Comment: change the politics in these islands

Picture by Russell Gray Sneddon
Picture by Russell Gray Sneddon

I believe that Scotland can be proud of the debate we’ve seen as we approach the referendum.

Campaigners, particularly on the Yes side, have engaged voters in creative and inclusive ways.

The debate has also been addressing the question in a deeper way than just the one on the ballot form — not just should Scotland be independent, but what kind of country do we want to be?

We have the opportunity to make Scotland a fairer and more equal society.

We can make Scotland a more vibrant and successful country.

We can make Scotland a leader for the global change that’s needed and move away from this failed economic model which degrades our people and our environment.

During this debate there have been some arguments which might have made me rethink what side I was on.

If I believed, as the No campaign says, that independence would break the bonds of friendship and family across these islands then I might have been a No voter.

If I believed that independence would undermine our solidarity with those seeking a better society in the rest of the UK, I might have been a No voter.

If I believed that independence was a selfish act, I might have been a No voter.

In fact, Scotland voting Yes could be just what the rest of the UK needs to begin a democratic and political shake-up that’s long overdue.

An independent Scotland could show by our actions that cuts and austerity are not the only way.

An independent Scotland can show that a welfare state fit for the 21st century can be built and that a fairer and more equal society is possible.

A Yes vote will rid the Clyde of nuclear weapons and could tip the balance against the UK’s renewal of weapons of mass destruction.

That’s why my colleagues in the Green Party of England and Wales are one of many voices south of the border who see Scottish independence as an opportunity for all of us.

We can change the politics throughout these islands and begin a stronger relationship between us.

A Yes vote is just the beginning.

Once we’ve achieved that it will be down to all of us to play a role in demanding and building a better society.