Saturday, 4 May 2013

A fairer, greener Scotland

We at Sign for Scotland support independence for a number of reasons.  We believe that:
  1. Independence is the normal state of affairs for a country and to be anything else requires an extraordinary reason
  2. Independence is about taking responsibility for how we interact with the rest of the world
  3. Independence is the only way to meaningfully reform our domestic politics, as Westminster will not change or adapt
  4. Independence will bring our Government closer to the people
  5. Independence is the best way to guarantee the rights of the people of Scotland
There are more practical considerations, such as preventing poverty, tackling health issues, implementing land reform, tighter air gun control, diversifying our economy and ensuring that Scotland’s water belongs to her people and not private corporations.  But my personal reasons go beyond these.  At heart, I want Scotland to be independent because I believe we can make a difference.

 “I don’t care that it produces endless clean energy for a much lower price than nuclear power plants, I don’t like how it looks from 1.5 miles away!” – Said by no-one in 16th century Holland

Scotland is due to become one of the first nations on earth to generate all its own energy needs from renewable sources (wave, tidal, solar and wind).  This is a terrific achievement which is providing jobs and exports, as well as offering energy independence and a cap on energy costs for every generation that follows.

Developing this renewable energy technology gives us in Scotland many benefits, but it also advances causes around the world.  By creating affordable and clean energy generation equipment, we can help the African Dream to prosper.  We can prove to other nations that there is an alternative to fossil fuels and uranium, and lead debates across the world on how best to meet energy demands.

Yet we need independence to achieve this.  We cannot tell other nations of our success, if we cannot speak at the UN.  We cannot change EU policy, if we cannot represent ourselves at every meeting.  We cannot reform Scotland’s power grid, or level the disproportionate connection charges we suffer from, without the necessary powers being at our parliament.

We know the direction that Westminster is taking us.  Their desire for nuclear power plants has not diminished, despite their questionable safety standards, their harmful waste and their lack of economic sense (see here too).  For a country like England, which requires tremendous amounts of electricity within a small geographical location, nuclear may be the best option, but our needs are different in Scotland.  We have a vast renewable energy potential which we will be forced to use once the ever diminishing uranium is gone.  Let’s benefit from leading the way instead of sticking with the tried and failed.
Voting no will give us nothing.  It is only by saying ‘Yes’ that anything can change.  Most people in Scotland care about the environment both here and abroad.  If we want to really make a difference, then we need to support independence.

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