.@BlairJenkinsYes : How would an independent Scotland succeed? #indyref

With the Scottish referendum just one week away, we now have a post from the Yes side of the argument. Writing exclusively for Slugger O’Toole, Yes Chief Executive, Blair Jenkins tells us why people should vote Yes next Thursday.

In just a few days’ time, the people of Scotland have the opportunity to change their destiny. With just the tick of a box on September 18, we can provide ourselves and our children with a brighter, more positive and prosperous future.

Decisions about the future of Scotland are best made by the people who care most about Scotland – the people who live in Scotland. Unlike Westminster, when we vote for our first independent Scottish parliament six weeks after independence, we’ll get the government we vote for. The people of Scotland have the greatest stake in making our nation a success. That means we are more likely to make the right choices for our society and our economy – and to make decisions that mean our huge wealth delivers far greater benefits for the people living here.

Even our opponents agree that Scotland has what it takes to be a successful independent country. We have contributed more tax per head than the rest of the UK in each of the last thirty years. An independent Scotland would be among the twenty wealthiest countries on earth. Our strength in food and drink, life sciences, tourism, wealth management, renewable energy and higher education all supplement the bonus of our North Sea oil and gas. With a Yes vote, we will be able to use our vast wealth and resources to make life better and fairer for people living in Scotland.

Our businesses will benefit from the economic policy being designed for Scotland, and we’ll all benefit by being able to properly protect and invest in world class public services, including a quality NHS and education system, and from investing in a ‘rainy day’ oil fund, providing security for the future.

The right to a free education will be enshrined in our written constitution, and the people of Scotland will be able to go to university based on their ability to learn, not to pay, and we can use our wealth and control over our tax system to attract more employers to invest in Scotland, creating more and better local jobs for younger people.

We can create a fairer welfare system, and we can take action to tackle rising energy bills, and ensure that benefits, tax credits and the basic rate tax allowance always keep up with rising living costs. The current Scottish Government outlines in its White Paper that young families will see an increase in childcare provision with all three and four year olds entitled to 1,140 free hours per year.

The White Paper also states their intention to bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership, remove immoral and expensive nuclear weapons from Faslane, and ensure that the state pension increases by at least 2.5%, or in line with the cost of living or earnings, as part of a ‘triple-lock’ protection. Scottish Government plans would see new pensioners receiving £160 per week under the single tier pension –around £5 a week or £260 per year higher than as part of the UK.

Westminster isn’t working for Scotland and hasn’t done for decades under successive Conservative and Labour governments. We can choose to go down a different path: to make sure important decisions about Scotland are made here in Scotland, and not by Tory governments we didn’t vote for. On September 18, the people of Scotland will answer the most important question of a generation: should Scotland be an independent country? I believe that it is best for Scotland that we vote Yes.

Blair Jenkins is the Chief Executive of the Yes Scotland campaign.

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  • Blair, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the rest of your amazing Yes Scotland team for doing an outstanding job despite the enormous barrage of obstacles placed in your way by the BBC and vast majority of print and broadcast media who have thrown everything they had at their disposal to beat you down. The Yes Scotland campaign has been utterly awe inspiring and totally uplifting, thank you again for helping to make that so.

    As a Scot living in Northern Ireland I don’t have a vote but I have been involved in the social media campaign to help ensure that as many of my friends and family will be voting Yes. I’m glad to say that almost all of them are Yes, and a few who are currently still No will hopefully be Yes by next Thursday. My partner and I are returning l to Scotland tomorrow to take part in the last week of campaigning on behalf of several Yes groups and to help out on the actual day making sure that we get everyone possible to the polling station to vote. We are both extremely excited about taking part in a small way and helping to deliver and witness the rebirth of our Nation. Saor Alba!

  • Morpheus

    The BBC coverage has been shameful. The priority is obviously to save the union and the plan must be to deal with the impending barrage of complaints after the referendum

  • Zeno1

    “With just the tick of a box on September 18, we can provide ourselves and our children with a brighter, more positive and prosperous future.”

    There is no guarantee of that and that is the problem. People are being asked to vote for change and uncertainty. Since Scotland is not exactly suffering from being part of the UK this will be a case of better the devil you know.

  • tmitch57

    Zeno,
    In America we say “If it’s not broken don’t fix it.” But the perception of brokenness is a subjective one. By any objective standard the American colonists in America had a relatively good deal economically in the 1760s and 1770s. But the economic distress suffered from the ruling elites by having to sell and buy through London in the mercantile economy at the time became insufferable. To those supporting the yes campaign to be ruled by England even if they have representation and a voice and input through Scots (Blair, Brown et al.) in the government in London is intolerable.

  • Zeno1

    The point is that the ordinary electorate are not suffering at the hands of London. There have been 2 Scottish Prime Ministers in recent times. A Yes vote is a gamble. Victory for Yes, means you may be slightly better off or even worse off. Most people are naturally risk averse and will choose to remain with the devil they know.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Haha, you love Scotland so much you’re living in NI? One could write better satire.

  • Joe, you’re attempt at satire is more than pitiful. So as a good and true Ulster loyalist and presumably supporter of the UK in principal, are you actually saying that Scottish people shouldn’t work or live in any other part of the UK other than Scotland? Does this rule of thumb also apply to Ulster, English or Welsh citizens too? Numpty!

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Well as you said to me as I’m from NI I should keep out of Scotland’s affairs. As you are a resident of NI should you not apply the same logic to yourself?

    I did have a good chuckle at your social media campaign, I can just imagine the venom you’re posting and much of what’s coming from the Yes camp isn’t pretty.

    Numpty?? You stay classy.

  • terence patrick hewett

    A pity in 1776 America did not extend it’s largesse to the blacks and the American Indian: for them it was slavery and genocide.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Blair – if you are so damn confident of your economic success then print your own currency and stand over it. Don’t go running to the Bank of ENGLAND, to determine your currency hedging, essentially removing your ability to set your own rate of interest and thus determine the “value” of the POUND in your pocket. If Scots are dumb enough to secede from the Union, then the best of luck to them. I don’t have an axe to grind, as I’m not a Scot, but I know if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then quess what? Salmond and yourself (from what I read above) are all about generalisations with no specifics. God help you as a separate nation. Brave hearts yes, but use your heads!