Scottish independence: A Yes vote represents a chance to finally break away from this rotten tradition of British 'unity'

Independence would not be the end, but the beginning

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Why did I move my family (my English wife and Welsh-born children) back to Scotland after 20years away?

Because this is the single biggest political event in my lifetime, and it represents a chance to create something truly meaningful for the lives of my children and for everyone who calls Scotland home.

I left Scotland, exactly half my lifetime ago, to train and find work as an actor. I did return and occasionally take jobs in the country, but I never found enough work to sustain me in the long term. My circumstances are different now, but so is my outlook.

I view what is happening here as a once in a lifetime chance to participate in creating a new socially democratic Scotland. A Scotland that puts people before profit. Its education and health care systems before illegal wars and nuclear weapons.  Whose contribution to the world is one of peace, sustainability, and compassion.

Unfortunately, voter apathy is something to which we’ve all become accustomed. Why? Because we all know how the saying goes: "It doesn’t matter who you vote for the government always wins!” — and nowhere is that more true than Scotland. 

Throughout my life the people of Scotland have only voted one way, and been given a government they rejected at the ballot box. That is not democracy! The only way you can argue that it is, is if you believe that Scotland is not a country. If you view it as merely a region of the UK then perhaps you could argue that the decades of Tory rule are just par for the democratic course. 

With voter registration currently running at 97 per cent and predictions for the turnout being between 80 and 90 per cent, it's time for the people of Scotland to show how unhappy they are with this broken course. A Yes vote will mean they want their country back.


Will we wake up in some sort of Utopia on Friday if the Yeses outnumber the Nos? Of course not: no-one seriously thinks that. But we will wake up to the fact that we, the sovereign people of Scotland, will be responsible for creating the kind of country we want to live in and be proud of.

After centuries of discontent, we will be a true equal in this "family of nations", that Cameron likes to go on about. No longer will we be just a poor relation.

Independence would not be the end, but the beginning. Of course, there’s a good chance it will be hard, with lots of complicated and difficult work to be done. But it would be for the good of all of us, inspiring work, work that our children and grandchildren will reap the rewards of.

My hope today is that Scots will heed Nelson Mandela’s wise words when we enter that polling booth: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”.