Hope and trust

A guest post by Nancy Burge

I was pondering over the media’s insistence on focusing on whether or not Scotland would have a currency union after independence. Some people are saying they can’t decide whether to vote yes because they don’t know whether we going to have a currency union or not. And it struck me that, actually, I don’t really care about the currency union that much. I don’t really understand the fine points of the currency union issue because I’m a doctor, not an economist.

But I trust that the Scottish government will do what’s best for the people of Scotland. And I am sorry to say that I no longer trust the politicians in Westminster. So there can be endless debates about currency unions, North Sea oil and Trident, but what it really boils down to is just one question. Which government do I trust to run Scotland in the best interests of the Scottish people?

And then I thought about why I’ve lost trust in the Westminster politicians. In Britain there has been the MPs’ expenses scandal, cash for questions, the banking fiasco, and the privatisation by stealth of the NHS in England. Whereas in Scotland since devolution, I see that the NHS has been protected from privatisation, and we’ve got free prescriptions and free personal care for the elderly. Scotland pioneered the smoking ban and scrapped tuition fees, and there has been land reform legislation. We’ve got a new Human Rights Commission, a Scottish Youth Parliament and equal marriage legislation. And more new council houses have been built than in any time in the past 20 years.

It’s not surprising that according to the recently published Scottish Social Attitude survey twice as many people trust in the Scottish government than in the UK government.

Project Fear tells us there’s no going back. But why would we want to go back? Already 142 countries have taken the path to independence since 1945 and not one has ever asked to go back. If they could do it, then we can too.

There is a massive discussion about independence going on all over Scotland in workplaces, town halls, coffee shops, and community halls. The online world is buzzing with blogs and articles written by Scottish people about Scottish independence. Yet none of this is being reported in the mainstream media. Ordinary people are getting interested in the future of Scotland like never before. They’re talking to people, holding meetings, blogging, setting up YES stalls in city centres and villages, writing songs and making videos to put up on YouTube. They are wearing YES badges, putting YES stickers on their cars and putting YES flags up. They’re talking about hope for a better future, a new democracy, a fairer society, a brand-new constitution, and a better way of living. There is such an enthusiasm for change amongst ordinary people, and real hope and trust in this opportunity to make things better.

With independence we really can build a new Scotland. We really can hope to change our society to the way we want to live in the future. We just need to decide in who we trust to start working on this. Are we going to trust the UK government in Westminster? Or are we going to trust Scottish people to make decisions in Scotland, for Scotland. When I look at it as a simple question of trust, it’s a no-brainer, really.

44 comments on “Hope and trust

  1. andygm1 says:

    Great post and I agree with every word.

    In paragraph six sentence three there is spurious ‘not’. Perhaps Paul could remove it.

  2. […] A guest post by Nancy Burge I was pondering over the media’s insistence on focusing on whether or not Scotland would have a currency union after independence. Some people are saying they can’t deci…  […]

  3. Devereux says:

    Nancy what a great post.

  4. Hazel Smith says:

    Totally agree with your great post. Can’t wait for the 18th. YES

  5. mary vasey says:

    Well said Nancy -simple 😎
    Thank you

  6. Papadox says:

    As I was told all my life “keep it simple stupid” and you know it makes life so much better & easier.

    Thanks Nancy that was superb. Excellent.

  7. Sheila Rae says:

    Wholeheartedly agree Nancy. This Scottish Government has achieved more for its people despite Westminster’s continous policies to impoverish the whole UK peoples. Saor Alba

  8. Jan Cowan says:

    Thank you for finding the time to write your most welcome post, Dr. Nancy Burge.

  9. Morag says:

    Great post, thanks.

    I was thinking about all the Yes stickers and badges and posters. Where are people getting them? The SNP posted out some car stickers and I think some wee blue window posters no bigger than A4 if that, and only to known supporters. Two cars in the village here suddenly sprouted stickers after that exercise.

    But virtually all the window posters are things people have to pick up for themselves at Yes shops or meetings. (OK, I did post one through a letter-box, but that was because they had made one themselves with crayons and put that in the window!) Have you seen Bruntsfield? The place is wallpapered with them, some very large.

    No window posters are available. I’ve seen one house in the New Town with the things on all of its windows. ONE HOUSE. Nobody cares. Nobody is going out and getting these things, or hardly anyone anyway.

    Now I understand the No campaign have recently sent out a lot of window posters (and badges and car stickers) by post. I don’t know how they’ve targeted them but I suspect they may be combining Labour, LibDem and Tory voters from old canvassing lists, and in that case they’ll be sending out plenty.

    I imagine they’re hoping to counter the tidal wave of Yes windows with some of their own. It will be very very interesting to see whether people, provided with the things without any need to go out and get them, actually put them in their windows.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Don’t wait for “official” Yes posters or stickers – make your own! Recycled No propaganda makes ideal material for a collage. Draw the outline of a YES on a sheet of cardboard, get a pile of old magazines (or No propaganda leaflets), and cut out pictures then stick them down inside the YES outline on the board. Or you can download Yes materials online and print them off on your home computer on sticky backed paper you can buy in arts and crafts shops. Or just draw or paint a big YES on a board.

      • David Halliday says:

        YouYesYet? posters to download and print at http://reportingthereferendum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/youyesyet.html

        • Morag says:

          I’ve got one of these in my window, as well as two of indyposterboy’s posters (rotated – I’ve got about ten altogether), the butterflies one, and two of the official Yes cards. And a Yes saltire on a flagpole. Must post a photo soon.

      • Morag says:

        Mind you, my main point was that virtually everyone who has a Yes poster in their window has had to source it actively. They’ve gone to a Yes shop or a meeting, or ordered it online to be delivered, or downloaded and printed something, or even got creative themselves. They’re not appearing in people’s houses by magic.

        Conversely, it seems that the No campaign have sent out a lot of posters by post, unsolicited. No effort required other than to get some sellotape and stick the thing up. I wonder how many people will do that.

  10. nancyburge says:

    I’ve got badges, wrist bands and window stickers from the Yes Scotland online shop http://shop.yesscotland.net/

    also the online shop Zazzle http://www.zazzle.co.uk/scottish+independence+gifts has great badges and mugs.

    SNP has an online shop.

    For downloadable posters to print at home and for screensavers go here. http://www.indyposterboy.info/

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/Wings Over Scotland has campaign materials as well as lots of links.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      I got my Yes dog bandanas from highlanddog.com and as there are 3 sizes it’s possible to fit out any dog from miniature to you name it. They attract a great deal of attention though, so the dogs have to love people!

  11. Excitement is building here. One A4 poster on a fence just outside the village plus a small no one on a specially constructed wee signpost. Apart from that, it is difficult to realise the referendum is only a few weeks away. The sheepdog trials and the village fete are the big events on the horizon, and whose jam or Victoria sponge will take the prize this year. But perhaps behind the curtains politics is twitching.

  12. WRH2 says:

    Great post. Just believe in our country and vote Yes.
    Incidentally, are other areas suffering from vandalism to Yes signs, vehicles with Yes stickers, etc? We are getting an increasing amount of this in the Eastern Borders. Looks like we have got them scared.

    • bringiton says:

      No surprises how readily supporters of the British state are to use violence and intimidation.
      After all,that is what they wish to continue.

  13. I regard myself as English but have Scottish heritage. I have lived in both countries, but currently live in Scotland. I am 27. I have no doubt whatsoever that Scotland could make it just fine as an independent nation. There is literally nothing that says otherwise. I am also unsettled by the media coverage – it’s been very one sided. But to conclude, I am going to vote ‘no’ for one simple reason; an independent Scotland would strive to remain as part of the E.U. How can that be independent? This is a deal breaker for me and many others. I do not approve of the E.U and I would never cast a vote that implies so. I also wish to vote in the E.U. referendum that, inevitably, the rest of the UK will get.

    Sorry Scotland, but independence + E.U does not work for me.

    Good luck to you whatever the result 🙂

    • craigevans15 says:

      Dear Johnny English,

      Interesting take on the EU question: however, given Mr Cameron has promised a referendum on wheather the UK stays in the EU after the next GE then what guarantee can you give we will remain in anyway?

    • hektorsmum says:

      Seems very a very simplistic view point, IF you are not in one sphere of influence I can assure you that you will be in another. Presently Europe does more good than bad in this country, Westminster does more bad than good, So you can see why the Scots and many living here might disagree with you. I tend to think that all the countries of Europe regard themselves as Independent entities which have come together to ensure that they can trade and work as the larger single entities which are the US, Russia, and China. There is some stupid idea in England and I am sorry I do mean Southern England at that, that their failing Banking and Stock Market will keep them in money without recourse to a manufacturing industry with which to trade, Good Luck with that.

      • JGedd says:

        Agree with your remarks about the rUK economy, hektorsmum. It is a hopelessly imbalanced economy and before coming into government, even David Cameron admitted that the lack of a strong manufacturing base was a problem but has carried on with the same misplaced faith in the City of London when in government. Short term thinking does not encourage bold action.

        It all began with Thatcherism and the Chicago School. Michael Heseltine, at the time, called it ‘voodoo economics’ and it often seems like that. In other words a magical facsimile of success can be conjured into real success if you only believe. (They even deal in facsimile money now.)

        As for Johnny English, I don’t understand his problem. I have reservations about the EU but it is not a deal breaker for me. He doesn’t really give any reason as to why it is so important to him that it trumps Scotland becoming an independent country, so quite frankly I have doubts that it is the real reason. People sometimes sail under false flags, saying that they believe that Scotland should be independent but…… A simplistic viewpoint, as you say, hektorsmum, which does not have any argument behind it.

        • hektorsmum says:

          I think we all have doubt about Europe, they are not exactly a ball of fire, but then we seem to have a bunch of conservatives (small c) in charge. I would have to say though, they may not be all what we want but with the right input (ours) we might be able give them a push in the right direction, we cannot do it within the UK.. Nothing will happen with a bunch of self serving individuals such as Westminster. They are not even just semi detached they are fully detached from Europe..

  14. KayBee says:

    @Johnny English


    On the 18th September we choose to have the right to ‘choose what path we want’ going forward.

    There is also the option of joining the EFTA as opposed to joining the EU, may I suggest that you look further into this possible option, as after the 18th and a yes vote – we can THEN decide in the iScotland GE of May 2016 which political party will then take us forward, as the political landscape in Scotland AFTER a yes vote will be completely and totally different to how it currently stands.

    Remember this is not solely about the SNP as they are not the SOLE political party supporting independence – not by a long shot.

    You can then at THAT point simply vote for a political party that is opting for ‘not going down the EU route’, but THAT option is ONLY available to you if you vote YES to independence.

    I do hope this at the very least gives you some food for thought about how you should vote on the 18th.

    Remember it will be for the PEOPLE of Scotland to decide whether we join the EU or the EFTA – not the SNP party or any other political party for that matter.

    This is why I still do not and cannot fully understand your reasons for voting no, I’m afraid.

    Bairns before bombs

    People before profits

    ‘No’ means keeping food banks and keeping WMD’s on the Clyde!!!!

    I know which government I trust more – respective track records say it all really.

  15. buchanloon says:

    This debate has become bogged down with issues that although serious in themselves become academic without that YES vote. The question being asked is “Should Scotland be an independant country”. The determining factors to that are A. Affordability:- Well I think that has been proved. and B:- Who can provide the best governance of Scotland, either Westminster, with it’s whole array of priorities, ( even allowing them the benefit of the doubt) or Holyrood whose sole priority is to make decisions relative to the best interests of Scotland.

  16. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Wow Nancy! Glad our wee joint session together at Dunvegan got you fired up to write this! I will have to see what I can do now (if Paul will let me :-))

  17. smiling vulture says:

    Salmond giving it back straight in the Sunday Herald today about currency union lifts my spirits.

    It had to be said,We Scots won’t stand back and take it,if they want to play hardball,it’s their choice

  18. Pam McMahon says:

    I got my car keyed after putting a YES sticker on the windscreen… Thank God for T-Cut. Will we still be able to buy it when we become an independent pariah nation?

  19. Capella says:

    Many thanks for this post. It reinforces Mandela’s advice to always make your choices based on hope rather than fear.
    Who could trust Alistair Darling, leader of the NO campaign, with his “Project Fear”! He presided over the economic crisis and bailed out the bankers, who still enjoy grotesque bonuses, handing the bill to the rest of us. He flipped homes several times to maximise his benefits. He resigned from the Faculty of Advocates when they began an investigation into his behaviour. http://tinyurl.com/q5h6ro9
    Let’s vote for the hope of a better democratic system in Scotland without the lies and mendacity so prevalent in Westminster.

  20. hektorsmum says:

    A great Post Nancy and one which I agree with so much.

  21. macart763 says:

    Couldn’t agree more Nancy and well said.

    It is that simple. Like so many other things about this debate, the core of the issue is a very simple set of principles and questions. Do we believe Scotland to be a country? Should Scotland be an independent country? Who do we trust to act in our best interests? Do we believe the current system of government is fit for the Scottish electorate or can we do better?

    Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

  22. ticktock says:

    Cat seems to have got poor old Johnny English’s tongue. Seriously though anyone who doesn’t get the simplicity of the fact that an Independent Scotland – and ONLY an independent Scotland – gets to make its OWN choice about the EU isn’t worth bothering with. For what it’s worth I’m not particularly keen on the EU either, EFTA seems to me a better bet.

    • KayBee says:

      Perhaps he will now re-consider after being informed about the EFTA option ? – every single independence vote is worth bothering about I would have thought, as some folks just need things explained slightly differently before they see things more clearly.

      Surely worth some small effort to inform further at the very least – now if Johnny English still does vote No (for his previously stated reasons) there will be no excuse whatsoever for him having NOT been informed of the possible alternatives available, prior to him casting his vote.

  23. KayBee says:

    The more that the WM ‘three shades of tory party’s’ go on and on about the technicalities of a currency union rather than the ACTUAL positive reasons for staying within the UK and rejecting independence the more and more I am becoming of the opinion that they can stick their CU up where the sun don’t shine.


    For a successful CU to work there would need to be ‘at the very least’ a working relationship of trust and respect between WM and Holyrood politicians in a post Yes iScotland scenario.

    The way in which the UK government and the BT/NT campaign have, throughout the referendum debate, demonstrated a tendency to spout out and out dishonest lies and bile as well as repeatedly show complete and utter contempt for the Scottish electorate leads me to believe that WM could not be & should not be trusted in a negotiated working CU and therefore is perhaps best being taken completely OFF THE TABLE in a post Yes iScotland/UK negotiation phase prior to March 2016.

    Okay mini rant over.

  24. yerkitbreeks says:

    Nancy, I suspect your improved trust relates to small government. I practiced as a GP in Auckland, New Zealand, and arranging things just seemed so easy compared to my subsequent extended experience of medical work in Kent, England.

    300 odd years has allowed the creation of layers of Westminster government, management QUANGOs and what have you, so for an individual or small group to be effective is impossible.

    Returning to Scotland ( Borders area ) was reminiscent of NZ.

  25. alannah says:

    Great post – agree with all you said. The Scottish Gov have done so much for its ppl with so little £, imagine what they can do for us all with full control. YOU GET SO MUCH MORE WITH YES!

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