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Yes Lochaber - Prosperity Day

The Yes Lochaber volunteers gathered yesterday, Saturday April 27th 2013, to take the message of a more prosperous and fairer Scotland to Fort William High Street

I think even many Yes supporters don't realise just how prosperous a country Scotland could be for everyone. Scotland has abundant natural resources, a hugely talented workforce, world leading industries and four univerisities in the world top 100. An independent Scotland would be the eighth richest country in the world. Yet, some parts of Scotland have: the lowest life expectancy in western Europe (and lower than some third world nations[1]), areas of high unemployment, a lack of affordable housing (rent or purchase), pensioners unable to adequately heat their homes and lower average wages compared to many developed countries.

Yes Lochaber - Prosperity Day
Yes Lochaber gathering at the Old Fort, Fort William, prior to taking their message of a more prosperous and fairer Scotland to the High Street

The Scottish Government have made tremendous strides forward with the limited powers available to the Holyrood Parliament but real change can only be achieved through independence. For example, money that is used for purchasing and maintaining weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde could be put to better use. Similarily, an independent Scotland would be unlikely to be involved in costly, and illegal, foreign wars. So, those kinds of expenditure can be saved and put to better use elsewhere.

However, it is not just a question of making savings here and there so they can be diverted elsewhere. It is also the case that we should be able to build upon our current successes and create new ones. Scotland has huge renewable energy potential[2], thriving export businesses like whisky, fish and aquaculture is our largest food export sector and, of course, there is £1.5 trillion of oil still to be recovered from the North Sea. Currently, the Scottish Paliament only has control over 16% of the economic levers available to improve our country. Like other small northern European nations we could manage these resources ourselves and make Scotland a better, fairer and more prosperous place.

On Saturday we had the opportunity again to answer lots of questions, provide information and convince yet more people of the merits of independence. We will be doing this on a regular basis right up until September 18th 2014.

Note to self: photographers should have a pork chop hanging from the bottom of the camera to ensure wee white dugs face forward.


[1] Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

[2] It is estimated Scotland has access to 25% of the EU's offshore wind and tidal power plus 10% of the EU's wave power potential.


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