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A letter to my friend

A Lochaber Yes supporter, Anne Rowan, has written to a friend outlining her reasons for voting Yes. Anne has kindly provided a copy of the letter, reproduced below, as we thought it would be of interest to our readers. The recipient's name has been changed.


August 18th 2014

Dear Eilidh,

I hope that you don't mind me writing to you, but as you appeared to be in favour of Westminster's continued rule of Scotland, I thought that I would like to explain the reasons why I would prefer Scotland to have self-determination.

I regard Scotland as a country and yet it is in effect no more than a very useful and very valuable appendage to England, much as Wales or Northern Ireland are. It is very clear to me that only as an independent country will the people of Scotland have the democratic right to be governed by those that they themselves would choose to have in power. Within the U.K. the Scots represent only one twelfth of the population; therefore the vast majority of the seats in Westminster will always be occupied by those M.P.s that are elected in England and they seldom reflect the preference of the majority of Scots.

Scotland has almost no say when it comes to Westminster's willingness to rush into every war that the U.S.A. decides to wage. I would most definitely be much happier if my country, Scotland, had no connection with that "top table" where Britain prides itself in having a seat and at which it decides whether to send British forces to fight a war; generally whichever one America is currently involved in. With regard to international affairs, Westminster seems confident that it occupies the moral high ground, yet there is little evidence to justify this conviction. Irrespective of human suffering, Britain invariably adopts the policy of "wait and see" unless some obvious gain will be had from involvement. And, the amount of "Aid" that Britain congratulates itself on sending to Third World countries amounts to the tiniest fraction of what they pay for the Arms deals that Britain persuades those countries to buy from us. But, regarding Iraq or Afghanistan, do they sing the praises of Britain or the U.S.A. for having invaded their countries? Is Syria begging for some of the same? One thing that I think we can be certain of is that had Scotland already been independent, Scottish troops would not be fighting in those countries. And, how does killing the people there equate to occupying any kind of moral high ground?

With regard to nuclear weapons, I must state that I could not be more strongly and I believe morally opposed to them. They are euphemistically termed deterrents, but they are in fact neat devices, each of which is designed to wipe out millions in an instant. Since 1945 when they were dropped on Japan, their existence has never prevented a single war. Wars continue to be waged without cease and one day one of them will be a nuclear war unless there is disarmament. I will be very proud if Scotland leads the way, for I hate to belong to a country which has them and would be prepared to use them. Albert Einstein said that the Third World War would be a nuclear one and the Fourth would be fought with sticks and stones. Trident should not exist, but it does. With independence it will not be accommodated in Scottish waters. Perhaps, when the people of England discover that Trident is no longer tolerated in Scotland they may begin to question whether they want them to be located anywhere in England?

Scotland has before it plenty of examples of similar small countries that exist very successfully and very peacefully. Are we to believe that what those countries achieve is beyond the abilities of our own people? All my life I have heard people claim to be proud to be Scottish. Let them prove it. Westminster has never shown itself to be particularly benevolent toward Scotland and if this country is not a real asset to the rest of the U.K., are we to suppose that Westminster is driven by philanthropy in its determination to hang on to it?

Scotland is its people and its people are those who live here. They are not whatever might be perceived to be indigenous, if such exists. Many of them are from England and others have come here from almost every other country in the world. Scotland is its people and they are all of us. They are our people and our future, no less than those whose families have been here for generations. I am proud to belong to a country that is not insular, that is one with the generosity of spirit to welcome and absorb other people into itself.

I hope that it is clear that my quarrel is not with England or the English. I am simply averse to being governed by Westminster. England should have the government of its own choice just as we should. Currently, the possibility looms ever larger that Boris Johnston will not just re-enter Westminster but ultimately may end up as Prime Minister. In addition U.K.I.P is gaining popularity there. Those two facts alone are surely sufficient to send Scotland rushing to vote YES.

It is such an immensely important decision for each of us to make and I realise that of course you will have your reasons for coming to your decision. It may be that they are reasons that have not occurred to me. I would be grateful if you would share them with me, for as much as my reasons may influence you, yours equally may influence me. As we are all attempting to come to an informed decision, the more each of us learns, the more equipped we are to be certain that our ultimate choice is the right one for us.

Yours sincerely,


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