Take control of our destiny
Derek Thompson is a local resident, who shares his reasons for voting Yes.
“I have a confession to make. Before the European elections in May, I hadn’t voted in over a decade.
I moved to Cambuslang in 2009 from Belfast and the sectarian politics there had given me a general disdain for democratic process. I was visiting Belfast at the time of the 2010 General Election to run the marathon there and forgot to arrange a postal vote.
My father died a few weeks before the 2011 Holyrood elections, and voting was the furthest thing from my mind. I was too busy running my business to care about the 2012 council elections.
The Independence Referendum however is different. Like many others across Scotland I’ve become politicised.
Indyref is a politics that I finally can relate to for the first time in my life. This is a politics of reform that belongs to me every bit as much as it does to you, or to our elected representatives at Holyrood.
For the longest time I felt like I had no place in the debate. Although I’d done my research and decided that I’d be voting Yes, I didn’t feel like I had a remit to engage beyond that.
Quite often we hear representatives from the No side talk about their patriotism and of the narrow politics of nationalism. I felt excluded simply because I wasn’t Scottish and not a member of a political party. It was only from listening to non-partisan voices for Yes that I realised the sheer breadth and inclusiveness of the independence movement, something which is largely missing from the pro-union campaign.
People have different reasons for voting either Yes or No. For some it will boil down to national identity. For many however it all comes down to which path we feel gives us the best chance to create the kind of Scotland in which we want to live in years to come. I have enormous belief in Scotland’s best asset – its people.
This country can truly flourish if the people making the most important decisions are the ones living here.
Independence is not an instant cure for societal ills. I’ve been campaigning with Yes Rutherglen for many months now.
It’s been tough yet rewarding and has taken up all of my free time. I know however that the real hard work begins after a Yes vote. All of us – Yes and No voters alike – will be embarking on a journey together. We’ll be responsible for our own decisions and our own mistakes. I find that both frightening and exhilarating, and cannot wait to be part of it.
Nothing is certain in life. The only thing that we can ever be sure of is change. We can choose to be spectators, we can hope somehow that things change for the better. Or we can take control of our own destiny and create the kind of country that Scotland’s children deserve to inherit. Taking our destiny into our own hands requires bravery.
Scotland The Brave, live up to your name on September 18.”
New recruit Rutherglen’s Yes campaign co-ordinator Margaret Ferrier with recent convert Derek Thomson