Why Scotland said “Yes” to Independence

George Square


Exhilarated Scots are celebrating independence.

What??!?!

They said “No”??? That’s the official result? In all papers and whatnot? I must be crazy?

…….

No, my good chap. I am not crazy. Neither are you. It’s just that one of us is much better informed about the Scottish Referendum, and the facts surrounding it. And the facts about the Scottish Referendum tell that Scots went with a resounding, thundering Yes vote.

How?!??

Quite simple :

Imagine a country in which the incumbent government, its opposition, state media, corporate media, banks and corporations all collaborate to scare, lie to, even threaten the voters in every way possible.

Imagine that you are voter in that country.

Imagine that they threaten you with your pension, and that you are 65 years old. (source)

Imagine that they threaten you with your education and that you are 20 years old. (source)

Imagine that they tell you that someone would come and attack your country – which is in the middle of Europe – if you voted for independence. (source) (source2) (source3)

Imagine that they go so far as to even talk about “attacks from space”!!! (source) (source2)

Imagine that they said you wouldn’t be part of the Eu, and that they even went around Europe lobbying Eu leaders – even Russia – to have them threaten you in the same way. (source) (source2) (source3)

Imagine that they said you couldn’t use Pound – your historic currency – even if they have no legal power to prevent you from using it. (source)

Imagine that they told you your health service would be privatized, despite they were the ones who had been privatizing it since a long time. (source) (source2)

Imagine that they said you would go bankrupt, despite Financial Times declared you would be 14th richest country in the world after Independence and world’s top 35th exporter, unburdened by Britain’s debt. (source) (source2) (source3)

Imagine that BBC, a publicly owned state broadcast service, went as far to illegally collude with Treasury and banks, to scare off voters. (source)

Imagine that the same banks threatened to move their Headquarters away, as if it would affect employment and even despite some of them already having their headquarters in London. (source) (source2)

Now, imagine that all of these were told all at the same time in a blanket fashion by all corporate and state media, government and opposition figures, state and corporate experts, bombarding people from all sides and drowning out what little voice of reason and truth there was. An environment of threats and fears unprecedented and unseen in any western democracy to date. Merely threatening old people with their pensions is something that can scare away them from anything – imagine you are 65 years old and you risk losing your pension and eventual homelessness – leave aside the fact that you still may have dependents to care for, since austerity has pushed younger generations to remain dependent on their parents.

And after all these, imagine that a voting which was quite questionable took place with things like > this < happening, and things like > these < happening, and places which are high on Yes vote percentage like Dundee having their counting halls being evacuated THREE times through dubious fire alarms, somehow causing the 71% lead Yes votes had in counting to ~57% in the end of third evacuation.

So much that all of these caused even Vladimir Putin to come out and ridicule the voting process. (source)

Now…

Take a moment to realize that despite ALL these, people went out to vote to the order of 90%+ participation rate, and voted Yes with 44.7%, and No with 55.3%.

And then check the demographics and who voted Yes, who voted no:

Voting Demographics in Scottish Referendum

Youth of 16-17 age voted 71% yes, while only 65+ year olds voted Yes with a percentage lower than 27%. (source)

ALL of the voting demographics except 65+ year olds, voted Yes with close to 50% mark, with much of them above. Even 45-54 years age demographic voted Yes to the order of 53%, with 55-64 years demographic still voting 43% yes.

As you can understand, this picture basically says that only 65+ year olds – a passing generation- are predominantly against independence, whereas younger generations are heavily favoring independence.

Despite every scare tactic and threat was employed against all of them.

Understandable is the vote of 65+ year olds… They lived in quite a different age when there actually was a ‘Union’ that worked and benefited general public. Things were better then. Difficulties and hard times happened, but all were passing ordeals. Their perception of the world and its matters is still stuck at that time. And they are not able to perceive that the state of matters fundamentally changed, pitting a small privileged elite who exploits the broad public for their benefit, against the very people living in the land. Their concerns are also understandable, like the threats against their pensions.

But 10 years, at most 15-20 years later this generation will have passed away, leaving their place to the generation younger than them – which already voted almost 50% yes. And since – unfortunately – neoliberalism does not have a tendency to change, and will be pushing more austerity and difficulties against the people to benefit privileged corporate circles, it is quite likely that this generation will be more for independence when the time comes.

Leave aside the younger generations which will be the ultimate majority. Especially after what dynamics referendum created, and what the Westminster government is already pushing. Not only that, but now there is a polished, glistened Scottish identity which knows that they actually are very close to achieving their dream.

Now you probably understand why Scotland actually said “Yes” to Independence. With a good majority to boot. Which is a fact that had been perceived not only by the Yes camp and forces behind Independence campaign (like Alex Salmond and SNP) after their initial sadness at the current results, but also by the mainstream politics and corporate circles in Britain in general. Which is exactly the reason why you are seeing major newspapers talking about the fundamental change in politics that had happened in Britain in the past two days, considerably different statements of Westminster talking heads, and David Cameron dancing to a very different tune in his recent speech. This is due to the fact that when you examine what reasons people cited for their vote for Yes, it turns out that the main reason the people for voting Yes was Westminster and its public-enemy, pro-corporate and privileged policies. (source)

Alex Salmond’s resignation is a bit sad news in that it is a loss of a major proponent of social justice as an active leader. However, it is well deserved after a long successful life of campaigning for an independent and socially just Scotland and enduring much abuse and deplorable personal attacks – especially in the last few years. Now he can rest and work from behind the scenes, with the awareness that his life’s work was successfully done, possibly above a level he could imagine.

Scottish political parties report 4000 people joining SNP, 1200 joining Scottish Greens, 585 people joining SSP in the past 48 hours. This shows that referendum did not only shake the establishment, but also invigorated the political forces and left parties which stand against corporate interests and neoliberalization/thatcherism – which is why the fundamental political dynamics changed way beyond the concept of Scottish Independence.

Now is a time to rejoice for Scottish Independence campaign, the parties, grassroots movements and the people behind it. Their effort went far beyond the initial aim, and effected a fundamental change in politics. In this new fertile environment they can start grassroots organizing in full scale, take back institutions from the corporate influence and even effect change in entire British politics.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Why Scotland said “Yes” to Independence by Via Populi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “Why Scotland said “Yes” to Independence”

    This is great, really well written and nice to have links to sources too. Just in the interests of accuracy, I did hear on More or Less the other day that in Lord Ascroft’s poll he only asked 14 people in the 16-17 age range. It means that 10 voted Yes out of those 14, not exactly a huge sample. It would be interesting to see how many were asked in the older groups.

      Multiple polls from multiple sources point to similar results regarding age groups. However, if you think on it a little bit, the age distribution which appears in above references are quite logical and rational: You see the oldest segment voting no, out of fear of pensions or because they still keep the old concept of union. Whereas you see one or two younger generations younger than them voting almost half-half yes – these people see what is happening, they know they can lose their pensions if not independent, and they also have dependents they need to worry about. At the bottom, you see youngest voting yes, whereas 1-2 generation above votes half half. At this segment you have the people who study in scotland, or who may need to do graduate studies in scotland or elsewhere in uk. Eu membership and freedom to work and travel also would be a concern for these particular generations. So it is understandable that their yes vote percentage is lower than the youngest….. So all in all, the samples seem to hold pretty well when compared to the circumstances and motives of the generations involved.

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