08 - 12 - 2020 / Your Story
I WAS A LABOUR COUNCILLOR WHO VOTED YES
In 2014 I was a Labour councillor working with colleagues from other unionist parties on our plans for the Better Together campaign. In our little bubble we were confident and assured in our view that the UK was OK and the only way to ensure the future prosperity for people living in our area.
But being the amiable person, I am I had friends who supported the Yes side and one challenged me on my position asking me why?
- Why do you think it is not possible to be a successful independent country?
- Why would trade suddenly cease with the rUK?
- Why do you need to be in a political union to show solidarity with workers in Liverpool when you do not need to be to show solidarity with anyone else in the world?
These debates went on and on always asking why, pushing me to challenge myself and think about what future I saw for Scotland. I continued to be involved with Better Together but took a far less active part. I started looking more and more and thinking about ways to build a fairer, more equal society.
Then I was asked to step up at the last minute to attend an Independence debate. There was no one else available for the 'No side' and could I do a massive favour, just this one time putting forward the pro union case.
Reluctantly I accepted and sat in a panel with a council colleague. I sat and listened to both sides of the discussion and attempted to put forward a coherent argument to stay. Around halfway through I realised that I was lying to myself and the people in the room.
It was then I knew I no longer believed what I was saying was right and that there was a better way forward for Scotland.
Following the meeting I withdrew from being active in the campaign and sat on the side-lines.
I was away on the date of the vote, but my proxy voted Yes.
I sat and watched as the results came in, devastated that the opportunity for real change had gone.
Shortly after I left the council, and after that Labour.
I am now an active member of my local Yes group helping to plan and promote the case for independence and working hard to ensure that the opportunity is not missed again.