Journey to Yes 7-12
As more Scots who voted No to independence reconsider their decision, we follow their journey to Yes and self-determination for Scotland.
Journey to Yes #7 - Erin
Unlike UK General Elections and Brexit, 16 and 17 year olds were empowered with a vote in the Scottish independence referendum. Erin was 13 at the time and was still too young to participate but would have voted No.
Erin found herself caught up in the post-indyref fightback and became an active member of the SNP Youth movement. She represents a new generation of politically aware young activists who demand greater representation in Scottish politics. Erin talks about aspects of youth vote in Scotland, opportunities, barriers and how vital it is that young people engage in decisions that will shape their own future. Erin will be 16 this September and is voting Yes at the next independence referendum.
Journey to Yes #8 - Elizabeth, small-business owner
Scotland is a small business nation. There are around 350,000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs. Elizabeth owns a cosmetics business that depends on exports and the EU single market. Her decision to vote no was guided by fears that Scotland might not gain membership of the EU.
The election of a Conservative majority in the 2015 made Elizabeth begin to reflect on her vote. Originally from Alabama, Elizabeth's childhood experiences of segregation instilled a deep distrust of divisive politics. Brexit and rise of increasingly right-wing Tory party caused Elizabeth to reject UK politics and fully rethink her position on independence. Brexit now represents a real and present threat to Elizabeth's business and the workers she supports. Elizabeth explains the barriers to trade that hard Brexit will bring including loss of access to vital EU single market and customs union at the hands of a UK Conservative Govt that does not understand the scale and complexity of Brexit. Scotland is now in a unique position to escape the economic damage Elizabeth believes will diminish the UK economy and can build a new and extraordinary independent nation.
Journey to Yes #9 - Mark from London
Londoner and businessman Mark followed Scotland's first independence debate closely and had been inspired by the Yes campaign with its progressive and inclusive values. After the Brexit result, Mark was impressed by Scotland's pro-EU vote and the Scottish Government's handling of events. In November 2016 Mark sold his London home and moved with business and family to set-up in Scotland and join the Yes campaign. Mark reflects on the UK Government's handling of Brexit and Scotland's huge potential as an enlightened, open and independent nation.
Journey to Yes #10 - Jackie Kemp, author
Jackie says Yes. As more Scots who voted No to independence reconsider their decision, we follow their journey to Yes and self-determination for Scotland. Jackie Kemp is a writer living in Edinburgh and author of 'Politics on the Hill, an Edinburgh View', a stunning essay reflecting on Scotland's changing post-Brexit identity that has resonated with people across the political spectrum.
Jackie campaigned against independence in 2014 alongside long-serving Scottish Labour politician Tam Dalyell who himself described devolution as "a motorway without exit to a Scottish state". Jackie reflects on her disillusion with the UK's current constitutional settlement (England has left us) and how Brexit has altered her view of independence which she now sees as vital to maintaining Scotland and Edinburgh's ancient links with Europe.
Journey to Yes #11 - Kathi
Kathi left East Germany when the wall fell to study in Scotland . She now works as a language teacher and lives with her British family in the Scottish Borders. Kathi and her family are just one of many who now face the agonising wait to see what their post-Brexit future in Scotland will be. Kathi discusses ideas of nationalism and her experience of Scotland as an open and international country where anyone can be Scottish if they choose.
After voting No in the first independence referendum, Brexit proved to be the catalyst for Kathi to find out more about the viability of an independent Scotland. Kathi began to distrust her traditional news choices in favour of The National and new media Wings Over Scotland and Bella Caledonia . Kathi has reached the view that Scotland can be a successful country and needs to go in its own direction unhampered by Westminster. Kathi has become increasingly active politically and now runs the twitter operation of Germans for Independence https://www.facebook.com/GermansForSc... at Germans for ScotRef https://twitter.com/Germans4indyref. In a short time Kathi has built a strong online community of Germans, Europeans and Internationals who have embraced the idea of self-determination for Scotland. EU Nationals' voice may prove vital in the next referendum. After a year since the Brexit vote, the UK Govt and Ruth Davidson's Scottish Tories have provided no guarantees for EU Nationals and the attempt to move the next referendum beyond the EU exit date will deny the voices of 160,000 of our EU friends.
Journey to Yes #12 - Professor Sophie Grace-Chappell
Sophie Grace-Chappell is a highly regarded Professor of Philosophy at The Open University and lives in Dundee. Professor Grace-Chappell is transgender and has a particular interest in how power structures impact the society we live in. The idea of internationalism, tolerance and a more caring society is fundamental to her philosophy.
The promise of a federal UK through which Scotland's democratic defecit would be addressed encouraged Professor Grace-Chappell to vote No. The series of democratic betrayals since 2014 and outcome of the Brexit vote gradually convinced Sophie that independence is now the correct moral action for Scotland. Professor Grace-Chappell also discusses the rise of the Tory right-wing authoritarian government and disturbing implications for the LGBT community. A safer and better future awaits if Scotland chooses a different path.