Voting No : As the least bad options (plus, my list of demands)

I voted no to independence because it was the least bad option (and my friend voted yes because she thought it was the least bad option).

I voted no because Holyrood already has devolved power over education, healthcare, law, social work and housing and has had the ability to make a real difference in terms of poverty and the health and wellbeing of its citizens. It has never chosen to use any of those devolved powers to make a real difference for the lives of its citizens and I don’t believe independence would change that. Far too many children in Scotland live in poverty and the long-term health outcomes for our children is awful. Our children deserve better than this – they deserve better than either Holyrood or Westminster.

Our children deserve to be educated in buildings which are water-tight, properly insulated and with access to good quality resources like libraries, gyms, art rooms, music, specialist math and language teachers and proper, clean toilets. They deserve to be appropriately supported according to their individual needs. They deserve to have playgrounds big enough to run about it and local councils should be legally prohibited from selling off playgrounds to build housing.

All people, regardless if they own their homes, rent or live in social and council accommodation deserve the right to live in water-tight, fit-for-purpose housing which exceeds the minimum standards set out by the European Union (a standard which the vast majority of Edinburgh council properties have not met until recent legal requirements). Our children deserve to grow up in houses without mould, asbestos and inadequate sanitation.

I voted no because prisoners in Scotland had to go to the EU human rights court to have basic access to a toilet – losing immediate EU membership and the right to access that court is what turned my vote despite my belief in the right of self-determination.

I voted no because Edinburgh city council didn’t bother to invest money in housing until it was legally forced to do so by the EU.

I voted no because a child in Edinburgh was killed this year after an internal school wall fell  on her.

I voted no because Edinburgh city council knew in December 2013 that Duncan Place Resource Centre required an immediate intensive survey of its safety following a brief survey of all assets belonging to dept. of children and families and that this survey wasn’t undertaken until September and only then because the council happened to be surveying a different building. Duncan Place Resource Centre has now been closed and is awaiting a survey for asbestos before any repairs (or replacement) of facilities could happen. But, it was completely acceptable for children to be in a building with a potential asbestos problem.

I voted no because the Scottish Parliament was built using labour from illegal immigrants who were paid well-below the minimum wage and lived in substandard accommodation but no wants to talk about that.

I voted no because Alex Salmond had the power to over-turn the democratic process to sell land to Donald Trump to build a golf card that the actual residents voted against (again and again).

I voted no because we need membership of the EU to ensure that all our citizens are treated as humans.

I voted no because I don’t believe Holyrood is a better proposition than Westminster. They are equally bad options – and independence requires either a sound economic base or the desire to fundamentally reshape society. Neither side could promise either.

 

What I want to see immediately:

  • extending the right to vote to 16 & 17 year olds in all local elections
  • free fruit and milk to all primary aged children
  • extending free school meals to include children whose parents receive working tax credits
  • immediate ring-fenced investment in school assets, particularly buildings which are rated “c” or “d”
  • immediate ring-fenced investment in all community buildings
  • immediate ring-fenced investment in local parks
  • immediate investment in mental health services via the NHS and through departments of education, children and families and social services.
  • immediate investment in health and wellness clinics for women and babies
  • increased funding to dental health care
  • increased funding to the NHS – particularly in regards to mental health and life-limiting illnesses
  • investment in care homes for the elderly or people living with disabilities
  • better funding for programs in the violence against women and girls sector
  • more community, preemptive policing working with young people as opposed to criminalising them
  • a complete overhaul of the legal system as it pertains to domestic and sexual violence and abuse – including mandatory specialist training for all attorneys, judges, police, politicians, teachers and social workers.
  • a ban on the use of rape myths as a defence
  • a named support worker for all victims of violence going through the court process – especially in sexual violence and domestic abuse

And, this is just to start.

4 thoughts on “Voting No : As the least bad options (plus, my list of demands)”

  1. Certainly, independence for Scotland would not immediately mean that it is run in the interests of the working people and oppressed. But likewise, are the problems that you list a reason for opposing independence? Are they a consequence of regional autonomy or of the lack of working-class control? I’d argue the latter, and that maintaining the status quo will not advance the working class’s struggle.

    To go further, I’d say that where the working class has increased its power, it’s often been by taking more power first in particular regions (although these efforts are longer-lasting when done with an internationalist motive), rather than an overthrow once and for all at a multinational level. And that a more independent Scotland gives us the ability to do that more easily. Of course, it’s a sign of the weakness of the workers’ struggles that characters like Salmond have been able to play such a prominent leadership role in the independence movement.

    But I am not sure how calling on a imperialist government to perform the unlikely action of fulfilling those demands helps that working-class struggle. Would it not be more likely to sow illusions that pacify this struggle?

  2. I’m Welsh, and although we don’t rally stand a chance of ever becoming independent I see the same things happening in Wales. Welsh government and councils accept backhanders for building massive supermarkets and unnecessary convenience stores which don’t really improve the economy but are completely destroying the landscape. I see that Welsh politicians are almost always men which tells me everything I need to know about how in touch they are with “the people”. They don’t USE the powers they’ve been given to help Wales because the people that get into positions of power are a bunch of careerists! They’re more interested in preserving male dominance than improving the lot of the people. They could have helped women open small businesses. Instead I’ve seen myself how women-only businesses in Wales have been targeted and persecuted for spurious reasons. One example I can think of is two women in Aberystwyth who opened a beautiful cafe/restaurant which also sold health foods and herbal remedies (such as milk thistle for hangovers). It was closed down by health and safety on the grounds it was unhygenic. People just laughed in disbelief, especially because the disgusting male-owned greasy spoon next door was left alone. The Welsh have always liked a witch-hunt. So no, giving Wales independence would just put MORE power into the hands of men!

  3. I thought the Yes vote means they would stop being part of the UK but I did not know that it meant they would not be part of the EU anymore.

  4. One of the things Holyrood has done which has made a difference to people was the introduction of free personal and nursing care. I think it’s a poorly thought-out policy, for several reason, and it’s not fully funded by Scottish government, but it has made a difference to people.

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