2007 - 2021

Why I Changed My Mind from NO to YES for Scottish Independence


All this week we’re publishing articles by English people who support a Yes vote in September. You can follow and join the English Scots for Yes group, who launched yesterday, here. Jer White offers his 12 reasons he’s switched from No to Yes.

I’m an Englishman who’s lived in Scotland for some time now. That means I get to vote for or against Scottish Independence in September’s referendum.

Until recently, I’ve assumed that voting NO to Scottish independence was the sensible thing for me to do. This feeling was nothing to do with my nationality (which of course is irrelevant here) but was, I thought, in line with my desire for larger global states. I like to think about things at a global level so breaking up a union – no matter how flawed – seemed to be going in the wrong direction.

But then I read an essay by English sci-fi writer Charlie Stross entitled “Schroedinger’s Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained.” It’s a well-written, informative article on the state of the Scottish nation and its politics. What surprised me was his conclusion:

“I’ll be voting “yes” for an independent Scotland in September. Not with great enthusiasm (as I noted earlier, if Devo Max was on the ballot I’d be voting for that) but because everything I see around me suggests that there is some very bad craziness in the near future of England, and I don’t want the little country I live in to be dragged down the rabbit hole by the same dark forces of reaction that are cropping up across Europe.”

Scottish Independence is a constant topic of conversation here in Scotland, and the voting turnout is expected to be huge. But often the discussions I have with people end in both sides assuming that “we don’t have all the facts” and “there are too many unknowns.”

But is that really the case?

So I thought I should at least try to get a few facts straight to help me hold an informed opinion. I decided it was time I did some proper research into the things that mattered to me and how they might be helped or hindered by Scottish independence.

I ignored things that I didn’t think were relevant (such as whether Scotland uses the Pound or the Euro), and I made sure I was wary of traditional media (UK newspapers and TV stations) known to be biased.

I ended up with 12 key things relating to the independence referendum that I cared about. Of these, 7 of them look like they’re more likely to happen if there was a majority YES vote for Scottish independence.

So below are my main reasons why I decided to change my mind and vote YES for Scottish independence.

1.   For a Less Extremist Government

Across Europe, recession and related angst means that it’s the turn of the fringe and extremist political parties to gain support again. Never enough to unbalance the Ruling Party (the steady-state cartel of Lib-Lab-Con), nonetheless still enough for the Ruling Party to shift itself slightly more towards the extreme to scoop back dissenting voters.

In the UK, this means another shift to the right as Lib-Lab-Con try to appease the UKIP sorts.

Right-wing parties like UKIP and Britain First barely register a blip in Scotland, so this move to the right is less applicable to Scotland compared with England. In Scotland there remain two noteworthy left-of-centre parties: the SNP and the Scottish Greens. (the Scottish Labour Party are still ostensibly classed as “centre-left” but by their actions they seem to be more centre-right these days).

When the British general election comes in 2015, it’s expected that most people who recently voted UKIP “as a protest” will return to Lib-Lab-Con… but this is a Ruling Party that has had to move further to the right and as a consequence further from the ideologies held by most people in Scotland.

Historically, votes from Scotland have never affected the outcome of a British general election. We’re just too small a population to make any kind of difference. So it seems that the British government of 2015 onwards will be ones that’s more to the right than it currently is, and one that’s even further out of step with the people of Scotland.

Personally, I believe that a more left-of-centre attitude is better aligned with a fairer, more welcoming and more compassionate society. That’s the kind of society I’d prefer to live in, and it seems that I am more likely to see this in an independent Scotland.

2.   For Renewable Energy Policies

When the SNP’s Referendum whitepaper came out, I was a disappointed at the emphasis on North Sea oil and how its reserves would be a dominant source of tax income for a while yet.

I was kinda hoping for a more pro-renewable message.

But while the Westminster government has rushed through new fracking laws to exploit and profit from “unconventional gas”, the Scottish Government has actually done a pretty good job in meeting green energy targets: for example, over 40% of Scotland’s electricity came from renewables in 2012 (compared to 11.3% for the UK as a whole). This seems to be thanks to devolution, where the Scottish Government was allowed to have energy planning powers (but not an energy policy, as this reserved to the UK parliament).

Because of quirks of geography and population distribution (lots of empty, windy space), Scotland is uniquely placed in the UK to profit from renewable energy: Scotland could soon not only be self-sufficient from renewable energy, but could also have a surplus. As an independent country, the Scottish Government should gain powers to enable it to put an energy policy into effect (currently not possible with devolution), and this seems to favour renewables.

Fracking for shale gas is still almost inevitable in Scotland. A recent Scottish Green Party plea for a ban on fracking was rejected, and I think it would be a shame if an independent Scotland had the chance to invest in renewable technologies but instead spent the money fracking the land to bits.

But at least Scotland seems to have a better alternatives story than England, and a future Scottish government with an energy planning mandate could choose not to follow Westminster’s climate-shafting shale gas frenzy.

3.  For Removal of Nuclear Weapons and the Chance of Living in a Neutral State

For all my talk of renewable energy, you might think I’d also be opposed to nuclear energy.

But I’m not.

Far from it.

Our renewable technology is still in the steam age (there’s a pun there somewhere), so while the technology ramps up I’m keen for any alternative that reduces carbon emissions. Nuclear energy is clearly the obvious choice.

I’m confident that we can build better nuclear waste disposal methods in the future, and the dangers of catastrophe are certainly horrendous but are also very very unlikely.

So I think nuclear energy is a good choice for a while.

But nuclear weapons are something else. Maybe they served a purpose during the Cold War, but now there’s no enemy state left to deter. Scotland does not need to be a nuclear weapon state. Of NATO’s current 28 members, only three have nuclear weapons. Like Ireland, Scotland could be a neutral country that’s not in NATO but still on the UN Security Council. And like Ireland, Scotland could get out of the arms industry too. This would be a huge difference from the wider UK, which has a greater military expenditure than any other country in NATO apart from the USA.

Britain’s nuclear weapons are kept near Glasgow, the most heavily-populated part of Scotland. That seems like a daft place to keep them, so the Scottish government’s pledge to remove them is something I agree with. The removal of Britain’s nuclear weapons from Scotland could clear the path to Scotland becoming a neutral, non-aggressive state with no arms trade.

I like the idea of living in a progressive country that’s recognised as neutral (at least as much as it can be, within the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy). Britain has so much colonial baggage that I think it will continue to be seen as an aggressive state by many for the rest of my lifetime.

And this leads me to my next reason.

4.   To Not be at War

Britain has been at war for my entire life. For yours too. You may not believe it, but google it and you’ll see that Britain has been fighting someone somewhere for over 100 years. I think that’s despicable, especially as most of it seems to have been quite unnecessary if you exclude income from the UK arms trade.

But next year may finally see an end to this century of constant war, as British forces are set to withdraw from Afghanistan. With cuts in military spending and a shrinking of the armed forces, it does seem like I may soon see my first year on Earth where my country is not at war with someone (unless of course Westminster decides to send troops or drones to Iraq again: TBD).

I like the idea of not being at war with anyone and not having a government that makes me a legitimate target for someone from another land or with another ideology. Obviously an independent Scotland would not instantly go to war, probably never would. And indeed a militarily reduced England would also be far less inclined to make war.

I’m OK with an independent Scotland having a limited self-defence force if that’s what’s required to play our part in the UN. Like Ireland or Switzerland, the Scottish army could not take part in armed conflicts in other countries, but would be available for peacekeeping missions around the world.

£3.3 billion was contributed by Scottish taxpayers to the UK defence budget in the 2010/11 fiscal year. The SNP propose that the annual military budget in an independent Scotland would be £2.5 billion. That seems to be £0.8 billion that could be spent on things that aren’t to do with war.

5.   To Remain in Europe

My first natural instinct was to reject Scottish Independence. Now more than ever, it seems to me that we face global problems such as climate change, global economic woes and global poverty that would tend to require global solutions to fix.

Luckily our technology has now given us global communications and a growing sense of a global community.

And yet our planet is still filled with little nation states, all vying with each other and disagreeing over this and that. It seems logical that to solve global (and indeed extra-global) challenges, we’d want as few factions as possible.

So fracturing the UK into smaller parts would seem to be heading in the wrong direction. Couple that with the scare-o-ganda from the UK press saying that an independent Scotland would not be part of the EU, and the instinct to vote NO only increases.

But when you think a bit more about it you’d realise this: the United Kingdom currently consists of four members (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). And it’s the United Kingdom that’s a member state of the EU, not the separate members. If the UK changes its internal membership, it would seem logical that either all former members of the UK are automatically accepted into the EU or none are.

And here’s the rub: an EU referendum is something that’s long been mooted in Britain, but has always been played down. The Ruling Party realise that EU trade agreements are just too sweet to give up easily.

But now the euro-sceptic voice is getting louder and louder, so much so that I think a referendum on UK membership of the EU is coming soon. I want Scotland to remain part of the EU, and I’m fairly certain the majority of voters in Scotland do too.

But I’m not so sure about the situation in England.

I think it’s more likely that English voters will want to leave the EU.

So it seems that an independent Scotland is more likely to remain in Europe compared with the wider UK.

6.   For More Immigration and Equality

When I was in my 20s, I lived and worked for a while in France. I was effectively an immigrant there, a white, male, European immigrant but an immigrant nonetheless. I came back to the UK after a few years, but my time there is something I treasure dearly as it enriched me with a greater appreciation of different cultures, different languages, and different societies. If anyone tells me they have a chance to work abroad for a while I tell them to take it without hesitation: I tell them it will open your eyes in ways that you just can’t get staying at home.

So it makes me sad to hear all the anti-immigration rhetoric coming out of England.

All that “they’re stealing our jobs/stealing our benefits/stealing our hospital beds” nonsense that just sounds like veiled racism to me. It’s well-known that this sort of xenophobia lite becomes common when recessions bite, when jobs are lost and people look for someone to blame: it’s easy to blame the foreigners. But I think that’s shameful.

Analysis of Scottish public opinion about immigration shows that Scotland has significantly lower levels of concern about immigration than England and Wales. And the first minister’s plans for Scotland is for a more liberal immigration policy. This is mostly to help the “dependency ratio” (state pensioners vs. working-age adults) i.e. this policy is driven by economics, but the fact that Scotland also gets an increase in cultural and racial diversity is I think a happy bonus.

The Westminster Ruling Party seems to be getting stricter on immigration, and it looks like this will continue for some time. This attitude worries me, so I can only conclude that I’m personally more aligned with the Scotland Government here.

7.   Against Mass Surveillance

If you live in Britain, you are effectively under constant surveillance by the UK government. Your text messages, emails, tweets, Facebook status updates – all of this is being monitored. Unlike the people of Brazil, Germany, even the USA, most people in Britain don’t seem to care about this. But I think mass surveillance is kinda creepy and open to abuse and not something that sits well with the notion of a free society. When questioned about mass surveillance, the SNP implied that they wanted the situation in Scotland to pretty much remain the same: Holyrood want to monitor all of us as much as Westminster.

I think it’s a shame that privacy issues are barely mentioned when discussing Scottish independence.

But perhaps in the event of a YES result, when writing a new constitution for Scotland the idea of reducing the level of citizen surveillance might be brought up. It might even become part of the constitution. The current UK-wide apathy seems to imply that it’s unlikely, but I think there’s more of a chance for change here in an independent Scotland than in the UK.

8.   Against Privatisation of the NHS

Despite strong evidence supporting the British NHS in terms of quality of care, efficiency, and value for money (ranking best-in-the-world for these!), there seems to be a strong desire in Westminster for healthcare privatisation.

Economic principles tell us that state funding is naturally required for things where you can’t really charge for individual usage, such as for street lighting or road repairs. Healthcare is the ultimate in an individualised targeted service and so seems an obvious candidate for privatisation.

Bringing in medical market forces is a difficult proposition in Britain though, where the majority of the population hold up the NHS as an institution to be proud of: don’t mess with our NHS! But thanks to devolution, NHS Scotland is a separate entity from the UK-wide NHS. This has led to differences like prescription charges being abolished in Scotland (but not in England).

The SNP government has said that a public NHS Scotland is “safe in our hands”, as opposed to the proposed UK-wide reforms that seem to imply a form of privatisation.

I don’t have any strong ideological objections to privatisation in general, but when the NHS is clearly best-in-breed and superb value for money, it seems unhelpful and counterproductive to sell it off.

A few would benefit, but it seems most would not.

NHS Scotland seems safe in the devolved Scotland that we have currently, but it seems that it would be safer yet in an independent Scotland.

9.   For Electoral Reform

Britain is currently a representative democracy: we vote for a few guys who get to decide how to run the country (well, except for the House of Lords who are not elected but still have a big say. They won’t have a say in an independent Scotland however). Our style of representative democracy has been around for a long time. There are alternatives though that aim to be more democratic by allowing individual citizens to have more of a say. For example, Switzerland has a form of direct democracy where frequent referendums on various subjects give the people a direct say in what policies should be made.

Of course, just because the majority of people believe in something does not mean it’s necessarily the right thing to do. Setting policy based on mass-opinion can be dangerous without informed opinion.

Through technology, we now all have instant access to information that will argue for and against a particular subject (setting aside the issue of state censorship for now). With the internet, we can all arrive at an informed opinion on any topic that we desire. New electronic collaboration tools open up the real possibility of a participatory democracy that’s both feasible and fiscally viable. Open source politics seems to be more democratic that our current system and I think it would be good to have a mechanism where our elected representatives really did act based on the will of the people, rather than based on what often seems to be an MP’s own self-interest.

I am in favour of electoral reform that leads to greater democracy.

Despite the possible dangers, overall it seems that a participatory democracy would lead to a fairer society. There’s a slim chance we might see something like this in an independent Scotland, but realistically I don’t think the Scottish government will want to distribute their power in this way. But then again, I assume the Westminster government is even less likely to want to give up representative democracy.

So it seems there’s as good as no chance of this kind of electoral reform in Britain, but a slim chance of it happening in an independent Scotland.

10. For the Chance of a Scottish Republic

I think that kings and queens and princesses and stuff like that is something that belongs in fairy tales from ye olde worlde. I find it baffling that a modern 21st-century democracy would allow a hereditary power-base. And yet the House of Lords sit unelected, and Her Majesty The Queen & Family also have considerable powers.

But apart from the Scottish Green Party, most people in Scotland disagree with me and want to keep The Queen as the head of a Scottish state. The current Scottish government also say that Scotland will remain a constitutional monarchy.

I don’t think I’ll ever really understand why.

My republican dreams are driven by the fact that there’s the possibility of a future Scottish government that might be in favour of abolishing the British monarchy in Scotland.

Or there could even be a future referendum on this.

None of these options are even remotely likely to ever happen in England, so as slim a chance as there is, an independent Scotland seems like the only vague hope for a republic in the British mainland.

11. To Avoid the Backlash

If Scotland votes to remain a part of the union, one thing that worries me is the backlash from Westminster.

If Scotland votes NO to independence, I would not be surprised if all the Westminster promises of further devolution – the Devo Max carrot – were to suddenly become “impractical in this austere climate” or suchlike. I can easily imagine a future where the London-based Lib-Lab-Con government decided to punish disobedient Scotland for daring to detach itself.

If you think that’s far-fetched, don’t forget that governments are run by men, with all the macho cock-waving that a patriarchy entails. UKIP have previously stated that they’d reverse Scottish devolution, erase the Scottish Parliament, and reintroduce direct rule. Those guys could conceivably be necessary to form a UK government in 2015, and UKIP’s recently elected MEP is even saying that his party would move to nullify a YES vote!

So if for if for no other reason, I’m a bit worried now that a NO vote would be inviting all sorts of butt-kicking to the people living in Scotland.

12.  For A’ That

So those are my main reasons why I now think a YES vote for Scottish independence is the smart thing to do for the people who live here.

You probably had several “yes, but…” moments if you managed to read through it all. You maybe thought I was missing some key points like:

  • What about the state of the economy?

(the economy is a global mechanism, so I don’t think there’s too much that nation-level governments can do. Failing banks have been bailed out by multiple countries in the past, and Scotland’s per capita GDP is impressive: bigger than France (when a geographic share of oil and gas is taken into account))

  • What about having a say on the global stage?

(see my view on EU membership)

  • What about Obama, the Pope, JK Rowling and China all saying that we should vote NO?

(er… who are they to tell me how to vote?)

  • What about the fact that I don’t trust that Alex Salmond?

(well just as this referendum is nothing to do with nationality, it should also be nothing to do with personality. Love him or hate him, I think this referendum is too important for you to be swayed but your views on just one guy)


Well aye, there’s a lot we just don’t know yet. That’s the thing about the future either way.

In the end, it seems that our form of vaguely democratic party politics will persist whichever way the Scottish independence vote goes. The few people with political power will do anything to keep it, to grow it, to make sure the system that got them there remains unchallenged. The pretend fighting between the Tories, Labour, SNP and the like will carry on regardless, and most of us will continue to act like they offer us a fair and just democracy of choice.

But for all that, I’d very much like to live in a country where Wisdom, Justice, Compassion, and Integrity really were honest guiding principles. It seems to me that the people living in Scotland have an – admittedly very slim – chance of real political and social change, of giving the world a shining example of how to bootstrap a 21st-century democracy that has the freedom and potential to grow into something better.

I plan to vote YES for Scottish independence in September.

I hope that you do too (but make sure you do your research before you decide!)

Comments (0)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Good article – took a while to read twice assimilating all the points, but nice to read there are supporters of greater democracy not classed as swivel-eyed nationalists.

  2. A good article. However, don’t be dismayed that “only the Scottish Greens” support a republic, Jer. There is a significant strand of republicanism in Scottish society – indeed, it is present in most political parties in Scotland. Get the Yes vote first, then decide what we want to do afterward!

    I’m glad you’ve joined the debate!

  3. DunkitAndo says:

    Regarding the “Uncertainty.”

    Have a read of the Dunleavy Report for further perspective.


    An interesting nugget includes:

    “When a UK general election looms, all the main parties with a chance of being in government get a degree of access to the civil service, and to government documents and statistics, so that they can be briefed on the realities they would face, should they come to power. The aim is to help them put well-costed policies in place, before they begin making election promises to voters.

    Unfortunately, there has been no equivalent process for Scotland’s referendum, despite its momentous implications. Westminster ministers have instead given no information at all to the Scottish government or their officials. Whitehall has been forbidden to discuss issues with Scottish officials and to do any contingency planning for independence, in case the conclusions suggest independence would not cause major problems. (The only exception here is the Bank of England, where Mervyn King gave permission for its officials to hold technical discussions with Scottish planners.)”

    Add this to the fact that it is Wesminister’s responsibility to approach the EUC for confirmation on what would happen if Scotland became independent. They haven’t, and have refused to do so.


    It’s difficult to come to a conclusion other than that Westminister has manufactured the “Uncertainty” has taken every possible step to preserve it.

    1. annickburn says:

      @DunkitAndo that is an interesting post especially about the pre-election civil service access that the Scottish Government has been denied. I will read the article link you provided.


  4. DM says:

    Fantastically-written article with a great argument and lots of interesting detail, but there are a couple of inaccuracies:

    Ireland is not a member of the UN Security Council at the moment, but it is a UN member state;

    The NHS in Scotland is not independent of the NHS in England and Wales thanks to devolution; it was independent from the moment it was founded in 1949. There is not, and never has been, a ‘British’ NHS.

  5. Hugh Wallace says:

    Great article! But could you please amend your section on the NHS. NHS Scotland did not come about due to devolution; it has always been a separate institution from the NHS in the rest of the UK since its inception in 1948. (NI has also always had its own health service and Wales gained a separate one when power was devolved in 1999.)

  6. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    12 great reasons for independence.

  7. Call me cynical but it doesn’t sound like you did change your mind, you were always likely to back “yes.” Much conjecture within the article and a belief that “yes” will tick all of those boxes. Highly unlikely. Virtually all of the reasons listed are flawed in some manner. The only reason that has been posted that in my view holds a degree of merit is reason 2 on energy.

    Being against privatisation of the NHS is not a reason to back separation seeing as it’s fully devolved already. If Scotland decided to go in a different direction, it can. It doesn’t need separation to do that.

    Electoral reform? Scotland had the chance in 2011 with the AV referendum and overwhelmingly rejected it.

    I think the negative attitudes on immigration and the EU that also exist within Scotland are overlooked or even entirely dismissed within the article.The anti-nuclear argument has been debunked with the SNP reversal on NATO membership, which the writer seems to oppose. I would add that the EU’s foreign policy isn’t “neutral” though and is anything but.

    What I find most grating of all is this whole notion of a more “compassionate” or “fairer” country etc. Where is the evidence to suggest that a separate Scotland would be any different if it still sticks to the same neoliberal model?

    1. Nicely said. I was thinking that most of what Billy Bragg has mentioned was hope over hope. But what surely this guy should not have said a thing?

      “What about Obama, the Pope, JK Rowling and China all saying that we should vote NO?
      (er… who are they to tell me how to vote?)


      I plan to vote YES for Scottish independence in September.

      I hope that you do too”

      To Bragg : Who are you to tell me to vote yes? Rolwing closed her posting with a “if we do go Indie, I hope it is a resounding success”. And would support the decision of Scotland. You make it sound like you think we are going to be screwed! Nice sentiment.

      1. colinwiseman says:

        (excuse the typos…or don’t. I probably wouldn’t!)

      2. PS A friend linked me to this. The image was of Billy Bragg and quoted him. I stupidly started reading the article too quickly. But this doesn’t change the points I made… just that I should stop scanning things and making myself look like an idiot!

  8. A really good article,well thought out,covering most of the points and concerns that people have.
    I do hope that as many people as possible can read this,because too few of the people i talk to,take the time to sit and think about what they are being offered by westminster post NO vote.
    I do think that the BARNET FORMULA should be explained more fully,some people may have heard of it but dont really understand what it is and how it governs scotlands spending.
    this money can be,or should i say WILL BE cut in the very near future.No matter what government we have,be it labour or SNP,there will be major cuts to all our front line services,So a no vote would be a vote for cuts,especially to our NHS,the tories want to get rid of free prescriptions,and privatise our NHS.
    Your piece on defence i thought covered most of the points, scotland does not want or need GLOBAL REACH
    We dont need to have the ability to project our authority on a global scale, TRIDENT is a first strike weapon, it is not a deterent its a THREAT.
    Well done for joining the YES camp,and i hope that many of the other no camp follow you.

  9. Graham Purnell says:

    One of the most cogent articulations the Yes position I’ve read. A clearer vision of one’s own country sometimes comes from people from elsewhere, like the cinematic visions of America by Wim Wenders, Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin etc.

    The participation of non-native Scots is therefore vital; they see things and highlight new possibilities that native born Scots might not consider.

  10. Bradsky says:

    It isn’t in the nature of any state to want to cede territory but it begs the broader question: why is the British Establishment so desperate to keep Scotland? Well, if there’s a Yes vote, north of the border instantly gets rid of the hereditary second chamber, the City of London and Britain’s public-school elites, all those forces superfluous to good government but expensively grandfathered into our current system. There will also be a proper constitution drawn up, conferring citizen rights and designating responsibilities. It’s inevitable that people in England will then look north and think: “I fancy a bit of that.”

  11. YESGUY says:

    great stuff.

    Really enjoyed the read and agreed on most of what you say. We all have our own reasons for yes and they don’t all fall into the logical category.

    Thanks Jer , We need to hear other points of view to get a good argument for or against independence.

    Come on Scotland . Time we moved on in our own way.


  12. A.G. says:

    Scotland already has a worldwide reach – Ask any Tartan Army fan about the reception they receive abroad and you will hear many positive stories of foreign hospitality, once they know you’re Scottish.
    Many countries still confuse Scotland as a county in the North of England (and on one occasion I had a meal taken back and replaced, once my Scottishness was discovered… 😉 ) until you talk to them and they ask.
    So, with independence, it will finally unshackle us from the distaste many countries hold for the English… It’s sad, but it’s true.

    Good article though. I found myself agreeing with much of it… The immigration Policy is what several people have expressed to me as a concern so maybe a system more like that of Australia or Canada would work better. (if we don’t already have that…)

    1. Bethan says:

      If so many other countries find the UK so distasteful – why do so many immigrants want to come here? …. “our generous benefits system” I hear you cry! (ooooh, bad, bad UK) …. but might it also be because they know their rights as human beings will be respected – that they need not be in fear of their lives because of, for instance, their political beliefs? (unlike the countries some of them are running from?) oooooh, bad, bad, horrid UK – it’s just SOOOO embarassing being British isn’t it?…..

  13. Gave up reading after “reason 1”. Author obviously another smug, left-wing, one party state (liblabcon) -supporting, extremist. Believe it or not, some of us are quite keen on giving some of the “dark forces” of the “right” a chance within the framework our Happy Union.

    1. rabthecab says:

      Wow. The article contains some very good points & a cogent argument, yet all you have to offer in return is ad hominem? Your paymasters at Bitter Together must be so proud of you.

      Try playing the ball next time, not the man.

    2. Ocean says:

      Hi James, I think if the framework of our Union was happy there would be nothing to discuss. It says a lot that you did not read past the first point.

      1. RabTheCab, Ocean, Thanks. Was worried I might have been a wee bit harsh, so I read past the first point.
        I wasn’t.
        A phrase in “Reason 9”, in it’s casual arrogance, had me spluttering into my porridge: “Of course, just because the majority of people believe in something does not mean it’s necessarily the right thing to do. Setting policy based on mass opinion can be dangerous without informed opinion.”
        I’m actually quite an admirer of the Swiss Model of Democracy & Referenda but the author here seems to think that the proletariat’s dangerous opinions need to be moderated, if not ignored, as is usually the case.
        “Reason 6”–a paean to the benefits of untrammelled immigration–is plain wishful thinking on his part. At NO time have the Scots Or the British been offered a say in any general election on the historically unparalleled inward flow of the last 50 years. NO political party has stood on a platform of: “Vote for us & we will import millions of people from all corners of the World!” The “Cultural Diversity” & “Enrichment” have been foist on us whether we want it or not by all 3 parties & now The SNP.

  14. Donnie Wright says:

    Well done mate. I think your letter is spot on. I know you’re decision to change to yes is sound. I’ll be back in Scotland for the vote. So “here’s tay us, whay’s like us”. And thanks again.

  15. john chisholm says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I have been yes from the off, but to read of someone who has changed their mind AND used clear and concise justifications is truly awesome. Thank you.

  16. Chris Hendry says:

    ‘I ignored things that I didn’t think were relevant (such as whether Scotland uses the Pound or the Euro)’

    Absolutely terrifying that people voting the referendum think that they can dismiss the currency issue as an irrelevance. Really wish all of these undecided voters out there would start to educate themselves about the economics of the situation when they sit down to do their ‘research’.

    I wonder if the Greek people who rioted on the streets of Athens a few years ago thought currency was such an irrelevance?? Or maybe the German man carrying his worthless German Bunds home in a wheelbarrow in the 1930s, I wonder what his thoughts were on the irrelevance of currency?

  17. Fran says:

    Interesting article. BTW the Pope didn’t say we should vote No; he said we should think about it carefully. Which I think we are doing.

  18. kingtut666 says:

    While I agree with much of the thinking in the article, I disagree with the conclusions – personally I think independence will be more likely to lead to negative results for Scotland than remaining within the UK, even without any further devolution. There’s not enough space here, so I wrote up my thoughts in a post: https://kingtut666.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/thoughts-on-scottish-independence/

  19. Norman Gray says:

    This man is English / but he is a forward thinking scot in my land. I don’t have a problem with immigrants if thay stay in Scotland work in Scotland & love Scotland then there Scottish at hart & that’s what Scotland needs. harts & minds not bombs & guns hatred & greed there’s never been a safe way to move forward it’s just a step towards global oblivion, & a step to far for.my hart to contemplate after all we are one massive family not one narrow minded off shoot of it we are all immigrants we all came from Africa. At the start man was one tribe that cared for one another now it’s so fractured that we look at colour & think your not like me this is how Westminster think & don’t get me started on UKIP dose Scotland won’t to be dragged screaming no no no in to it a yes vote means we can decide Ower path in history this is why I will vote yes & to all my brothers & sisters from a different land that think as I do if you love liberty then vote yes it’s a step away from war & greed so vote / YES YES YES for the war mongers like a NO & hoo benefits from war & greed. THE RICH not the man & woman on the street so vote yes to move forward in to a global utopia. YES YES YES

  20. rabthecab says:

    Minor point that I should’ve spotted 1st time round: Neither Obama nor Pope Francis actually said “Don’t do it.”

    Obama said “And we obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner.

    “But ultimately these are decisions that are to be made by the folks there.” Which is not the same thing as speaking against Indy.

    Francis said “All division worries me. There will be cases that are just, but the secession of a nation without a history of enforced unity must be taken very carefully and analysed case by case” which again is not the same.

    JK Rowling just read prompts from the “Better Together Project Fear” manifesto.

    As for the Chinese Premier well, the less said the better.

  21. MopMop says:

    The amount of inaccurate information in this really, really scares me.

    1. Not true. Scotland HAS affected the outcomes of the General Election and more than a third of Scots don’t even bother voting. So, sad reality is that no one actually knows the real worth of a Scots vote cuz so many just don’t vote.

    UKIP’s ‘success’ has been massively exaggerated, got ‘success’ in Scotland too. Easiest way for Tory or UKIP government is loss of Scots votes and reaction in the rest of the UK who have no other options to voice their discontent. And the thing I don’t understand how so many Yes voters seem to miss in that *that’s* the government we’d have to negotiate with. We’d be bound by Westminster forever, without a vote, potentially having to renegotiate every single time there was a new UK Government.
    And judgey judgey on rest of the UK’s opinion.

    2. Scotland government approved fracking.

    Scotland failed to meet it’s renewable energy target. Again. I also want a re-balance of powers on this subject from the UK to Scotland because it certainly is frustrating, but Scotland does very little to encourage Scots to live greener. Only recently have they started certain ads. Proper campaigns should be priority and that’s all on Scottish government.

    3. …I’m sorry, but I can’t help what laugh. Man, where to start. America will not allow the disposal of Trident. A handful of European countries have been trying for years to get rid of nuclear weapons on their land, with absolutely no success. The best Scotland could hope for is relocation of Trident because America and the UK will not want it on foreign/non-ally (that’s us, what a horrible though) land, not because Scotland has any real say. And that will take time. Another problem is polls show that actually, the majority of Scots want to keep Trident. So that should be real fun sorting out.
    What world do you actually live in? Do you care that you’re handing out totally false information? Ireland is not on the UN Security Table. And there is no way Scotland will get anywhere near it when places like Germany are dying to get in. 3 of the 5 (if you include the UK) of the permanent members of The UN Security Council have publicly said they’re for a No. They have a veto.

    4. A valid point – the only one. But not a simple one. Who decides a justified war? Which wars would you not have been okay with? World War I? II? The Cold War? For which war would it be okay to abandon people who needed us? To not fight for justice and for humanity? Hindsight is a very tricky thing. Especially in a character that steps up to global responsibility.

    Yeah, great, a limited defense, sounds great. That won’t get us ruined or killed cuz we totally live in a peaceful world and even if we didn’t, well, us 5 million would tell them, wouldn’t we! It’s a good job we live in a totally self-reliant, army/bomb/nuclear-proof place, huh?
    And again, we may not be in the UN. Already covered this.

    5. How many times must the EU be covered before Yes people actually admit to facts? There will be no ‘remaining’. Scotland’s signature is not on The Treaty. We will have to reapply. And every 28 country has to agree. That so very much includes the UK and Spain. Yeah, no problems there. God.

    It’s not ‘logical’. Read the legalities for god sake! It’s not difficult. There’s about 3 different rules that cover the UK staying in the EU if we leave – because WE’RE the ones leaving. We’re declaring an Independent State, the UK will remain. It’s what happens when you revoke on citizenship and declare yourself independent.
    If you actually want to use ‘logical’ (though surely reading the actual rules will be much, much easier?) as you said, 4 Kingdoms. Take just one away and 3 remain. The 92% remain. Despite original history, majority and present agreements rule, and all that.
    Again, judgey judgey. It’s good that you ‘think’ voters in England will be different (did you forget about Wales and Northern Ireland? Are we not counting them anymore?) That’s obviously a reason to totally hinge everything on.

    6. It is racism and it is disgusting, but it certainly ain’t exclusive from Scotland! You get that attitude everywhere. All the Anti-English crap (all those MI5 agents faking being abusive trolls, obviously) shows how easily people get like that. It’s an issue that every country deals with and it gets harder when unemployment is bad. But from this, you seemingly don’t know all that much about the UK’s actual immigration policies.
    Scotland NEEDS immigrants because we are an aging population with not enough taxpayers. Don’t confuse that with social equality. It’s not the same thing. Also the ever so fun issue of if our open immigration policy results in immigrants going to the UK via Scotland, the UK as a country not in the Schengen Agreement, will look into putting border control between Scotland and England.

    7. ‘But perhaps’ and ‘might even’ based on your very personal, specific want of a future that has absolutely NO interaction with this debate. What? Wow. Yeah, an Independent Scotland might decide to ban all non PETA compliment products. What? ‘Perhaps’ it will! If there’s something you’re actually passionate about, you should be fighting about it either way. This is not at all reliant on an Independent Scotland.

    It’s not actually a case of Britain monitoring, it’s other countries monitoring each other. It’s messed up but it’s the reality. Scotland has different censorship laws to the rest of the UK.
    Scottish Government just promised a whole bunch of security (extra pricey that link straight to Big Brother) as a way of dealing with the rapist scum currently on our streets.

    8. Yeah with the totally false information Our NHS is ours and always has been. Any failures or concerns you have over it have been and will always be on the Scottish government.

    We’re able to have things like free prescriptions because there’s so few of us but work within the funding of a bigger population. As in, we get more money – from the UK – than there is of us. We get more public spending per head than the rest of the UK.

    9. We do indeed have a layered democracy. Though at it’s foundation it works on one person, one vote, it’s not perfect and many want to change it (lots of talk even between politicians to get rid of the House of Lords and federalisation) We won’t have a say in the change if we don’t have a vote anymore.
    (It makes me very sad to read something online talking about how we can use online to come to ‘informed decisions’, on something that is full of *misinformed* information)
    Again, lots of ‘I think’ conclusions about both governments based certainly not on anything ‘informed’.

    And lets take a look at the new version of democracy Scotland will *actually* (not ‘I think this may happen at one point because maybe it’s a possibility’)
    First, again, more than a third of Scots don’t bother to vote (for any election, not just the General) And as everyone knows, this referendum is very close. Unless something epic happens, it means whichever side wins will do so by a small margin. So say Yes wins at 60% with an 80% turnout (quite a bit more than a typical Scots turnout) that means that less than half the country has decided that the entire country will be solely ruled (and the solely part means something here) by something they not only didn’t vote *for*, but that they outright voted *against*.
    Then there’s the Constitution. It actually has the making of a dictatorship. It is written by ONE party (so, so wrong. The point of a Constitutions is to protect ALL people’s values) with nothing in it to stop the government breaching it (no second chamber or anything) AND it concedes to EU Law (which we won’t even be in for quite a while)
    So basically, what will actually be happening is laws, policies and regulations will comply with EU law first.
    Then secondary, everything will be worked around the UK because so much of our stuff will still rely on them; whether working around new funding quotes or border stuff or UN, EU or Nato stuff) and because the vast majority of Scotland’s trade goes to the UK – we need them.
    Then the Scottish government will basically, by the Constitution, be able to do what they want.
    And finally, the people of Scotland.
    And you can go on about how ‘well the democracy will come after the next election when we can really start to form our country!’ but that is a lot easier said than done. First, might want to look at a constitution actually is – it’s not a guidebook that comes with each new elected government, you can’t just chuck it out the next time. The Head of State and Trident are two major things in the constitution that the country totally is split on. A nightmare trying to sort that out. And on that matter, we will have half a country angry that they’re being governed by something they didn’t vote for (sound familiar?)

    We’re not playing The Sims here. This isn’t a personal opportunity to make the country what we want. It is not that simple. Government is government.

    10. Technically yes, you are correct that this is *more likely* to happen in an Independent Scotland than the UK. But again, covered the Queen and constitutions stuff in 9. And there is a massive difference between ‘more likely’ and something that’s *actually* ‘likely’. I am more likely to go to the moon that my cat is…doesn’t speak at all for its actual probability factor.

    11.I find this extremely problematic. The Yes side LOVES to cry ‘scaremongering’ and that they will not be scared into voting No…and you are telling people you want to vote Yes because you’re scared…of something that has absolutely no foundation. Where do you think we are? Middle ages? You think we’re gonna be put in the docks for subordination? Come on.

    More devolved powers have been promised (though I think that will never be enough for some Yes voters) Westminster has delivered on such promises. Alex Salmond is standing in it, we are talking about it. The Parliament, signed, seal, delivered. The referendum, agreed. The UK actually looks pretty good to the international community by being having the referendum (compared to other places currently) and the world is watching because it’s the UK. It wouldn’t do the UK well to not deliver them. Especially because A) Salmond has already promised to go for Independence again. B) It is much easier to later be able to say ‘well we gave you what you wanted and you messed it up, you can’t blame us this time’ than ‘well, we broke our promise but it’ll be different this time!’ It would be a massive waste in money, time, and the UK would suffer on a global stance for it.

    Stop scaring and threatening people with UKIP. Already covered the unlikelihood of UKIP and again, an Independent Scotland would make UKIP’s chances a lot greater and again, that would be the government we’d have to negotiate with in all those things of UK life that Yes have promised we’ll keep. As you have pointed out, UKIP would not be that favorable towards Scotland.

    12.a) *Sighs* seriously, don’t you know anything? It is not a case of just any country helping out the other. It is the case of strong and stable countries bailing out ones they have political treaties and agreements with. As in, something that Scotland will not be and will not have. And something that the UK already is and already has.
    Scotland hasn’t had a surplus since 2001.

    b) Exactly, *’your’* view. How about just reading the rules instead? Reality that is not based on a random person? Again, not difficult.

    c)They are all people who actually have an impact in Scotland. To entirely dismiss them instead of rationally giving your case shows how little you know. Again, China and America are massive political powers that will help or hinder Scotland’s path. They can do this legally via UN and Nato, and they will. JK Rowling is one of Scotland’s greats. No, no one should be voting solely because they’re a Harry Potter fan, but she is significant as someone who has success globally, as someone who lives and loves here but is respected world-wide. Her opinion is one formed on intelligence and experience. No one has to agree with it, but it should be respected – it would be on any debate platform.

    d)The referendum is exactly too important to be swayed by opinion on just one guy, you’re right, and yet look how many want to vote Yes because of David Cameron. And no, I wouldn’t say it’s all about nationalism, but that has been a big point. You can’t just dismiss it, it is a percentage’s motivation.
    And a vote Yes might not necessarily be for Alex Salmond or SNP, but he and they are the only real potential example we actually have. And they are representing us and they will start an Independent Scotland’s history. That is important. He and they will define everything we are at first. Some things you cannot fix after they are broken.

    Please make sure you redo your own research! I do not understand how people can claim to care so much about something they don’t actually research. Blogsites are not research. Yes sites are not research. Better Together sites are not research. Look at history, at precedent, at official reports, at Treaties and Agreements and Laws. It’s not difficult and it will give you *actual* answers.

    1. Stevie says:

      I fear you have far to many inaccuracies and miss-directions in your piece to be lambasting others of their lack of research.
      One example would be that an independent Scotland would have no treaties or agreements, whereas the rest of the uk would. The uk would no longer be the uk. It would be as it was prior to 1707, and would be the kingdoms of England and Wales. As the treaty of 1808 which bound Irland to the United Kingdom was latter that would have to be re-negotiated.
      You also state that Scotland hasn’t had a surplus since 2001. There are a huge amount of problems with this statement, not least that you make no comparison with any other state or nation such as the uk as a whole, which has only been in very minor surplus for 3 of the last 40 years.
      The UK as a whole was attempting to gain loans from the IMF up until 1976 when the revenue streams from North Sea oil made this move unnecessary.
      Further if you go to HMRC’s website you will find some remarkable statistics such as Scotland like many other regions of the UK are Net Exporters, or that 15% of UK corporation tax is paid by North Sea Oil!

      1. MopMop says:

        I did not say ‘Scotland would have no treaties or agreements’. Although, obviously it wouldn’t because it doesn’t *yet* and obviously nobody on either side can say of any treaties or agreements Scotland will enter into in the future.
        If your argument is that the UK would no longer be the UK and therefore the UK’s current political agreements wouldn’t stand any longer, how can you say that ones on behalf of Scotland would? I hope I’ve misunderstood that because it is lacking in logical. The statement (even though I didn’t actually make it) of ‘Scotland has no current treaties or agreements it can definitely continue’ would be true. Because…of course it doesn’t. What I actually said was Scotland’s signature was not on the Rome Treaty, which it isn’t. The UK, while it will slightly reform, will still remain the UK. There hasn’t been a single word from EU, UN, NATO or anybody that the UK and it’s political agreements would change post independence (other than with Scotland). There has however been a lot of word from officials that Scotland would have to apply to whichever group as a new member.

        My surplus comment was of course not detailed. As you can see, I tend to go on a lot and as you can also properly tell, the beginning of my comment was a lot more clipped, in note form, than the ending. It was made in reference to this misconception that Scotland is somehow a lot more fiscally viable than it actually is. Everybody knows of the UK’s fiscal position, that’s not actually being argued on. But a lot of Yes voters somehow believe that Scotland has had a surplus for the past 30 years – a belief proven to be entirely incorrect as shown on the Scottish Government fiscal reports.

    2. annickburn says:

      5.- 5 June 1975 a UK wide Post-Legitative referendum was held, (Scotland took part as well! ) the result was continued membership of the EU, this gives the UK a mandate to sign any agreements and treaties on behalf of the people of Scotland as well as England, N.I & Wales. To say Scotland’s signature is not on ‘the Treaty’ (technically the UK isn’t on the Rome Treaty either membership came later) is contemptuous.
      In addition it is not so easy to ‘leave’ Europe, even if you wanted to. Greenland voted in a referendum to leave when they got Home Rule, remember they also automatically became members when Denmark joined, it took Greenland 2 years of negotiations and a treaty…the Greenland treaty, before they were able to officially leave!
      Also we have the reunification of Germany, when a further 16m + citizens were accepted in to the EU…why was that so easy to achieve? Because like Scotland, West Germany had already met all the membership criteria they just had to apply it to a larger area and population.
      The EU would need to expel Scotland and I can’t see that happening this Millenium!

      P.S. I actually like the original writer’s idea that England, Wales and N.I. should have their own individual representation in Europe (as well as Scotland of course) I wonder why this hasn’t happened before?

  22. Fay Kennedy. says:

    Right on Bella there is nothing in Australia’s present policies worthy of any consideration. The right wing government of Tony Abbott is the worst since Billy Hughes who sent the young men to the killing fields of Gallipoli in 1915.

  23. Thanks Jer, and cheers for the link to Charlie Stross’s post. A great summary for friends abroad!

  24. tern says:

    Don’t vote Yes if you want to support immigration!!! Yes want to take away unrefusable entitlement to citizenship from the children of our emigrants, from Scots who were born outside Scotland, if they also can’t arrange to be resident here on independence day. Which will catch all of our exiled offspring, mostly in rUK, who are economically dependent on family, or stuck where they are for work or family care reasons, or are still kids. It is a basic breach of ECHR article 8 and division of families, not to have automatic inheriting of citizenship from an emigrant parent. You can check this out for yourself by asking them, like I have, they won’t budge on it.

    The details of citizenship rules, including “any discretionary elements”, are not to be decided and revealed until the transition period – after we have voted! That came from the policy officer Nickola Paul who wrote the policy. An answer from Yes Helensburgh from their lawyer said “Apart from birth, parental birth and residence on Indy day there is no automatic right to a Scottish Passport” and “parental birth” there means within the White Paper’s provision for birth-registering of babies born post-indy. And “There can be no carte Blanche on this matter .” Jim Sillars answered me at a Yes meeting on May 7 saying “We can’t have an open door”, referring to where we already do have an open door in the Union, said he wants our diaspora born children to be subject to the same points based selection for skills as immigrants from anywhere without roots here, and openly told the audience “We must not be afraid of this”. SSP leader Colin Fox on the same panel did not condemn this and continues to speak alongside Sillars in meetings for “the socialist case for independence” !

    This is a new clearances, an anti-outsider nationalism that is residency-bigoted, only cares about folks who already live here. Western Isles MSP Angus Macneil has denied that the diaspora born who have never lived here even are Scottish at all. But the diaspora are being betrayed by both sides, I’m saying vote No to prevent it happening, but I’m also down on the the No side and the media for persisting in choosing not to focus on this issue at all. They seem to have determined to play the populist anti-immigration tide instead of using getting Yes on an immigration humanitarian injustice, even when polls narrowed and when some folks are being misled by progressive rhetoric to think that what is happening can’t possibly be.

    Consequently, I have put in a petition to the European parliament, and accompanying question to the Commission too, which will always be there in posterity hanging over our new state’s status if Yes wins, whatever reaction they get now. Petitioning for the EU and its institutions not to recognise the referendum as legitimately mandating and fairly conducted, and to deal with a new state on that basis in all their relations with it, if the question on citizenship by descent does not receive a scale of media coverage in the campaign so as to make overwhelmingly most voters aware that the question exists.

    1. annickburn says:

      Tern. I read your post with a little bit of confusion. I find it to be, and I do not wish to sound patronising or belittle your message, but it is a little hysterical. Perhaps I need to read it again? Or maybe you could clarify your stance on citizenship as it seems you have researched the topic.

      Is it not the case that at the moment, under current UK Law/rules, any British citizens living outside the UK cannot pass their British nationality on more than one generation?

      So the children of rUK citizens living in an independent Scottish would, under current UK law, which we have to assume for now will remain the same, be British citizens but their children and subsequent generations would not be.

      Is it not also the case that the current Scottish Government proposals, and that is all they are ‘proposals’ rather than ‘law’, are to enlarge that circle to include 1 more generation so if your Granny was Scottish you can, if you wish, apply for Scottish Citizenship?

      When I read your post I feel that you think it is the reverse…the existing UK, future rUK will offer the extension and an IScotland will curtail it to one generation.

      1. tern says:

        Apply for, yes that’s right. But citizenship rights are only citizenship rights when they are UNREFUSABLE. Otherwise they are meaningless. It’s initially on this issue that yes has lost my vote. When I made voter enquiries after the White Paper I was not expecting to find what I did – they utterly will not say unrefusable. They have confirmed at Yes meetings it will be refusable. Government line, I got it from the policy officer and others have got it too, is that the system’s details including the evidence required from applicants and “any discretionary elements”, including refusability, will only be written up and given to us in the transition after a Yes vote – so we don’t get to know in detail the system we are voting for, but we do get the prospect of these applications being refusable. I told you what I got from Yes Helensburgh when they took it up with their lawyer. They won’t budge. This all means that Yes will take away the citizenship that the Scots born in rUK now have freely to move back here, will make it refusable for them. That is a new Clearances. They won’t provide for it to be passed on as of automatic routine to any generation at all.

  25. Dave says:

    Nuclear energy is not the answer with regard to electricity production. it is not economically viable. the fuel handling cost out weight any perceived gains.
    especially when you can use natural biological systems to capture carbon produced by energy production.
    but with the cost of solar panels soon to be a cheap as 5p a meter to produce then you can then afford to plaster them everywhere.
    We should be aiming to build any new housing to be totally self sufficient in energy.
    We need a nuclear free Scotland.

  26. jester1970 says:

    The Scottish Government support the retention of the monarchy because some people who would vote No out of support for the Queen may then vote YES, knowing that the monarchy will be retained.
    I’m willing to play the long game with them. Independence first, then the monarchy can be addressed later.

    1. rabthecab says:

      What people (from both sides of the argument) need to realise/learn is a very simple piece of history:

      The Union of Crowns (when James VI of Scotland took over the English throne following the death of his distant cousin Elizabeth the 1st & was pronounced James I of England) took place more than a century *before* the Acts of Union.

      Therefore the “shared Monarchy” is nothing new; as it pre-dates the Acts of Union, there is no reason why it could not continue after Independence.

      (For the avoidance of doubt, I am & always have been a Republican.)

  27. Andy says:

    Fantastic, completely on board with everything you wrote there, and I too long for an open agenda on becoming a republic, of the people for the people!

  28. James says:

    So we are in essence at war (again!) with the Scottish. You want independance, fine, but I will be joining the many who will be supporting tight border controls on entering England.Stop acting like a toddler who has had his candy taken away! You can’t have it every way Scotland.

  29. Dima Ionut says:

    Outside view…

    So… I read all the article. Nice job. But… from my point of view you didn’t covered all the issues.
    Anyway, the point is: I’m not English or Scottish… I’m a foreigner, an outsider. I don’t even live there (not anymore)… FREEDOM IS SCOTS RIGHT. EITHER IS LIKED OR NOT BY OTHERS.

    Hope will be Yes. I’ll be in Dundee for good next hour.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.