Sunday, May 4, 2014
You'll have to forgive this being an audio-only version. I don't want to cramp Better Together's style, because after all my face doesn't quite fit into their apparent target demographic (under 21, pretty but not abnormally so, nattily dressed, laughs a lot at random things that probably aren't actually going on just out of shot).
This is a massive decision.
And there'll be no going back.
If we say no to independence in September, there's no guarantee we'll ever get a second chance.
At the very least, this will be the last independence referendum for a generation.
It may be the last in our lifetimes.
And it may be the last one ever.
So if we vote No, and end up being ruled by Tory governments we didn't vote for for another thirty years, it'll be too late for regrets, or for wishing we could turn the clock back and have another go.
This isn't a dress rehearsal.
We have to get the decision right THIS time.
It'll affect not just us, but the opportunities of future generations.
We don't need to be ruled by Westminster to be British.
I don't need to vote against independence to feel British.
I watch Doctor Who.
I appreciate the popular music of Ms Sophie Ellis Bextor.
My favourite stretch of coastal scenery is in Pembrokeshire.
And I think Peter Gibbs is a damn fine weatherman in the finest traditions of Michael Fish.
So what is it about me that is not British just because I want Scotland to choose its own governments?
Can you explain that to me, Mr McDougall?
We CAN have the best of both worlds.
Governments we choose ourselves AND an ongoing social union with our friends and neighbours south of the border AND a currency union.
Yes, I know that's three things. I'm THAT greedy.
But luckily, as exclusively revealed to the Guardian newspaper on condition of anonymity by a senior UK government minister, an independent Scotland will "of course" be welcomed into a currency union by the rest of the UK.
So that's a relief.
It means that all we have to do to get the best of both worlds is to vote Yes.
Or we could vote No and get the worst of both worlds - George Osborne AND Richard Baker. (And he's not even the one who used to present the Proms.)
I live here.
But my world goes beyond our borders.
Independence gives us the chance to be part of not just ONE of the biggest economies in the world, but THE biggest economy in the world.
The European Union.
The EU single market is bigger even than the economy of the United States.
But we can only be sure of being part of something bigger if we vote Yes.
If we vote No, UKIP and David Cameron could be taking us towards the EU exit door, and there'll be nothing we can do about it.
That's the story of our lives as part of the UK, isn't it?!
Together in Europe, we are stronger and secure.
Together in Europe, we can make our world the place we want it to be.
But alone and adrift with Dave and Nigel...well, what's our comfort blanket then? Nuclear weapons on the Clyde? We didn't really ask for them either, did we?
Never mind, I suppose we'll be invading another Middle Eastern country soon. That'll keep our minds occupied in the long Tory years ahead.
We want to choose our own governments.
For our jobs.
For our opportunities.
For our future.
And most of all because that's how democracy is supposed to work.
We want the best of both worlds.
So let's not leave! (Like all those multi-millionaire Tory supporters are pretending they'll do in the event of a Yes victory.)
We are Better...
...off choosing our own governments. Vote Yes.