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article imageShould Scotland be independent? Special

By Lesley Lanir     Apr 2, 2014 in World
Glasgow - Scotland will hold a referendum for independence from the UK in September. A Glaswegian continues his conversation about the future of his homeland as an independent state and whether in his view Scotland should have independence.
A national referendum to be held in Scotland on 18 September, 2014, will decide whether or not Scotland will go forward in preparing to become an independent state.
A Glaswegian discussed with Digital Journal if Scotland is ready to be an independent country and whether it could survive as such and prosper. In this part of the conversation, he focuses on not if Scotland can survive and prosper but whether in his view Scotland should declare independent statehood.
So the question then becomes, should Scotland be an independent country?
This is where the issue becomes more about emotion than facts and figures for many.
It is a fact that the Scottish vote has not made a decisive difference to the results of a general election in the UK for over a century.
As the financial sector has risen to become the main economic driver for the UK in recent years, the economy has become more and more London-centric, with growth in the South-East of England far outstripping the rest of Britain. Independence is an opportunity for Scotland to address that imbalance and create a new centre for economic prosperity in the North of the British Isles. This would not only benefit Scotland itself, but also those regions in the north of England who also feel increasingly marginalised and separated from the capital in the South.
Stirling Castle: One of the largest and most important castles  both historically and architecturall...
Stirling Castle: One of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland.
Neil Gunn
Increasingly the policies and decisions coming out of Westminster are seen as being for the benefit of the South East and do not address the needs of the North. The wealth-gap between London and the rest of the UK is vast, with average house prices now effectively barring anyone on less than an executive level salary from buying property in the capital.
Scotland has traditionally voted for more socially progressive, inclusive political parties, with Labour being by far the biggest vote-winner at all general elections in recent memory. However, the current Westminster based Labour party is seen by many as being little more than a pale reflection of their conservative counterparts and many people hope that in an independent Scotland a new, more progressive Scottish Labour party will emerge, without the need to cleave so closely to their Westminster big brothers.
Debating chamber - Scottish parliament
Debating chamber - Scottish parliament
Neil Gunn
That isn’t to say that this is guaranteed, or that such a party would automatically win a general election. There are right wing and left wing Scots, progressive and conservative Scots. There are bigots, racists, xenophobes and neo-fascists in Scotland just as there are forward-thinking, inclusive Scots who want to live in a country that looks after and supports the most vulnerable with compassion, encouragement and understanding.
Independence would not be the end of an argument, but the beginning of the Scottish people’s ability to play a full part in that argument, for better and worse.
Edinburgh Castle  Scotland.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.
Neil Gunn
So what might hold back a Yes vote for Scottish Independence?
The biggest argument against independence seems to be uncertainty – we can’t be absolutely sure what might happen, so we shouldn’t take the risk. It’s true; we don’t know all the details. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, just as there are plenty of things that could change for the better.
Scotland - Inveraray Bridge - Loch Fyne
Scotland - Inveraray Bridge - Loch Fyne
Neil Gunn
So, no, we don’t know all the details about currency, regulation and business. It might go horribly wrong. We could mess it up and end up in a terrible mess. That’s entirely possible. But, you know what? It’ll be us that does it. It’ll be our fault and we’ll have to live with that. We’ll have big decisions to make and the result of those decisions will dictate whether we thrive as an independent nation or collapse on our arse.
The referendum is just the first of thousands of choices that will have to be made, and every single one of them is full of risk.
Personally, I don’t see that as a reason not to go for it. To me, that doesn’t sound like something to be avoided. It sounds like growing up.
I see independence as a challenge to be relished, and one that I’m certain Scotland can rise to with aplomb.
St Columba s Bay  Scotland
St Columba's Bay, Scotland
Neil Gunn
If you are interested in a hearing a different view on the Scottish referendum, read here.
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