodies croak for doom.

  17. Great post.

    The future doesn’t look quite so dark when you see such engagement from the next generation.

  18. What maturity from a 14-year-old! Well done, Eirann. I wouldn’t worry too much about your future. Unlike me, you have many years to enjoy an independent Scotland. I’m afraid that your future would be as an exile from this beautiful country, much like the 30,000 per annum of the fresh graduates and skilled young people who currently have to leave Scotland to earn enough to achieve a decent standard of living.
    I still wear my YES badge to show that I was not one of the old codgers who stole your future.

  19. Well said Eireann. Our day will come. Like you, and many others , I was devastated with the No vote. However, you just need to look at the age profile of Yes voters, and the future can be clearly seen. Fighting the establishment, whose dirty tricks couldn’t be imagined, won’t be easy, but we will get there.

  20. “I won’t let my future be stolen again. Will you?”

    Methinks this may well catch on.

  21. Oof what a post!!!

    To see how so soon after the no vote things changed for the Yes side has been a revelation.

    I’d never have thought the unionist parties would be pishin themselves with fear at the thought of the upcoming G.E. Yet here we are – the losers – still wearing oor Yes badges, flying oor Yes flags in the backies and showing oor Yes stckers in oor car windees. And proudly too.

    I’d have put a pound note on that not happening for at least a few years never mind weeks.

    Eireann’s post is a belter, whether she’s 15 or 50. To think that this is the minds we have on the Yes side compared to the (simple) minds on the other side fills me with hope that oor day wull come. Sooner rather than later.

    “I won’t let my future be stolen again. Will you? No I wont.

  22. An inspiring piece. Thank you, Eireann

  23. I was so impressed with your thoughts Eireann, especially from someone so young. People like you ARE Scotland’s future. Our future politicians, future journalists, future hope for a country that we all love and hope to see as an independent, prosperous and fair country. Where people no longer have to rely on governments to make sure they can put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads and for a majority just live a hand to mouth existence. We all deserve better than that.

    It makes us wonder why anyone would vote for the same existence, instead of a more prosperous future. Even though no one can guarantee how Scotland would fair independently, we can all agree that it couldn’t be any worse!

    I grew up in the 60’s and had an older brother who campaigned for the SNP. I used to run around putting leaflets through peoples doors when voting came around. I was lucky enough to have been introduced to politics at this young age, although I didn’t really understand it, I did hear how my brother was very much for Scotland being it’s own country. I voted SNP all my life, even though people used to say “it’s a wasted vote” well at least it has “eventually” worked for them. People just need to be brave and have faith.

    I left Scotland in 1990, I moved to Australia to give my kids a better life. I have no regrets as far as my kids are concerned. But I myself, miss my country and was devastated on the 19th of September 2014.

    I’m hoping that your generation will give Scotland her independence in my lifetime. We’re relying on you!
    Thanks you Eireann for giving us hope. We know you can do it!

  24. Great article Eireann, well done. Re; “I asked myself then, who stole my future?”, it is very kind of you not to point the finger at my generation (the over 70s) but you would be accurate to do so. It is also true that I belong to another grouping of Scots who featured heavily amongst those who voted “No”…settlers from England. I was born in England of English parents but I have resided in Scotland for about half a century.

    I voted “Yes” and, like you, worked hard for the “Yes” campaign. But I spoke to so many people of my age and older who just believed the distorted story being told in the Westminster supporting popular press, owned and often written outside Scotland, and BBC Scotland, echoing and magnifying the attitudes of BBC HQ instead of presenting a useful impartial service to Scots. The distortions even reached Labour activists, councillors and MSPs who should have been better informed. Unfortunately they told and phoned Scottish Senior Citizens, repeating the distortions of the media. This distortion included pretending that continuance of our weekly state pension would be put at risk by Independence. The reverse was actually the case! You may well know that, actuarilly, Scots pensioners obtain a poor deal from the UK pension system. Furthermore, the UK pension system itself leaves all UK pensioners amongst the worst off in Western Europe. I am not complaining. I, and my Scottish wife, have enough for our needs. It is the younger ones in our community who need more help at the moment IMO.

    I hope that, by the time that you are of pensionable age, the pensions will be fully of Western European levels and the other aspects of the Scots standard of living are brought up to those standards too. This can be achieved by meaningful (real) Home Rule or, surer still, by full Independence. Westminster is failing and, unfortunately, is showing insufficient awareness of the need for self improvement. For Scots to continue to vote for parties HQed in Westminster would be just silly. I am ashamed to admit that I have been doing precisely that, and worse, for most of my voting life. Only parties based in Scotland can know what is best for Scots. Parties like Conservatives, Labour and LibDem, in reality based in another country but with “Scottish” pre-fixing their name, are merely branch offices of Westminster parties. Scots need to vote for, and be represented by, Scottish political parties. The poison emanating from Westminster needs to be stemmed somehow or other. Scots need to play a much larger part in this.

    I think like Jim Sillars; if Scotland cannot achieve a better constitutional arrangements and better economic control of its own affairs, I will be suggesting to my grand-children that they emigrate (although it will be quite a wrench to see them go).

    Do keep up your zeal. I will certainly try to and to stay active in support of our cause. Such attitudes will surely help ensure a better future for Scots, our country and the whole world IMO.

  25. What an enjoyable read from this young lady. And how lucky Scotland is to have a generation of clued-up youngesters. After all, when we finally extract ourselves from this corrupt cesspool that they call “UKOK” (talk about thinking big!), we are going to need all the help we can get to get our country back on track. England has it bad enough with the completely distorted economy which will one day collapse under the burden of derivatives. But at least it is not being plundered of its natural wealth to the same extent — and do not forget the pool of professional politicians (unionists from the three tory parties) whose whole raison d’etre is to cause damage to their own country… I look forward to the day when the reins of power will be in the hands of the likes of the author of this article.

  26. Eireann,
    That’s an excellent piece of writing.Keep it up! The referendum result was a huge disappointment,but the campaign was a huge success.It opened so many people’s eyes.It was a necessary part of the process of independence.Unionism is dull,dreary and dismal.You can help build something better and brighter.Thankyou very much.

  27. Out of the mouths of babes. So often I have heard children and young people cut straight to the point and tell it like it really is. Thank you Eireann. Don’t be upset by the apparent meanness of those who oppose us. These are people who understand nothing of hope and unselfish aspiration. There are many Scots out there who were just too afraid to break out of the chains that tie them to a hopeless life. But you and your people are working hard to enable them to learn that there is another way, a better way and to have the courage to travel with us. Already Scotland is becoming a better place just because people are becoming more aware.

  28. Was Scotland taken to the cleaners, most definitely said a major shareholder of Air Canada by British Airport Authority , commenting on Prestwick being the most important hub in the late 40’s and through the 50;s but that traffic was filtered away south of the border when the jet age came in, this could be brought back either by upgrading the infrastructure road and rail etc. or a new airport in the centre of the country, this would completely rejuvenate the whole Scottish economy especially tourism . Many airlines in Canada and North America and the flag carriers of many countries would be in full support of this move because of less crowded airspace and many other economical factors , just go and ask them if you have any doubts. Instead of connecting flights from Scotland to Amsterdam and Heathrow and others, the situation would be reversed all to the benefit to Scotland.

  29. In 1979 I was too young to vote in the Scottish devolution referendum but I watched my parents, who were in their 50’s talk and decide what to vote for. And it was very easy and clear to them. Yes = Scotland. At that time most working class people followed labour, which was the ‘working mans party’.

    My parents wanted Scotland to be free of London, as much as it could be, and I remember the arguments and despair BEFORE the vote in 1979 amongst working class Scottish people, my parents included, about why a none vote would mean No. In all of our opinions, if you didn’t vote, it shouldn’t count for either side (as my Dad said at the time “if they don’t get out of bed to vote, they shouldn’t have a voice”). I think my parents knew we were doomed before we began..

    But they did their bit and voted Yes. Yes ‘lost’ because of rules made up by London – and we were stuck with them. In fact Yes really did win, but it was stolen from us. At the age of 16, they – the ones in power, the ones who made all the rules, the ones with money – stole my future too.

    Back then, there were 3 channels on TV, the BBC had two of them and everything we saw and read was fed to us all by them and their pals who owned the newspapers – the establishment.

    My family voted YES in 2014, including my teenage daughter.. and we were devastated to find out how split our country (Scotland) was the following morning and how many of our ‘people’ voted for Westminster and not Scotland. I will never, ever understand it.

    Divide and conquer, is the great british motto – and here it is. Utterly devastating, but the establishment are fine.. everything goes on as normal. Except here in Bonnie. The fight is not over and never will be.

    Stolen futures did not begin with you – and will not end with you – but as long as future generations learn and begin to understand more than what they are told.. there is H O P E.

    I doubt if I’ll be here by the time if and when there is another vote – but I know my kids will be and I know what they, and others, will choose. Too many questions have been unanswered and now there is twitter, facebook, social media – keep ‘them’ accountable for every single things they say – every truth, every lie… and never give up.

  30. Éireann Sheridan : take a bow! This is a wonderful description of a personal journey to understanding the reality of our benighted country’s plight. Your clear and unflinching analysis puts most of our journalistic ‘experts’ to shame.

    You are absolutely correct: Scotland’s freedom was stolen, yet again, by the institutions that control information in this country. The msm, the schools, the universities, the churches and the BBC most of all ,have lied incessantly.

    We got fooled and cheated in ’79 and again in ’14. You and your generation must not allow the weakness of preceding generations to deter you from seizing our freedom back. Ignore the cowards , fearties and traitors, for that is what they really are, Scotland needs brave youth like you to take the fight forward. Alba Gu Brath!

  31. This is the most moving account of the Scottish Independence Referendum Campaign and it’s outcome that I have read. It leaves me both ashamed of my fellow Scots who didn’t have the confidence to see a bright future for an Independent Scotland and yet at the same time confident that we have such a far seeing teenager that I believe we will get there in the end. It is interesting that I am only 14 years from my 100th Birthday whilst Eireann is only 14 years from when she was born. If it is any consolation Eireann I truly believe I will see independence for my country in my lifetime and you will in yours. Thank you for such a beautifully crafted piece of writing from the heart. Saor Alba

  32. Great article! I remember the morning after being devastated. Then I hurriedly went onto my yes supporting Facebook pages to talk to people before they closed as I was sure they would do. The yes/snp movement since the morning of the 19th has been really invigorating! I like many others joined the Snp that day as a kind of show of support. It was a difficult day and this article takes me right back their. I hope one day I can look back at it in an independent Scotland knowing it was all for something.

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