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article imageIndependence — Is Scotland ‘Better Together’ than 'Independent'? Special

By Lesley Lanir     Apr 9, 2014 in Politics
Glasgow - Danny Quinn, known as Scottish Hip Hop emcee, Wee D, discusses why he feels he is fortunate and is firmly in the ‘Better Together’ camp and not voting 'Yes’ in the upcoming referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country.
In previous articles, Danny Quinn, better known as emcee, Wee D, talked about Hip Hop and his reasons for using and defending this frequently misunderstood musical genre and discussed his video, 'We Are Not A United Kingdom'. Danny continues his conversation on why regarding Scotland’s independence. In contrast to Danny Gillan's views on the upcoming referendum, Danny Quinn is firmly in the Better Together camp— who are saying ‘no’ to independence.
I am an extremely patriotic individual and I relate strongly to both my Scottish and Irish roots;
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Ben Harrison
I understand and comprehend what the people of Scotland fought and died for 700 years ago but I am also very aware that those events were centuries ago and times have changed.
In my opinion, the global economy relies on allies and partnerships in order to sustain itself; no country is truly independent in that sense. Even presently Scotland boasts a wealth of foreign investors and allies in our food and drink industry, particularly our whiskey distilleries where many foreign investors own substantial shares of our companies.
We require rigidity and resilience as countries in a time of great economic turbulence and we require fellow partners and allies, much as they have need of us.
Could independence impair or encourage these alliances? I'm not sure; for me it's not been made clear in any real context.
What about employment and unemployment?
What worries me essentially is that Glasgow is rated among the top three most deprived areas in the UK, quite a statement given its tiny population when compared to London, Manchester, Birmingham etc.,
One in 5 people in our targeted youth category (16-24) are not in employment, education or vocational training and furthermore Scotland has an unemployment rate across all categories which is 0.5% higher than the average for the UK.
Unemployment is more than an inopportune outcome for some, it is a lifestyle choice, a free ticket and as much as we oppose this, we are obliged to keep our fellow citizens afloat financially.
So financially, we require support in tackling this issue and I believe that unemployment issues are at the heart of all the UK.
Westminster benefits from having Scotland in the UK, undoubtedly, but we also benefit greatly from their input.
What about North Sea Oil?
There is distinct ambiguity around the North Sea oil’s ability to sustain Scotland’s future.
Debating chamber - Scottish parliament
Debating chamber - Scottish parliament
Neil Gunn
How do you manage in this economic climate?
I work full time; I have a job, two kids, a car and a house, and at present I am managing quite comfortably by my own means. I have been more fortunate than others in that sense and due to my good fortune I am under no impression that I, as a Scotsman, have been ‘mugged off’ by Westminster. I have been given many an opportunity to secure some stability in my life through our slowly recovering economy, which a multi-national partnership has worked in unison to provide.
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Kerr Armstrong
I take life at face value; I don't see my life improving financially, ethically or culturally from being independent.
Severing such a connection with a robust and like-minded partner to pursue our shared goals independently is nonsensical and very dangerous to me.
What about those who haven’t been as 'fortunate' as you?
Well first I must explain why I consider myself fortunate, and the reason is simple. I acknowledge what I have in life, employment, children, working luxuries and such. Some may have higher aspirations than mine and, therefore, would not consider themselves fortunate in my situation. Some may wish that they can get through life without working or being single and so would consider themselves fortunate if they had no similarities to my lifestyle. Being fortunate is a mind frame as opposed to a condition and it depends on how optimistic you are.
If you consider yourself unfortunate due to lack of children – I’m sorry, David Cameron is not allowed to impregnate you.
If it is due to unemployment, then what I would say is that there is a wealth of funding and government schemes which are designed to assist individuals into employment. An example would be Future Jobs Funds which was launched in 2009 encouraged hundreds of our targeted youth group into employment, gaining society £7,750 ($US10,000) per participant through wages, increased tax receipts and reduced benefit payments.This is just one of many and being employed in the voluntary sector to utilise and promote such services has given me ringside insight into the impact which they can have on our communities.
Edinburgh Castle  Scotland.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.
Neil Gunn
Would you expect those 'less fortunate' to feel the same way regarding their voting choice in the referendum or to also feel that Westminster provides a like-minded partner? If not why not?
Yes, I would. I’m not completely biased as such; I recognise that we have faults as a country and faults as a nation. Our priorities in unemployment lie in our youth category where employer incentives, subsidized work placements, Employability Development Services are all widely available and regularly utilised. This results in our adult category of 25+ being completely neglected. Especially if you consider the volume of people in this category who have additional support needs or social barriers which are impacting their ability to source employment.
I think that this is something which we are collectively trying to challenge so why does Scotland feel the need to challenge this alone?
The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond has promised a growth in our jobs market but also an expansion on our current tax rate. It’s a grey area at the moment and I believe that it will boil down to an individual’s preference. Would you prefer to be employed in an independent Scotland, doing what you are doing now but possibly earning less for the same workload due to further tax hikes?
It’s definitely worth considering and I’m sure that most won’t be taking this decision lightly.
Scotland - Inveraray Bridge - Loch Fyne
Scotland - Inveraray Bridge - Loch Fyne
Neil Gunn
Would you expect the 'less fortunate' to also view Scotland having independence as 'nonsensical'? If not why not?
In a way no, there is a lot of anger bubbling under the surface here at the ways things are handled. We Scots are always very aware of England’s predominant role in the UK and their place as ultimate decision makers.
I expect to see a lot of Scots determining England’s role as a threat or that it’s condescending, believing that independence is the only resort to free ourselves from these invisible chains.
However, I feel that this animosity towards our southern neighbours is, by large, a bitter after taste of the historic events 700 years ago. What I determine is a partnership, one which seems to be working in most areas. I see services such as The Work Programme run by the DWP gaining significant success, I see progress in our environmental services which are being encouraged to recycle whatever they can and I see a nation which can offer the working family a comfortable and semi-luxurious lifestyle.
Scotland could very well be an independent country, but SHOULD they be an independent country. That’s the question.
At what price does independence come? At which point can we accept that there is no going back after September and at which point do we decide who will bear the brunt of our steep financial ambiguity?
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
After discussing openly his thoughts on the upcoming referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country, Danny continues his conversations with Digital Journal and moves on to talk about his new free EP, 'Damage Control', coming out soon on Subfriction records.
If you are interested in reading a different view on the Scottish referendum for independence, read here.
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